Peter Lawwell – J’accuse !
We’ve come a long way since the heady heights of Seville,have we not? Yet someone born at the start of that journey has only just reached the age where he or she can order a drink,so it isn’t that long ago,not really. My niece was already at primary school,and she still hasn’t completed her education,so definitely not that long ago. Heady days,when we scared the living daylights out of the very best in Europe-and why was that? Because we belonged on the same stage,that’s why.
No team scared us,and certainly not at home. And if our record away from home wasn’t quite as impressive,teams frequently had to resort to “the dark arts” to get the better of us. For instance,Turin and Seville itself.
Life since then as a Hoooopster hasn’t always been so rosy. Yes,I know fine well what we won that famous Year of Seville,and that we’ve won much more since-domestically,at least-but teams feared us then. We would get freaky bad results,but more often than not we absolutely destroyed the opposition. More often than not,they couldn’t lay a glove on us,and didn’t have a clue where to start with it.
And now this. Not only do teams not fear us anymore,they bliddy fancy their chances against us. And particularly in Europe,our results prove that. We’ve gone from Fortress Parkhead to offering teams the freedom of it. And not overnight either,I might add.
A decade ago we were throwing away three leagues in a row against,admittedly,a financially doped hunnery and all without a complaint about that or the “strange” issue of “honest mistakes”. Does anyone think Dallas would have lost his job through complaints from Celtic? He didn’t over Dougiegate,it was the poor patsy linesman,Steve Craven,who carried the can for that. No,Celtic ignored it like they ignored everything. It took Phil Mac to push that one.
And don’t start me on Resolution 12. Don’t start me on replacing Henrik with Henri Kamara-aw,ffs!-and that on loan too. Or dumping the high earners way too soon,the treatment of Bobo which left Gordon Strachan having to play Caldwell and McManus instead. Like Martin O’Neill,Gordon left with three titles in his locker. Both of their own accord,how strange.
Or the refusal to say a word while Tony Mowbray’s teams were getting kicked off the park,all but ruining the career of a fine man and at that time,a proven manager. A hard bloke who had suffered some dreadful blows in his life,but was left without support from his superiors.
We can run through the Neil Lennon years,of a refusal to renew Scott Brown’s contract when his first one ran out. Or the forced departure of Samaras and Ledley amongst many others. The forced departures too of Lenny’s assistants,Thommo and Mjallby,and the enforced placement of Ronny Deila as assistant. Which led to Lenny calling it a day and the assistant taking the top job long before he was ready-and clearly without the necessary understanding of the strange ways of Scottish football.
Or the backing of the aforementioned superiors,bar actually shoehorning him into the job. At which he tried manfully,winning both titles he contested,but it was a job too far and a job too early for him.
Which leads us to the Brendan Rodgers era. And on the back of a legendary Invincible Treble in the year of our 50th Anniversary of Lisbon,BR went into the close season knowing exactly who he wanted-and needed!-to improve the team. Aye,Brendan. Didn’t take you long to discover who was boss,as it wasn’t just the players who went on holiday for the close season. And when the same happened again the following year-despite qualifying again for the group stages of The Champions League-he quite rightly decided he’d had enough. Aye,I was pissed off at the timing-check the archives for 26/02/2019 for an article titled Snakes and Adders-but I don’t blame him for leaving. I’ll never forgive him for the timing of it though.
Which brings us to the return of The Prodigal Son. The legend who is Neil Lennon,available and hired to push us over the line. He completed The Treble Treble to go with his three titles already,both as player and as manager. Against the wishes of some of us,he got the job full time. But he,as ever,hasn’t received the backing from his superiors.
One in particular.
The fella who joined us soon after Seville,and soon manoeuvred himself into The Big Panjandrum at Celtic Park. Who micromanages every single aspect of the running of the club to the extent that if he got run over by a bus tomorrow,the club would probably grind to a halt-because nobody else is allowed any responsibility. The fella who thinks he knows better than the footballing professionals and long ago promoted himself to de facto Director of Football,with every decision on contracts or signings at his whim.
The fella who manoeuvred our two best managers since Jock out of the door,hands over fan details to the police but won’t stand up for the club or the fans in the face of thuggery and cheating on and off the pitch. A man,in other words,who knows when to choose his battles and won’t take anyone on simply for the benefit of the people who turn up every week.
Someone who has no compunction about throwing managers under the bus,sells their best players,expects them to qualify for Europe with any old dross he gives them.
A man,in other words,who knows how to earn a bonus and has no compunction about how he does it. Who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
Particularly not the values that we,the fans,associate with our famous club.
Above article by BMCUWP