Posted on Thursday, 20th October 2011 by Oz Chris
Three quarters of a million a year plus bonus payments for the CEO of our club. You have to admit that is a bargain for the services of Peter Lawwell. The man is a genius, he has been Chief Executive of our club for eight years now and overseen/outlasted four managers from O’Neill to Lennon.
Where once the master of smoke and mirrors was seated across the river in Govan, the mantle of Chief Illusionist must now go to Lawwell and his able assistant Reid. He took over as chief when we had a team that had just reached the final of a European competition, a team full of stars and hero’s and now eight years later just look at what represented our club on Saturday at Rugby Park and he is still in the hot seat. Yet why is it only now the message boards, blogs and Celtic related internet sites are in unison demanding change.
Well it’s really quite an easy one to answer, we have all been duped. We have spent so long laughing at Murray’s moonbeams that we failed to see what was happening on our own doorstep. In fact, Murray’s ineptitude at the smoke and mirrors game may well be the reason we didn’t notice the real master at work. While we were laughing at Casinos in Govan Road and the statements of spending a tenner for every one of our fivers big lovable Pete was gradually dismantling the football side of our business, the only bit that we have a genuine interest in, if we were winning trophy’s we wouldn’t care how much the CEO or players were earning.
It is for this reason that I think Lawwell deserves his money. Put in place by the board, ok Dermott Desmond the owner, yes he is the owner and never forget it, that was no mistake by Reid on Friday he was putting his point across, Lawwell has served Desmond well. He has done what all CEO’s of company’s would have loved to have done in this current financial crisis. He has downsized yet still managing healthy returns, Desmond’s relatively small gamble in comparison to his wealth at throwing some money at our club has failed to come off. The return on his investments failed when the EPL dream collapsed, now with keeping Lawwell in place, Dermott is doing nothing more than protecting that initial deposit and will continue to do so unless someone comes up with a decent plan for change.
Lawwell has kept us at bay by throwing us a bone every time he thinks we need one, how many times did we hear the names Keane, Given, Bellamy then there was the odd Sol Campbell thrown in and right on cue last week when the heat should have been getting turned up, McFadden’s name got thrown into the mix. His appointment of Lennon was probably the shrewdest yet, what better a barrier between us and him. When Lenny was appointed I remember hearing the assertive guy who I believed was going to be his own man and not roll over to the board. I remember someone with inside knowledge tell me at his interview he told them how it was going to be his way if he became manager. Now all I see a guy who is towing the party line, maybe that’s fear for his own position based on the recent results or maybe he feels in debt to Lawwell for the support shown over the off field events, maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome, I don’t know but Lenny is a board man now and we witnessed that last week when he took his place at the AGM. It’s funny because our manager is probably in the strongest position he will ever find himself in, all he has to do is mutter something about Lawwell and Co interfering in the day to day running of the team and there would be bedlam from the paying support.
As for the AGM this is where Lawwell should be at his most vulnerable, but yet again the man proved his worth, a nice wee story about Scottish Football going to be extinct had those on BBC Scotland talking about Celtic in the EPL again and not the real issues. His plan for the club shows no ambition to better our selves on the football field. He looks to have obtained a financial model of a business plan from a St Mirren or Motherwell and thinks that will do nicely for Celtic and his inclusion of Lennon at the top table had the idiots in the room talking tactics and team selection thus deviating away from the real matters.
So come voting time it would appear that only two people voted against Lawwell’s re election, yes I know that he was always going to be there but considering all I read on a daily basis is ‘Lawwell out’, why no show of hands to show the fans true feelings. Even Harry Brady from Celtic Underground has drawn up a Celtic revival plan that involves no Peter Lawwell, yet he was not one of the two who voted against the re election of the CEO. If you are going to put something forward that involves change, you really must believe in it yourself first. Do they put something in the tea when you enter that stops you from functioning, I don’t know but it would appear the small shareholders really are not the best people to trust with the future of our club either.
So all in all I think we deserve Lawwell, he is quite clearly carrying out the Scarlet Pimpernel’s instruction and doing it well. So until someone else comes in and buys a controlling interest in the club we should shut up complaining and let them get on with it as nothing will change. We have missed our chance.
For fear of me being accused of putting my head in the sand, it would be criminal of me not to mention probably the worst game I have seen as a Celtic Supporter. Players can have bad days but that performance was unforgivable and there are many there that will have to do an awful lot to have me praising them again.
Due to work commitments I watched the game unfold on Twitter and Iike many of you watching, I was in shock. Despite the shock, I couldn’t help but feel the comments been laid at Kayal’s door in particular were way over the top. So when I eventually seen the game 24 hours later I sat down with a pen and paper in an attempt to be objective about his performance. To do this I decided to count how many completed and failed passes he made in comparison to Ledley and Ki during the time all three were on the field. Now I don’t claim these results to be perfect as those of you that have watched a game on Channel 67 will know that the picture quality is not the best and identification can be difficult but I think they are reasonably accurate.
After ten minutes Tony Hamilton stated that Kayal had been quiet, he was wrong he was worse, there were 14 minutes on the clock before the Israeli got possession and make a pass. Ki at the same point had made 12 passes and Ledley 8. At the conclusion of the 45 minutes Kayal had attempted 15 passes with 10 being completed a shocking ratio for a supposed superstar. Ki 20 with 18 good and Ledley 12 with 11 good. This actually backs up Harpers argument that he doesn’t see in Ledley what everyone else does as the stats suggest he was not much better than Kayal.
Conclusion Kayal needs a Twitter account.
So as we head of to France I fear the worst, but regardless I will be supporting the team and I am now off to get my head round my own revival plan. Despite how good he is I don’t think it will involve Big Peter at the top.
Oz Chris (twitter @cmcmon and for podcast and website updates @TheLostBhoys & @HomeBhoys)
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