The damning Peter Lawwell quote from 2019 that kickstarted Celtic's regression

By John McGinley

December 7, 2020

Peter Lawwell won’t be enjoying Celtic’s current predicament.

Supporter perception of late presents him as a maniacal gold-plated king, on a throne overlooking the Celtic dressing room, cackling at the distress his actions are causing right now.

That’s not true. Perhaps, in his own way, he thinks he is acting in the best interests of the football club.

The truth is though; he is complicit when it comes to this ongoing crisis engulfing Neil Lennon and his squad.

Yes, he freed up the money to back the manager in the transfer market and, yes, over the years he’s ensured that the club are on a sound financial footing in general.

However, the way he went about appointing Lennon permanently was nothing short of farcical.

I’m not even talking about the Hampden shower moment, nor announcing it on social media without the deal being confirmed. I am talking about putting blinkers on to the extent that he didn’t even consider any other candidates.

If you think I am making that up, you have forgotten the words of Lawwell himself. He admitted it. In fact, he seemed proud of it.

As quoted by The Daily Record, he said in May 2019: “I’m not online, I don’t go on it. But honestly, I’ve said hundreds of times, you need blinkers in this job. And if you react to online, or social media, or media, then you’re dead.

“You just need to keep on doing the right things and believe in yourself and making the right decisions. That’s what we’ve done – without any outside influences.

“It’s a fantastic job and I’m sure there would be people looking from afar who had an idea of coming here. We had approaches from many, many agents, many representatives of managers across the board.

“We put them in the file, just left it and kept our word to Neil, really.”

Neil Lennon may have always been favourite for the permanent post in the wake of Brendan Rodgers’ exit. He earned that right by coming in and finishing off our trophy rush between February and May.

However, to not do any due diligence whatsoever on other candidates, whoever they were, was just a shocking dereliction of duty on the Celtic board’s part.

Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s that complacency and, dare I say it arrogance, that has kickstarted the ongoing regression at Celtic.

We didn’t go for the best possible candidate. We opted for the comfy choice. And we’re now paying for it.

Standards have slipped ever since, failing to counteract the growing threat of Rangers or progress in any meaningful way in Europe.

The bare minimum. That’s what they enjoy at Celtic Park these days.

It’s not good enough.