Ian Bankier to retire as Celtic Chairman leaving vacancy for Peter Lawwell to fill

Celtic chairman and director Ian Bankier will retire from his roles on January 1, 2023, that’s the breaking news this afternoon from Sky Sports.

Anthony Joseph has just reported in this via his social media account. You may recall us advising that Bankier moving aside is likely to happen sooner rather than later and this will then see the return of former Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell as the new Celtic chairman.

And a statement has been released on the official Celtic website announcing the news.

Ian Bankier, Chairman of Celtic, has indicated that he will retire at the end of this calendar year. Accordingly, Celtic has today announced that Ian is to stand down as a director and Chairman of the Club from 1st January 2023.

Ian joined the Celtic Board firstly as a Director in the summer of 2011 and was then appointed Chairman later that year. He has led the Celtic Board across a period of huge success, both on and off the field.

Over the next few months, Ian will work closely with the Club on a period of smooth transition, with his successor being announced in due course.

Ian said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the Club I will always love, as Chairman, for more than ten years.

“Our aim was always to deliver success on and off the pitch and, above all, to give Celtic fans a club they could be proud of. During this time, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many fantastic people who have had Celtic in their hearts and worked so hard for our Club.

“I know Dermot, Michael, and the rest of the Board will continue to seek the very best for Celtic at all times and will seek to ensure that Celtic maintains its position as the biggest and best club in Scottish football, as well as progressing as a force in European football.

“I wish the Board, our fantastic manager Ange, our players and staff and, of course, all our supporters much continued success as our great Club continues to move forward.”

Director and principal shareholder, Dermot Desmond commented: “I would like to thank Ian sincerely for his contribution to Celtic across the past decade.

“Ian has provided great counsel and stability across a sustained period of growth and success for the Club, and I wish Ian and his family well for the future.

“We will ensure that we work very closely with Ian over the next few months to deliver a smooth and effective transition prior to announcing his successor.”

Michael Nicholson, Celtic Chief Executive, added: “I would like to wish Ian the very best for the future.

“Ian has led the board with great skill and dedication during an important time in the Club’s history and a period of success on and off the field.

“Throughout, Ian has been a source of constant support for all members of the Board, and we are all grateful to him for that.”

Celtic Chariman Ian Bankier with former CEO Peter Lawwell. Photo Andrew Milligan

Peter Lawwell retired from the role last summer but maintained a role in the background as new CEO Dom McKay set about modernising the club, with clubs like Sevilla and Brentford being name-checked as examples of a model a new, modern version of Celtic could follow.

That revolution never quite got off the ground and McKay was ousted by ‘mutual consent’ never to speak about his time at Celtic again. He went on to develop his career back in rugby and Michael Nicholson, Peter Lawwell’s able right hand man for many years, stepped in as interim CEO before being confirmed as the new Celtic CEO on a permanent basis.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

Meanwhile Mark Lawwell joined the club as head of recruitment, having played a significant role alongside his dad in the appointment of Ange Postecoglou, after the Eddie Howe wait ended in rejection.

The final piece of the rebuild will surely be announced probably around the time of the AGM and that will see Peter Lawwell announced as the next Celtic chairman, replacing Ian Bankier.

Celtic Chairman Ian Bankier (left) with Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson (centre) Photo: Jeff Holmes

This might all be speculation but we now know that Bankier is retiring leaving the Chairman’s role vacant. Few will consider themselves better qualified that Peter Lawwell to take win that role, whether Celtic supporters like it or not.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. You sound like you want the Lawwell appointment to happen. Are you for real. I want him nowhere near our club and I will be delighted to see the back of Tory Bankier. He has done nothing for the club. The success we have had is in spite of people like Bankier.

    • Think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick on that one Gordon. The article actually doesn’t state an opinion but instead points to the path that we had already suggested would happen. The suspicion is that Peter Lawwell never really went away.

  2. This supporter doesn’t like it. Still a jobs for the boys racket going on . Which I’m shocked about actually. The whole thing is a closed shop.Ange fired and Lennon reappointed..lol.