The Power of One
Recent events at the club,both on the field and off it,make for disturbing times. The rumour mill is in hyperdrive-and none of it good-whether that be the one about Scott Sinclair being frozen out due to his reluctance to move to Preston or the one about the auditors having a fun time with our accounts or the one about,oh,you’ve probably read them all or at least heard strong hints about them. What cannot be denied is that we are not currently in a position suiting the winners of eight titles on the bounce and three consecutive domestic trebles.
As to why that should be? Well,your guess is as good as mine. A year ago we had the best manager in the country by a considerable distance and far and away the best squad in the country. We had four players returning from World Cup Finals duty,a crop of exciting youngsters,and were on the verge of reporting record income for the year of £101m along with record profits and a huge current account balance. The wheels came off when the club accepted an offer of £10m for Boyata which was rightly derailed by Brendan Rodgers as no attempt had been made to buy him a decent replacement-and at a fraction of the cost. That alone cost us probably £7m net,and the fall-out from it,with Boyata deciding that his head wasn’t in the right place for the AEK game,cost us another £40m or so.
It also cost us our best manager since Martin and Jock. It might cost us a lot more than that in the long run.
Fast forward a year,and once again we have been papped out in the third qualifier against a team we should have the beating of by any measure. Bar the fact that we played with a makeshift defence,one which managed to weaken the midfield at the same time. Losing four goals at home against Barcelona isn’t acceptable. Against Cluj it’s a downright disgrace. And the people responsible for it should be held to account.
So who is responsible? Well,Neil Lennon picked the team. One which he clearly thought was capable of beating the Romanian champions. He must have been the only Celtic supporter on the planet who didn’t cringe at that line-up. He lined up with Callum McGregor at left back,a position for which he is manifestly unsuited. He played Michael Johnston in front of him,in a game which was crying out for experience. He left our two main defensive signings on the bench,a sure sign that he is not keen on them. But why is he not keen on them? He told us recently that he was happy with how the club had done their homework on these players,that they had been properly scouted,etc.
Who did the scouting,Neil? Our scouting network was once the envy of most clubs on the planet. Now,with what’s left of it,it barely amounts to a scout pack. Turns out that we have a total of FIVE worldwide. That’s a bloody shambles,in line with so much that is happening at the club. It’s barely enough to get a decent second opinion on a prospect. Bloody hell,it’s barely enough to get a decent FIRST opinion on nearly anyone! Did you sit down with PL and discuss what was required for the season ahead,bearing in mind that you both knew that we would be going into it without Lustig,Boyata,Tierney as well as another dozen or so fringe players? Did you discuss available spend,including that freed up in wages by the mass exodus? Or handed on a plate by the fire sale of Tierney? Or did you not bother because it’s a waste of time,PL makes the decisions and you can always blame the players anyway? Are you a manager or a cowed yes-man? You never were in the past,Neil. Neither on the pitch nor off it. So why start now?
Time to look yourself in the mirror,Neil. Time to demand that the mirror reflect the man you always were,and not what it’s reflecting now. And there’s only one man can change the image in the mirror. You know what needs to be done.
This brings me to the other,bigger,elephant in the room when it comes to the shitshow known as Celtic FC. Or Plc,if you prefer. And that is the dictatorial asset stripping micromanaging Chief Executive Officer,Director of Football,head chef and bottle washer. The man with no delegation skills whatsoever,and no desire to learn them. Peter Lawwell,the highest paid employee in the history of Celtic Football Club. The man who cannot countenance competing with Championship clubs in England when it comes to player wages yet thinks nothing of pocketing millions of pounds in bonuses-even as we are failing on the pitch.
The man who has earned an entire centuriesworth of his initial salary of c£150k in only fifteen years.
The only financial genius on the planet who thinks that stockpiling cash instead of investing it in the core business in an era of low interest rates is the way forward.
This is the man to whom the entire payroll of the club is subservient,and yet the man who is supposed to report to the board. The board who are supposed to make the decisions. Oh,they’ve done that all right. They decided to leave it to Peter as he knows best and besides,we like our cushy wee number here. We have Non Executive Directors on the board,a legal requirement. They are supposed to be independent,they are supposed to challenge the board when it takes a wrong direction,makes poor strategic or financial decisions. And they make up the Remuneration Committee which decides on executive pay,I might add.
As far as I can make out,ALL of them have a personal and/or professional relationship with PL in the past-though I may not be entirely correct on that,and will happily apologise if any of them can prove otherwise. Either way,it hardly screams of independence. And due to the manner of ownership of the club,they are entirely beholden to being forwarded by it for re-election at the annual politburo AGM.
THIS IS NOT GOOD GOVERNANCE BY ANY STANDARD!
Indeed,it goes a long way to explaining why we are where we are. There are no restraints on an out of control ego,and an out of date and out of ideas CEO. One which has done little to support the fans in the face of state-sponsored bullying,a rabidly antagonistic press,a hateful governing body. One which was given the silver bullets he required on Res 12 and wilfully sidetracked it for reasons of his own. One whose mismanagement has cost us tens of millions in income due to his botched transfer policies.
He has had his day. He’s had plenty of them,and fortunately the situation is not beyond recovery. Celtic FC is not a GEC in the UK at the turn of the century,nor a GE now. We are still the powerhouse domestically with an incredible fan base there and worldwide. The players are there,the money is available to invest in better,both short term and in the future.
It is in the best interests of the club-and perhaps of himself,though we don’t deal in rumours here-that our CEO announce his departure prior to the AGM. He can take the plaudits there,the eulogies,the grovelling thanks. He can even leave with a thank you present for all I care.
But he must go.
Above article by BMCUWP.
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