Celtic "apology" comes across far too defensive; this was anything but genuine

By David Walton

January 13, 2021

So Celtic have issued what was supposed to be an apology to the club’s supporters this afternoon.

Peter Lawwell was finally wheeled out in front of the in-house media cameras and told to explain the Dubai trip.

Indeed, Celtic returned from their UAE jaunt and saw one player test positive for Covid. His 15 close-contracts also have to self-isolate including Neil Lennon and John Kennedy. This had a knock-on effect as we drew 1-1 with Hibernian at Parkhead on Monday night. And all during a global pandemic that’s killed millions.

The result was enough to more or less end our title hopes, and fan anger was at its peak. Celtic have been absolutely silent on social media since, outside of a fitting tweet paying respects to Celtic supporter and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, who sadly passed away.

They were preparing for this moment. This interview from Lawwell. The tweet that was supposed to unite the fanbase and be a heartfelt apology for the Dubai trip.

But in truth, this was anything but. Lawwell seemed to forget this after about 30 seconds of his interview. Instead of an apology we ended up getting a massive defence of how the club is run and the decisions it took.

Celtic apology was quickly followed by a defence

The Chief Executive tried to hide behind the fact we took similar protocols in Dubai as we took on other occasions abroad this season. He also then defended the way the club operates and how the values are being stuck to. Although how they can go to the UAE in the first place and say it’s in line with the club’s values is anyone’s guess.

Had he come out and said “We’re so sorry. This was just a total shambles from us from start to finish. These were our intentions for going but nothing can excuse this massive lack of judgement. We apologise to our supporters, Hibernian Football Club, and the general Scottish public. We should never have gone”. You could  respect something like that a touch more.

Instead, Celtic are only sorry because they’ve been caught here. They’re only sorry because a positive test has ruled out 16 playing and coaching staff members. In fact, let me put this to you – had we beaten Hibs, would this video have come out?

Was this the moment Celtic knew an apology was needed? (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Were we genuinely a Kevin Nisbet miss away from the board thinking they could squeak through this? That’s the way it comes across. But there’s a larger base point to be sorry for – going in the first place. It was a decision that was an obvious one to make at the time. Let’s not pretend the Covid case was when our eyes were opened to how grim a decision this was. We’ve all been fuming since they left after Ibrox.

This afternoon was supposed to be Lawwell tugging at your heartstrings. He was trying to appeal to that part of your heart that will forever love this club regardless of its actions. A genuine apology would’ve been a lot more welcome.

But instead, he couldn’t help but be defensive, ignorant, and just plain infuriating. Make no mistake, the intentions of this video wasn’t to give you, me, or any other Celtic fan an apology. Is was a tool being used for crisis-management and nothing more.

In other news, here’s how the Celtic supporters reacted to this ridiculous defensive tactic.