I confess to being bemused and a little disheartened by the response of some to my recent writings on Peter Lawwell.
People are reading into what I am writing rather than reading what I am writing and what they are reading into is just not there.
Normally intelligent readers are responding in ways that make me wonder if they are actually reading another blog.
Since repetition is supposed to be the mother of all learning I will return to the subject once more and hopefully bring clarification to these confused souls.
Let me start by saying that nobody has had more of a pop at Peter Lawwell than me. Nobody digs Celtic up more than me. I get a big kick out of it because I am a bluenose and winding up the tims is all part of the fun.
I also enjoy when it is reciprocated because the banter is part of the enjoyment.
Point being, nobody is more active at Celtic-bashing than myself.
Which is why I am so bemused that people think I am praising Peter Lawwell on here.
Pointing out the reality that Peter Lawwell’s dominance of Scottish football has only come about because there was a vacuum to be filled is not praising Lawwell. That vacuum should have been filled by a leader from Rangers. If he hadn’t have been run off, it would no doubt have been Charles Green.
I am not in favour of Scottish football being run by a strong Rangers figure or a strong Celtic figure. Nor am I in favour of both Rangers and Celtic dominating the game.
I AM in favour of Rangers and Celtic bringing strong leadership to the game in Scotland – not the same thing as being its masters.
Peter Lawwell has had to hold the game in Scotland together because Regan and Doncaster were completely incapable. That has resulted in Scottish football being slanted toward Celtic. We can all think this both suits Lawwell and is part of his master plan but the truth is, it is inevitable.
Even if Celtic had no intention of taking advantage of Rangers’ implosion, it still would have happened. Even honest Celtic fans know it has happened and the more honourable ones don’t like it. Of course, the paranoia of both Rangers and Celtic supporters sees bias in the governing bodies against their clubs. I have never felt the SFA favoured Rangers in the past and am amazed Celtic fans believe this. Moreover, I am appalled at the very concept of a governing body favouring Rangers. I genuinely want a level playing field for all teams.
Like other Rangers fans, I seethe against what I perceive to be a Celtic-centric SFA and SPFL.
And, like many bluenoses, I am happy to play the blame game.
Only I want to blame the real culprits, not the stereotypical ones.
The fact is, if Peter Lawwell is the Blofeld of Scottish football, it’s because we let him be. By “we” I mean the blue side of Glasgow and every other team and its fans and a compliant media that loves succulent lamb whoever is serving it.
And Big Peter serves it up just as well as Sir David ever did, it has to be said.
Now we can rail and rant about this state of affairs – and no-one has more than me – or we can be truthful and take responsibility for it.
This involves being truthful and saying we might have real issues with what Peter Lawwell has done in his Blofeldness since Rangers imploded but we can’t really blame him for why he has “taken the reins” in our game.
The why is simple. And understandable.
Nobody else could. Nobody else would.
Folks, that is not praise. It is just reality.
Lawwell’s normally doting supporters at Celtic Park are now quizzing him scrupulously for his Pollyanna approach over the past few years – especially now a stark new realism is the message from inside Celtic Park.
That is where I do empathise with Lawwell. The fact is, if he had told people the unpalatable truth that Rangers dropping to the bottom division would be financially onerous on the whole of Scottish football, including Celtic, he could have seriously destabilised the game.
Did he lie or just accentuate the positives? That is for others to judge but imagine the meltdown if he had told it exactly as it was.
The reality is that Peter Lawwell’s world domination tendencies could have easily been tempered by a strong Rangers counterpart. But none was forthcoming.
The irony is that if I had a pound for every bluenose who has moaned to me about Peter Lawwell with the rider “But you have to admit, he is good at his job,” I would be blogging from my Monaco townhouse.
So this is not praise of Peter Lawwell or a call to trust him as some deluded people think.
If I have a mantra, it is the same one I have repeated over and over for a long time and it is this:
If Scottish football is to progress, it is imperative for Rangers and Celtic to put aside tribal hostilities and work together for the good of the game.
The willingness to do this will be the real test of Peter Lawwell’s stewardship at Celtic, as well as Graham Wallace’s at Ibrox.
I do agree that Lawwell the tim will take great delight in Rangers experiencing the difficulties they have.
But Lawwell the businessman will know that from a business perspective, Celtic really do need The Rangers.
The days for machismo pronouncements by both clubs that they don’t need each other should be consigned to the past.
Because the financial realities facing both clubs and their fans say otherwise.