Skip to main content

Chairman Ian Bankier defends under-fire Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell

Celtic v KR Reykjavik – UEFA Champions League – Qualifying – First Round – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier insists Peter Lawwell is a stand out figure at the Parkhead club.

The Hoops chief executive is in the fans’ firing line after Neil Lennon’s side dropped 13 points adrift of Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership, albeit with two games in hand, as well as being knocked out of the Europa League and Betfred Cup.

There was another ‘sack the board’ protest held outside Celtic Park ahead of Sunday’s 2-0 home win over Kilmarnock, with Lawwell the focal point of the supporters’ ire.

But Bankier, speaking on a pre-recorded video at Celtic’s virtual annual general meeting, said: “The people on the board have a lot of experience collectively and that’s a good thing. It’s not a bad thing.

“Of course, it’s not a fixed situation. We have, and we will, refresh this board from time to time as is appropriate.

“In terms of Peter Lawwell, I’ve been privileged to work with a lot of very successful people throughout my career and Peter Lawwell stands out for me.

“The way he stands out is he’s a natural decision taker.

“That’s important when it comes to football because football is all about  making the right decision at the right time.

“In terms of time, you never have any to make decisions. Everything is moving fast.

“You need to get it right and you need to get it right now on this day at this time.

“Peter has an exceptional ability to do that and that’s why he’s so important to us.

“Everything he does he does for Celtic and he does it in the best interests of Celtic.”

Bankier was re-appointed to the board along with major shareholder Dermot Desmond, Tom Allison, Brian Wilson and Sharon Brown as the board’s 10 resolutions were passed.

Resolution 12 from the 2013 AGM was voted on in the form of resolution 11, “That the board takes steps to refer the Scottish Football Association to UEFA with regards its licensing practises,” which relates to Rangers and their 2011-12 European licence.

Rangers were hit with two disciplinary charges in May 2018 relating to complying with UEFA rules, observing the principles of sportsmanship and
“behaving towards the Scottish FA and other members with the utmost good faith”.

The charges related to financial information given by Rangers to the SFA in the year before they went into administration and then liquidation.

In May, after almost two years of deliberations and legal advice, the SFA board unanimously decided not to pursue the case in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Resolution 11 was voted down overwhelmingly and Bankier said:

He said: “It’s worth noting that Peter Lawwell raised this matter with the Scottish FA in 2011 and again in 2012, before the resolution was brought in 2013.

“The board is satisfied that the club executives involved have acted properly and in the best interests of the company at all times.

“The club remains of the view that an independent review by the Scottish FA is the best way forward but that’s a matter the board can’t control.

“The Scottish FA started disciplinary proceedings regarding the 2011 licensing process in May, 2018.

“In May 2020, the Scottish FA determined not to continue to progress those proceedings.

“That was surprising.

“We all agreed that this situation is disappointing.

“Ultimately, this is a matter that relates to the licensing process of the Scottish FA as they applied to another club in 2011.”