Lee Congerton’s Celtic Intervention Spells Out Why Lawwell Shouldn’t Be Near The Club.

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On a day when I think we’re all feeling pretty happy with ourselves and our club’s position, it is worth reminding ourselves that this league race would already be over had the people above the manager done their damned job and provided him with a better class of player.

The resignation of Mark Lawwell is welcome; it is not, however, the end of the clear-out that needs to be done in the upper executive. Until Daddy goes, we’re at continued risk of his interference, and this is not a silly claim. He has been at it a long time.

There are people out there who continue to doubt that Lawwell had the pernicious influence at Celtic that we have long alleged. Whenever we have called him “the de-facto director of football” that has been met with a chorus of derision. But why? We were right, after all, and time and time again we’ve been proved to have been right.

Lee Congerton was brought in by Rodgers to spearhead his recruitment efforts. No matter what you think of his record – and it wasn’t that great – he is qualified and experienced. Today, in an interview with The Telegraph, he has specifically invoked Lawwell and his interference in transfer matters, stuff which had nothing whatsoever to do with him. “He’s an accountant,” Congerton said, which is about as scornful as it is possible to be.

Some of what he said is clearly designed to polish his own record a bit; not that he needs to bother as he’s not been out of work since he left, and goes apparently from one club to another with ease. The interview was a profile of his career, and he didn’t mention Celtic gratuitously, he just spoke about it in brief and moved on … but what he said was interesting just the same.

“Peter Lawwell is a nice man,” he said, in a classic example of damning with faint praise. “He’s an accountant.” After talking about us having “no money” (what does he expect at an SPFL club?) he talked about a couple of PSG youth players he wanted us to sign who went on to bigger things. But his closing comments are the ones that raised the antennae and confirmed again what some us have long known. “But there were several players I didn’t want to be anywhere near them, and that is why I left. Peter knows that, and so did Brendan,” he said.

This is the guy who was the head of recruitment, talking about players who were forced on him and the manager and who he “didn’t want” to be “anywhere near.” Who can over-rule the manager and the head of recruitment on the signing of players? Who thinks they are better qualified than those two? We all know the answer to that question, and his mentioning Lawwell’s name twice is as close to a confirmation as you could ever hope to get.

Rodgers has been through this twice. The difference is that this time he’s not walking. Whatever has happened behind the scenes, the lead scout is going and Lawwell junior is going with him. Rodgers is fighting this time, and it is in all our interests that he wins that battle. Winning this title would most certainly strengthen his hand.

The problem, as ever, is that Daddy Lawwell does like to interfere. The manager should be the guy who runs the football department; it worked out great under Ange and it was in his first three transfer windows, when he was handling this stuff himself, when we delivered the high-value players who still enhance our squad right now.

Lawwell’s return to a major executive role was a huge mistake, and Congerton’s comments are a timely reminder of his potential for causing damage. The manager has basically had to work with the guts of last year’s team, with only a handful of the signings looking any good at all, and some of them clearly won’t ever work out and will be moved on.

That can’t happen again. It’s happened too much already. The boss must run the show, and that’s what Congerton is saying and I’m sure it is the understanding Rodgers thought he had when he arrived back at Celtic Park. This summer is huge for him and for those above him. I think we would all prefer it if Lawwell’s stay was cut short.

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  • Charlie Green says:

    I would think £650,000? is “basement bargain” even for 1997. Clara, Newcastle paid Blackburn Rovers £15 million for Alan Shearer in 1996 and Larsson, for my money, is in that league.

  • frank says:

    Charlie, I’m sorry but to say that Larsson is in the same league as Shearer is wrong.
    In my humble opinion, Larsson is much better than that, he is a league above.

  • frank says:

    James, if you allow my post re answer to charlie. could you please edit to read Larsson WAS better, and WAS a league above.

    Thanking you in advance.
    PS keep up your great work

    • Charlie Green says:

      Yes, I remember Tierry Henri saying after Barcelona beat Arsenal in the Champions league final in the last ten minutes . The difference between the teams was Henrik Larsson who came on late in the game. No greater accolade.
      Would love Brenden to play Kyogo, Idah and Oh up front a la Larsson,Hartson and Sutton when faced with 11 behind the ball.

  • Fraser says:

    Peter Lawell is an accountant and an employee, like all employees he has a boss .
    Dermot Desmond hires fires and is total control of Celtic plc.
    Since employed by Celtic Lawell has stewardship has brought success after success
    Whilst our closest rivals went bust .
    Bloggers and critics spread lies and agenda based gossip , our leadership provide trophies managers players and profits .

    • Aaron says:

      No matter wat happens get rid off lawwell and his puppet Nicholson sick off the lot off them hail hail

  • Fun time frankie says:

    Your Ronson lighter must be in agony fraser,with the pounding Liddell is giving it.

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