Celtic fan group The Green Brigade have unveiled a new banner outside Parkhead – demanding chief Peter Lawwell be ‘fired or resign’ or risk losing 60,000 season tickets next term.
The club official issued an apology over Celtic’s decision to head to Dubai for their winter training camp in the middle of a global pandemic, but neither the apology nor the initial decision went down well with supporters who criticised the hierarchy after Christopher Jullien tested positive for coronavirus and 13 players were forced to self-isolate.
It came in the wake of further complaints from supporters as their team lay 21 points adrift of rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership table and fans are now demanding change.
Green Brigade banner and statement pic.twitter.com/RLm0N5epmP
— North Curve Celtic (@NCCeltic) January 15, 2021
The fan group also hit out at the ‘calamitous’ season where they feel the board have treated supporters with contempt in their decision to keep manager Neil Lennon in his role despite serious protests.
A statement released via the Green Brigade on social media, and accompanied by a photo of the new banner outside the stadium, read: “The 2020/21 season began with a record number of season ticket holders committing tens of millions to the club against a backdrop of total uncertainty. Our return has been a calamitous season of historic proportions.
Promised ‘added value’ for our investment, our latest instalment came by way of a Peter Lawwell parody-like apology for the inexplicable Dubai trip. The insulting claim of being the ‘most affected club’ by the pandemic fails to disguise his own neglect and demonstrates a shocking lack of self awareness. The Dubai episode has been representative of our season as a whole – short sighted decisions, predictable outcomes, contempt for fans.
“In recent years fans have raised alarm, warning that the biggest threat to our ambitions would be the incompetence of our custodians. In recent months this concern culminated in desperate protests calling for corrective action at a time when our season was still salvageable. Instead a January review was offered.”
It continued: “Now 21 points adrift and 13 players light, the anticipated January review must stretch beyond the manager and not overlook the approaching season ticket renewals. Changes are required from the boardroom to the dugout however the buck stops at the top. Peter Lawwell should tender his resignation as Celtic’s Chief Executive Officer.
“As a new era dawns at Celtic, fans have an opportunity to enact change in how our club is governed. The relationship between the support and the current custodians is beyond repair. A structural change is required to put the lifeblood of Celtic first: the fans.
“We believe that the Celtic Trust is the vehicle for that change and while the journey towards fan ownership may be long, meaningful fan engagement will only improve as we progress that campaign. We urge all fans to join the Celtic Trust.”