There was a very familiar feeling to last night’s defeat in Rotterdam for most Celtic fans last night.
Normally an underprepared side featuring players short of playing time got exposed in Champions League qualifiers but last night it was on the big stage with all the trimmings and crucially for the club executives, huge payments.
For years former CEO Peter Lawwell would tell his favoured reporters or the AGM about how Celtic aspired to be a Champions League club in everything that they do.
Held hostage by the poverty of Scottish football the countries most prominent club was working bravely to maintain a presence and respect on the continent, such as that November night in 2012 when Barcelona were humbled.
Since then there has been just two Champions League victories- after last night that statistic is looking like remaining static for at least another year.
Lawwell earned himself a place on the board of the talking shop known as the European Club Association where his influence is token, much like Celtic’s appearances in UEFA’s prime competition.
With his domestic title shifted from CEO to Chairman his influence on the club is all encompassing, highlighted by last night’s dismal performance away from the comfort zone provided by the SPFL.
A year ago there was consolation in playing well for one hour against Real Madrid and ‘what if’ moments from Callum McGregor and Daizen Maeda.
Feyenoord are certainly not a Real Madrid with the only consolation to be taken from Matchday One being that the scoreline was only 0-2.
In 12 months the team and squad have gone backwards at a rapid rate, as others improve Celtic regress.
With £72m in the bank account at the end of June it almost feels that the Chairman’s policy is to prepare for failure, as if there is some sort of managed decline.
Celtic PLC is preparing for failure, not for success.
This from Lawwell below makes that absolutely clear. pic.twitter.com/KACEArZXl9
— IndependentAndFreeOfTories (@theoldgovanarm1) September 19, 2023
People are not getting the important point, we have 72M in the bank, CL results are for peasant with scarfs, not executives with club ties.
Told ye all, Lawwell was back, and some of ye gave me pelters, the only sad thing about tonight was predictability.
— Joe (@JGS1888) September 19, 2023
This happy clapping justification of continuous FAILURE was brought to you by Lawwell stooges. 0 standards.
£72 million in bank. Yet tonight is consequence of awful summer window, once again failing to build from period of strength. Post-2012 our UCL group record: P25 W2 D5 L18 https://t.co/Jt4ifcH0v9
— Michael McDonald (@Mikey_Bhoy_1993) September 19, 2023
“Has anyone considered severely weakening our first eleven?” pic.twitter.com/zf6dYxDHyl
— Edgar Blamm (@EdgarBlamm) September 19, 2023
I am convinced back in March, Ange went to the board for money for the next stage and was told he wouldn’t get what he wanted. That then alerted his mate at Spurs, then he is off. It smacks of Lawwell.
— Giza Power (@Giza1610) September 20, 2023
Never bought into the Lawwell thing …but after yesterday’s statement….it’s clear, well do nothing in Europe as long as he’s here….the guy has zero ambition, except to the shareholders
— Grant (@coll_wild) September 19, 2023
“£41 MILLION pre-tax profit. This represents a record set of financial results for the club,” said a beaming Peter Lawwell, who became chairman in January.”
They don’t care about these hidings in Europe every year. Company is making a profit.
— Kevin McCallum (@oldpesky) September 19, 2023
Profit and Loss FC! Lawwell players. Lawwell’s standard!
— Simply Me. (@AnnieNob18183) September 19, 2023
Celtic in Europe is a lot like playing snakes and ladders, but without any ladders. (Lawwell sold those)
— John G ?? (@TicV67) September 19, 2023