Mark Wilson believes Peter Lawwell "can't afford to fail" at Celtic

By David Walton

March 6, 2019

Former Celtic defender Mark Wilson believes that Chief Executive Peter Lawwell can’t afford to fail at Parkhead.

The retired right-back, who stayed at Celtic between 2006 and 2012, believes fans won’t forgive Lawwell if Celtic don’t achieve nine-in-a-row.

Wilson believes that the club need to seriously splash out money to fend off Rangers. Steven Gerrard’s men currently sit eight points behind the Hoops, but have already managed a win against Celtic this season.

Mark Wilson believes Peter Lawwell has to see off the challenge of Rangers (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Lawwell has had to undergo some changes to the regime over the last week. Brendan Rodgers’ departure and Neil Lennon’s arrival has likely put summer transfer plans on hold for now. But Wilson, speaking in the Scotsman, doesn’t believe Lawwell can afford to let the title slip in the next couple of years.

“If Celtic go and win this eighth title – which is looking likely – then you are talking about the nine-in-a-row year. Peter and the board will need to throw a good bit of money at this, because Celtic can’t afford to fail.

“Rangers have put up a decent challenge this year and you’d think they’d be stronger again next year.

“It would be catastrophic if they didn’t nine, and the fans would never forgive the board if they didn’t splash the money. There will be criticism levelled at Peter. The finger would be pointed.”

Celtic have a tricky balancing act on their hands

Wilson is correct to a degree. Celtic have to keep their title march going all the way to 10 and beyond. The supporters simply crave it, and it would be a first for any Scottish club. Fending off any challenge from across the city is vital to that.

Is Neil Lennon the man to take Celtic to 10-in-a-row? (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

But, at the same time, Celtic have to look at making some form of impact in Europe. The Hoops have been whipping boys for too long at a decent European level.

Yes, the club may have reached the last-32 of the Europa league having knocked out RB Leipzig in the groups. But the weak Parkhead showing to Valencia and the loss away from home meant that we lost five out of eight European games this season post-qualifiers.

Investment in the summer is vital, and Lawwell will get plenty of blame if it goes wrong. He continues to be the one constant at Celtic regardless of who comes in as manager, therefore he’ll have a long-term plan in place to keep the club stable. But there has to be a level of ambition to stay well ahead of domestic rivals whilst making a European impact.

It’s now a case of crossing that bridge when we come to it, however. Celtic splashed out just £2million in January for Vakoun Issouf Bayo. The rest of the acquisitions were either loan deals or free transfers. In the summer, better improvements need to be made.

For now, however, winning eight in-a-row and potentially the Scottish Cup has to be the main goal.