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World class in many aspects- Lawwell’s hollow claims last barely a week

Between cracking gags with his prodigy Michael Nicholson at the AGM Peter Lawwell was telling Celtic shareholders that their club is world class!

With one matchday left in the Champions League that claim is looking as hollow as any of the claims made by the club Chairman over his 20 years in power.

Over the current Champions League campaign Copenhagen and Shakhtar Donetsk fans have celebrated wins over Manchester United and Barcelona, Celtic fans took comfort from keeping it respectable against Lazio as they made it 15 group stage matches without a win.

There are plenty of uncomfortable statistics from Lawwell’s reign with Celtic left behind in the Champions League, picking up nine points from their last four Champions League campaigns ahead of the dead rubber against Feyenoord in a fortnight.

Of the players involved in the Lazio defeat it would be no surprise if two of the better ones are sold next summer to maintain profit levels- on recent experiences there is little prospect that their replacements will be equipped for European competition.

Following the AGM Lawwell’s favourite newspaper the Daily Record reported the Chairman saying:

It’s not by chance or by luck that we’re viewed as one one of the best run football clubs in Europe, if not the world. It’s not by chance that we’ve won five trebles out of seven. It’s not by chance that our turnover is a record £120m.

It’s not by chance that our profit was £40m. It’s not by chance we have huge value in the squad, that we’ve got an organisation that is efficient and, in my view, world class in many, many aspects. Nobody knows the stresses and strains of being a Celtic executive more than me. I was in the job for 18 years and I can assure you it’s not an easy gig.

This world class club is once again out of European football before Christmas, missing out on the embarrassing record of not having won a knock-out tie since season 2003/04, the season that Lawwell got his feet in the door as the £248,941 pa CEO on a turnover of £69m.

By 2019 his chums on the Remuneration Committee had pushed his salary to over £3,500,000 on a turnover of £83.4m. In 15 years turnover had increased by £15m while the CEO had added £3.25m to his remuneration package.

Lawwell ‘returned’ as chairman six months after his son was appointed ead of First Team Recruitment and Scouting despite having no experience in that role other than a vague undefined role somewhere in the City Football Group.

There is no mention of Mark anywhere on the City Football Group website with Celtic recruitment taking a marked downturn since his appointment in July 2022.

In his first transfer window Ben Siegrist, Alexandro Bernabei and Sead Haksabanovice were signed with none of them making it into this season’s Champions League squad.

This year Mark has handed out long term contracts to Yuki Kobayashi, Tomoki Iwata, Marco Tilio, Gus Lagerbielke, Maik Nawrocki, Odin Thiago Holm and Kwon Hyeok-kyu who all failed to get on the park against Lazio despite injuries to Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada.

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