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Mark Lawwell’s Shamefull Recruitment Record is exposed

With the combination of the club AGM and another embarrassing, early exit from the Champions League in the air attention has turned to recruitment at Celtic.

After two outstanding transfer windows under Ange Postecoglou the last three have been woeful with the evidence on display, or not last night.

From what ought to have been a position of strength in the summer the ground work put in by Postecoglou has been undone with the squad now thin on quality but bloated on quantity.

The starting point for the decline is Mark Lawwell. A man with no online employment history other than his own dubious Linkedin claims and the misplaced belief of Michael Nicholson. There is no mention of Lawwell Mini anywhere on the websites of the City Football Group or Manchester City, nothing is known about the job that he had prior to a very senior role in the CFG, or Manchester City.

Asked last week how many candidates had been interviewed for the post of Head of Scouting and Recruitment and what made the son of the former CEO the outstanding candidate there was a very troubling answer. Almost a Hampden showers moment.

According to the Celtic CEO the appointment of Lawwell Mini was forced on the club by the then manager. Postecoglou arrived without any backroom staff but 10 months into the job he insisted on bringing in Lawwell to take over the recruitment portfolio which had recently brought in Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Matt O’Riley for less than the cost of Albian Ajeti. A manager on a 12 month rolling contract made a long term strategic appointment.

The first tranche of signings should have been a warning sign to supporters. Ben Siegrist, Alexandro Bernabei, Sead Haksabanovic and Oliver Abildgaard were brought in with none of them in this season’s Champions League squad. The loan deals for Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota were converted to permanent moves.

In fairness Alistair Johnston has been a very adequate replacement for Josip Juranovic but fellow January arrivals Tomoki Iwata and Yuki Kobayashi have both been cast aside by Brendan Rodgers who also seems less than convinced by Oh Hyeon-gyu.

The least said about the summer 2023 signings the better, unfortunately for a club that likes to think that it is prudent the seven arrivals are all sitting on long term contracts.

Kwon Hyeok-kyu and Marco Tilio have managed a combined five minutes of competitive action. Gus Lagerbielke and Maik Nawrocki rarely make the bench with loan signing Nat Phillips ahead of them while reborn Liam Scales is the preferred partner for Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Luis Palma has made a positive impression but wouldn’t have been challenging for a place last season with Jota, Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda available.

Back in August Rodgers washed his hands of the dodgy recruitment, explaining that he coaches the players provided to him by the club.

At the AGM he claimed that he has the final say on who is signed, if true that is a very worrying development.

The weaknesses that Rodgers inherited in the summer have still to be addressed, some forward planning is also required with the club no doubt keen to sell at least two important players in the summer.

Under Postecoglou players were signed and sealed before the January transfer window officially opened. All eyes are on Lawwell Mini to see if he can buck the trend and deliver players capable of going into the team and improving things rather than bloating the wage bill.

Having bought into the club’s recruitment startegy it will be difficult for Rodgers to perform another 180 and claim that he just coaches the players supplied by Celtic’s dubious Recruitment Team.



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