Posts Tagged ‘Celtic’

Peter Lawwell and the “Celtic miss Rangers” narrative

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

A narrative is doing the rounds of Scotland’s media outlets which suggests that the Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has said his club “needs” Rangers in the top-flight of Scottish football.

This is untrue.

The assertion is based on a series of one-to-one interviews given by Lawwell to television, radio, newspapers and online outlets last week.

So far, what Lawwell has actually said is that Rangers’ absence has brought about a significant reduction in income – not just for Celtic, but for other Scottish clubs – although, he stresses that Celtic have suffered more than any other club, financially speaking.

The actual narrative of Lawwell’s statements are less about Celtic “missing” or “needing” Rangers in the top-flight, and are more about the historical financial mis-management at Ibrox, which brought about the subsequent liquidation of the club and it being forced to reform in the lowest division of Scottish football – the net effect of which has been a dent in the overall finances of clubs around the country.

However, this is not the narrative that is being adopted by Scotland’s sporting journalists.

Here’s a snapshot of the responses Lawwell has given:

“Rangers going has taken millions out the game. We have probably lost more than anyone. We have bridged that gap by selling players and making profits and we’ve kept Scottish football at a level more than any other club and I think we don’t get enough credit for that.” (BBC)

“When Rangers went down we took £100 off the season tickets. So that is £4m for two years. The Rangers games, that is at least another £3m. The fact there is a perception among our supporters that there is no competition and you are going to win anyway, and you don’t go to the game, so it could be £10m. We could have lost £10m a year, quite easily, on the back of Rangers going down.” (Herald)

“The lost money which Rangers, and now Hearts and Hibs, have taken out of the game, has been made up from profit from selling players. Our revenues have stayed the same from selling players to make up for those lost millions.But when Rangers went down we took £100 off season tickets. So that is £4m for two years. The Rangers games, at least another £3m.” (Daily Record)

By and large, the media has reported with headlines along the lines of ‘Revealed: Rangers’ troubles have cost Celtic £10m a year, reveals Parkhead chief exec Peter Lawwell‘, ‘Peter Lawwell admits Rangers’ absence from top-flight has left Celtic with a £10m black hole‘, but the broader narrative being expounded on programmes such as the BBC’s Sportsound, Clyde’s Super Scoreboard and by journalists like Tom English and Graham Spiers on Twitter is the nascent view that Scottish football is dying a slow, painful fiscal death due to the absence of, effectively, its most financially reckless club.

The Monkey finds it odd that journalists are bleating on about one club (which has managed its finances quite frugally over the past 25 years or so) requiring some form of monetary support from an outfit that has systematically, repeatedly and shamefully mis-managed its finances during the same period to the point of oblivion.

Sporting integrity? It would have been sheer lunacy for Celtic to hand Legia Warsaw a free pass to the Champions League

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The Daily Record’s Keith Jackson, attempting to create the illusion of defending Celtic, while actually launching a bitter attack riddled with disdain for the club and its chief executive:

It was Peter Lawwell who gave Scottish football this very phrase ["sporting integrity"] back in the days when the main objective of Celtic’s chief 
executive was to do all in his power to pip Rangers to the title – and thereby secure his club a ticket to UEFA’s yearly pocket-stuffing 
extravaganza in Monte Carlo.

Back in 2008, Lawwell wrapped himself in a cloak of sporting 
integrity to demand no special 
treatment was afforded to his rivals who wanted the league season extended to help Walter Smith and his players go for UEFA Cup glory while allowing them to catch a breath in the defence of their domestic title.

It has also somehow become Celtic’s problem that a Polish club fielded an ineligible player during a Champions League encounter, thereby forfeiting the match, as per Uefa’s rules:

Lawwell was absolutely correct to sling the Poles a deaf ear. He’ll live with being labelled a hypocrite just fine so long as it means Ronny Deila and his players have a chance to put right all that went so very wrong against Legia.

This is passive-aggressive journalism at its very worst.

UPDATE (and Fact Howler by Jackson): As is being pointed out by numerous people on Twitter, Rangers did get the season extended in 2008.

Bitter Legia Warsaw legend Jan Tomaszewski calls for European football fans to hound Celtic across the continent

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Some quite disgraceful and misleading journalism from the Daily Record’s Craig Swan:

TOMASZEWSKI called for calls fans across Europe to slaughter the Hoops wherever they go after branding the Parkhead club’s refusal to engage with Legia as dishonourable.

Except, Tomaszewski said nothing of the sort. Here’s what he did say:

“This has been the biggest scandal in the history of sport. I now want that Celtic go to stadiums around the world and get boos and whistles for the entire 90 minutes.

“I thought honour was not something you could buy but we have found that not having any is actually worth some money.

“I feel sorry for Celtic fans because they have behaved with real dignity. I feel sorry for the players who accepted defeat with their heads down and offered congratulations to Legia.

“I feel wholeheartedly it is the main people of Celtic who have contributed to this. I hope they soon have a bone in their throat with this affair and they choke.

“I appeal to fans all over the world. Receive this club, because unfortunately this club must be responsible for their owners or decision-makers, and treat them as they deserve.

“This is not justice and these people have not just desecrated Legia but European football. And they have shown that money is more important than honour.”

For the benefit of Swan, here’s the dictionary definition of “slaughter”:

Slaughter. VERB. 1. Kill (animals) for food.

2. Kill (people or animals) in a cruel or violent way, typically in large numbers.

Imagine if Celtic had ‘done a Legia’

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Graham Spiers in The Herald:

Had it been Celtic who had been bounced out of Europe on a Bartosz Bereszynski-style admin glitch – having beaten Legia Warsaw 6-1 over two games – I’m guessing the club’s response would have gone something like this.

Peter Lawwell, the Celtic CEO, would have been apoplectic with the injustice of it. So, too, the club’s supporters. And the Scottish media would have been urged in the strongest terms to try to overturn this affront to decency and fairness.

This is what passes for newspaper journalism; creating a hypothetical scenario in order to justify an attack on Celtic.

Celtic vent fury after being hit by emotional blackmail and claims of bad manners from Legia Warsaw in wake of Champions League exit

Monday, August 11th, 2014

The Daily Record’s Craig Swan gets his jockey pants in a knot at a three-sentence statement from Celtic.

SEETHING Celtic last night fought back after being smacked by emotional blackmail and claims of bad manners from Legia Warsaw.

The Parkhead outfit have defended their honour in the face of a public savaging from Poland.

Legia chief Dariusz Mioduski accused the Hoops hierarchy of “hiding” from them after UEFA booted his club out of the Champions League for fielding an ineligible player in their 6-1 aggregate win.

For the record, here’s the fury-laden response from Celtic to Legia Warsaw’s emotionally-charged plea to overturn the decision by Uefa to kick them out of the Champions League for fielding a suspended player:

“We are disappointed by Legia Warsaw’s comments. This is entirely a matter for UEFA and its processes. Accordingly, we will reserve further comment for the appropriate time.”

Hardly fury or seething, is it Craig?