Peter Lawwell is many things. A former trainee accountant. A successful businessman. A former senior figure at Mining Scotland.
Foremost, however, he’s a Celtic supporter.
He’ll be acutely aware of how divided our support is. He’ll know how desperate so many of us are for change across the board, no pun intended.
Lawwell wouldn’t have taken the job as Chief Executive of Celtic Football Club if he didn’t think he could turn us into a footballing force. Celtic as a brand were struggling before he came, especially after the rot had set in under the Kelly dynasty.
For all of his faults – and Celtic fans have pointed those out repeatedly – I genuinely think this will be hurting him. Once again, his decision making has been called into question.
Much is made of Lawwell’s reputation of rewarding himself vast sums to carry out his job. However, he’s a popular figure within the club and it seems very unlikely he’ll be tearing himself away any time soon.
Nor is it likely that there’ll be pressure from Dermot Desmond in that regard.
Called into question
Chris Sutton, who even by his standards has ignited controversy this week, made some salient points in his column this morning.
Via the Daily Record, Sutton wrote:
…at this stage, Peter Lawwell really has to come out and say something because this malaise can’t continue.
Neil spoke yesterday about the hierarchy being supportive, but it would be nice to actually hear it.
Tell everyone categorically and publicly that Neil is Celtic’s man and they are 100 per cent confident and committed to the fact he’s going to turn this around.
We’re inclined to agree. If Lennon really is Lawwell’s man, he’s got to come out and say so.
In recent days, especially since the ludicrous collapse to Sparta Prague (once again), we’ve read about Zoom calls with the board and behind-closed-doors reassurances being made by Lawwell and Desmond.
But when your biggest supporters club is outside the gates, it’s well beyond time to have said something publicly.
A good old fashioned conspiracy theory
Lawwell’s silence in the media will give ammunition to the factions of the Celtic support who believe that Lennon is on wafer-thin ice.
Surely, you could argue, if Lawwell believes the current manager will see out the 10IAR, then he’s got a robust in-house press team to deliver that message.
Vast strides have been made to Celtic’s reputation in recent years. Our supporters are recognised worldwide, and Brand Celtic is a key player internationally. The recent Adidas kit deal was a big win for Lawwell.
On that side of things, Lawwell is an excellent Chief Executive for Celtic Football Club. However, as long as results continue to decline under the current coaching staff, a nice away kit won’t placate even the most casual fan.
Again, I’ve no doubt this is hurting Peter Lawwell. By all accounts, his relationship with Neil Lennon is solid. You don’t hire someone twice if you don’t believe in their abilities as a person and as an employee.
I’ve also no doubt that Peter Lawwell does absolutely care about the supporters, because I happen to think he is one.
Nevertheless, if Lawwell wants to quiet speculation about the manager’s job at Celtic, he’s doing himself no favours by refusing to speak out.
The longer he waits, the worst it’ll look. For a club as obsessed with PR as Celtic, that’s not the sensible call.