So far Peter Lawwell’s ‘Message to Our Supporters’ Dubai apology video has been watched by 97k people. To put that in context the precious two videos released by the club this week were ‘On the Match: Gavin Strachan’ which has had 13k views and ‘On the Match: David Turnbull’ which has had 9.5k views. So there can be no doubt that the CEO’s message has reached the support. Job done? Maybe not. The video currently has 799 ‘Thumbs Up’ on and 1.2k ‘Thumbs Down’ but sadly for the Celtic CEO that is as good as it gets.
Here is the video in case you haven’t seen it or want to watch again.
If you look at the Celtic tweet which features the video there are 1700 comments and frankly you will struggle to find too many that are positive.
A Message to Our Supporters.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) January 13, 2021
Let’s have a quick look through the comments to the video posted on You Tube…
“Peter, you’ve lost the plot and put us back 20 years. Time to go now”…”The only message we want to hear is your resignation”…”total no apology and the same regurgitated stuff we’ve been hearing all year, dereliction of duty to not sack Lennon when he should have been sacked months ago now just complete and utter incompetence and stupidity from Lawwell, If you want fans to believe in the club again then sack Lawwell and Lennon for a start”…”Shouldn’t have gone to Dubai and take an injured player as well, now 13 players isolating plus Neil Lennon and John Kennedy, we are a disgrace”…””Our trip was a mistake” “Now here is why it wasn’t a mistake”…”Horrendous interview ! Trying to defend the indefensible”…”No mention of the January stock take on Lennon? Good players going backwards because of coaches who can’t coach and others never getting a chance until its too late like the introduction of Turnbull and Soro because of desperation to save his job. And don’t get me started on the whoever blows a fortune on dross signings”…”Well I feel more assured, here’s some more of my hard earned cash Peter”…we could go on and on.
The point is that surely Celtic need to read the room here?
We have asked Celtic for an interview with Peter Lawwell where nothing will be off the table and the questions that the supporters want answers on will be asked. Maybe the club reckon that they know better and can see an alternative route out of this mess which is fast becoming a crisis of epic proportions.
We have all been focused for the past few months on trying to get the club to change course to turn this season around. Frankly that ship has sailed and now we are in much more treacherous waters – trying to change course to turn Celtic around and this avoid our club hitting the rocks in the not too distant future.
Below is the entire text of Peter Lawwell’s interview from yesterday. It’s worthwhile having this available for reference going forward when supporters in year’s ahead look back on the incredulous decisions that rocked Celtic as we threw away our chance of winning a tenth successive title.
Q – Peter it has been a difficult week at the club for the supporters, the team and the management. How do you reflect looking back on it?
Peter Lawwell: It’s been an extremely difficult few days and on reflection, looking back and looking with hindsight and looking at the outcome of the trip. Clearly it was a mistake. For that, I profoundly apologise to our supporters.
We left here and the rationale for the camp was with very much the best intentions. Things haven’t gone the way we wanted to and the outcome is clearly very regrettable. If you look back over the last four years going to the camp in Dubai has been extremely successful and the decisions we made are entirely for the best interests of the team and the best interests of the club.
What we planned to do was take them to these facilities again – which are world class – after a very, very hectic program in November and December. Which has in the past proven to be a great benefit in terms of performance after January. To take them there, to give them the training and get back to that performance level again. So that was the rationale.
In terms of the facts surrounding the trip. We decided way back in November to go – and were permitted to go – clearly the landscape has changed significantly. Particularly in the run up to us going to Dubai in terms of the infection rate. But at the time Dubai was still part of the green corridor right up until the point that we left. The green corridor for UK and Scottish travel.
We were deploying the same protocols that we have done since the bubble started in June. We haven’t had one positive up until this stage in terms of using our own protocols through international travel. Flights, we have been to the Europa League. I think we have had six international flights. We were at the training camp in the summer and the protocols that we use here when we are travelling and operating here in Scotland. So the protocols are robust, they are proven and that is what we put in place for the Dubai trip.
So all the precautions and preparation we had were proven and as we have employed and been very successful here in Scotland. Overall the decision to go was for the right reasons. It was performance and of course at the end of the day the outcome of that has been very disappointing.
Q – There is accusations in the media of arrogance, lack of morals, integrity and almost questioning the values of the club. What do you say in response?
Peter Lawwell: I certainly don’t see or agree with that and I think it is actually unfair. I do understand how people are questioning the decision to go. This club operates in the values and standards in terms of integrity, respect and humility are there. These traditions and values and standards have been developed over the years and we haven’t compromised them.
Again, looking at the pandemic I think it is fair to say that we have done a lot as a club and the attitude we have to it has been responsible in terms of our record, how we have been protecting our people, our players, how we have really been at the forefront of getting Scottish football back to playing and training and of course through our foundation we have donated over £1million to the people who are worst affected by this horrendous pandemic.
So I think it is unfair and I would like to reassure our supporters that the club that they believe they have is here. We have made a mistake and we apologise for that. But the club that they would like to have and have had is here.
Q – Looking forward, what would you ask for?
Peter Lawwell: Looking forward, we have to work through this. This horrific pandemic has affected the whole of society. People here in Scotland, our supporters, our football and our club. Probably our club more than any. And these challenges have come upon us. They are not finished and there is going to be more significant challenges going forward and for our supporters and our community we really have to stick together.
We’ve got to be united and face these challenges together. We’ve got to keep fighting and we will keep fighting over the coming months and put the club in a position that we can maximise the potential and take this magnificent football club as far as we possibly can.”
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