So that Peter Lawwell Celtic interview yesterday went down like a lead balloon, eh?
Fans were left miffed by what was an extremely unhelpful exercise from the club. Not the apology, because that was what was needed, but the way it was both structured and delivered yesterday flopped badly.
Lawwell seemed sincere for the first 30 seconds. He apologised to the supporters for the trip. For the first time, he was admitting some wrongdoing by the club. He also stated the fallout of it has been extremely regrettable too. Yes he was hitting the right notes….for about 30 seconds.
Then it turned into a defensive exercise. The Chief Executive started talking about how good Dubai is and how the reasons for going were sound. Lawwell would also defend how the club is being run and called it “unfair” to question whether they’re sticking to the club’s values.
The only thing really missing was him telling us all to just shut up and leave him alone. Yet, there was one gaffe bigger than anything else. His claim that the pandemic was affecting Celtic more than anyone else.
Lawwell’s biggest error in Celtic interview was easy to avoid
Listen, you can see what he meant. We’ve had a host of first-team stars either catch the virus or be deemed close contacts. This led to many big players missing the first derby of the season and a massive European match against AC Milan. In terms of personnel, we’ve been harshly struck compared to Rangers in particular.
But it was an extremely insensitive comment to make. Lawwell wasn’t taking off-field matters into the equation here. A report from finance experts KPMG showed that Celtic were hit with a 15.5% decrease from 2019-2020. It was hardly a disastrous blow.
There are clubs down the lower divisions in Scotland who will be crippled with not having supporters being able to attend their games. The lower leagues have had to go into a three-week shutdown due to the pandemic too. Evidently, they’ll be staking a claim to say the pandemic has affected them more than us.
Pundits have certainly been having a dig at Lawwell for his remarks too. Sky Sports’ Andy Walker believes Hearts or Partick Thistle would have something to say about that. Neil McCann told BBC Sportsound that the remark will “stick in the throats of a lot of people”.
And it’s something that didn’t impress Celtic supporters or fans of other clubs either. It was clearly an in the moment move by the Chief Executive, but it’s backfired badly. Here’s a look at some of the reaction to the comment:
Peter Lawwell talking about 'values' & then following up with the 'pandemic has affected Celtic more than any other club' sums up everything that is wrong at Celtic just now. The greedy selfish mentality was then complete when he claimed the excellent work of the @FoundationCFC
— Gary (@shamrocknroll67) January 14, 2021
I would love to hear the reasoning behind Peter Lawwell's statement "that the pandemic has probably affected Celtic more than any other club".
That's a big statement to give and not explain why he believes it.
— Verity Tynan (@veetee39) January 13, 2021
Peter lawwell the pandemic:probably affected our club more than any .seriously what planet is lawwell on 😡😡
— Stephen Kennedy (@Stephenjames187) January 13, 2021
"The pandemic has probably affected Celtic more than any other club says chief executive Peter Lawwell.
This comes 2 days after clubs below the Championship had their leagues suspended for at least 3 weeks. This statement was the way to go about it.
— R Stevenson (@ReeganStevenson) January 13, 2021
So Peter Lawwell's apologised for the Dubai trip. Still angry about it. Completely disagree with his assertion that the pandemic has affected our club more than others. Some of that was self inflicted and at least we're still playing games, unlike the teams below the Championship
— Ewan McTaggart (@ewanmct) January 13, 2021
“It’s ( the pandemic) has effected our club, probably our club more than any “
This is complete nonsense. Celtic has not be more effected than lower league clubs on brink of going bust. Celtic need to stop saying this rubbish
— The Resistance Review (@T_Rreview) January 13, 2021