Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell to retire in summer

By Euan Davidson

January 29, 2021

Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell is set to retire in the summer.

The much-maligned Celtic CEO most recently came under fire for his response to the Dubai trip. The stagnation in Celtic’s performances, sticking with Neil Lennon, had also been the root of criticism.

He will be replaced by Dominic McKay. McKay currently works as the chief operating officer of Scottish Rugby.

On the commercial side, Lawwell has taken the club to new heights. Ambitious pre-season trips to far-flung reaches of the world have won international fans. The CEO has enjoyed a number of financial success at the club, running a business which can boast a multi-million pound deal with Adidas, as well as a range of other lucrative endorsements.

However, during his 17 year spell as Chief Executive, the club have made unpopular decisions. Current sponsorship deals with Magners and Dafabet, as well as other gambling endorsements, have made Lawwell a target of criticism.

Still, during his time, Celtic have won 29 trophies: 13 league titles, four domestic Trebles. Participation in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on three occasions has also bolstered Lawwell’s CV.

Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell on leaving the club

In a statement on the club website, Lawwell said:

“It has been an enormous privilege to have served the Club and our supporters for more than 17 years – a wonderful honour to have been part of an institution I have loved and supported all my life.

“I will always be very proud of what we have achieved together and it has been a particular privilege to be involved throughout a period in the Club’s history which has brought immense domestic success – as well as so many great European nights at Celtic Park.

“Everything we have aimed for and achieved has been for everyone associated with the Club. I have greatly valued my involvement with Celtic supporters in Scotland and around the world. In particular, I have appreciated the advice and support offered by all our main supporters groups across Scotland, Ireland and beyond. I would like to thank them all for the passion, support and commitment they continue to bring to Celtic.”

“I first discussed the possibility of my retirement with the Chairman last year and we were keen to ensure an orderly handover to a new CEO once we had found the right candidate. Now that the process to select Dominic McKay as my successor is complete, I feel the time is now right to announce my retirement at the end of this season. I believe the Club have identified an excellent successor with the highest integrity who will bring substantial experience and enthusiasm to the role. I wish him every success in the future.

Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Desmond on Lawwell

Celtic’s majority shareholder spoke about losing Peter Lawwell in the same statement. The Irish billionaire said:

“When Peter told me he was considering retirement, I did my utmost, unsuccessfully, to dissuade him. Celtic Football Club owes a major debt of gratitude to Peter Lawwell, who has made a unique and transformative contribution to our Club. I have been privileged to work with many CEOs and Peter ranks up there with the best of them.

“Over the years, Peter was sought after by many English Premier League clubs, but his love and commitment to the Club and Scotland were more important to him. Since 2003, under Peter’s tutelage, Celtic has achieved incomparable domestic success and the number of trophies is unsurpassed by any other Club in Europe.”