"Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us.
We will never hide from it. Never fear."
- William Struth

Dwight D Eisenhower, Peter Lawwell and the Green Brigade

Written by: John McCrae
Sunday, 23rd July 2017

Former American President, Dwight D Eisenhower wrote: In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Peter Lawwell is, for those who live on a different planet, the Chief Executive of Celtic FC. The former trainee accountant, who lives in a £2.5 million home in an exclusive area on the outskirts of Glasgow, was appointed in 2003 and, was, until recently also on the SPFL Board, prior to deciding not to stand for re-election and has just been appointed to the board of the SFA's Professional Game Board.

The vastly experienced administrator, who many say actually runs Scottish football, has courted controversy on many occasions in the past and has often come into conflict with his own fans, often for taking home what they consider to be an obscene salary, while not spending on the club's player pool, a large percentage of whom in recent years has comprised loan signings and free transfers, despite raking in huge sums on transfers out.

Despite splitting his own fan-base, Lawwell has done extraordinarily well for the club which pays his salary, details of which are rarely published, although an Evening Times report in October 2016 stated 'The executive's pay is made up of a £406,751 bonus and £17,380 'benefits in kind' on top of his £575,429 salary for last year. The club plc's annual report states Mr Lawwell continued to be 'entitled to a maximum payment' under the company's 'bonus scheme of 60 per cent of basic salary'. For those who don't like sums, that totals just short of a million quid a year.

He has done well by saving his club, due to his influence in the Scottish and European game, from sanctions that should have been imposed by the football authorities for breaking the rules of Scottish and European football, not once, not twice but a staggering 17 times in 14 years in Europe alone. Yet still they are handed paltry fines.

This month, UEFA charged the club with their fans displaying an 'illicit banner'. Fans in the standing area of Celtic Park held a banner showing an image of a person dressed in a paramilitary-style uniform of beret, dark glasses and military jumper, along with an Easter lily badge, a symbol that commemorates the 1916 Easter Rising and which is often associated with various factions of the IRA. The banner was held up by fans next to a banner showing manager Brendan Rodgers inside a road works sign with his hands held up, with the caption 'Rodgers at Work'. That image bears similarities to a highway code-style sign which was mounted by the IRA during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and read 'Sniper at Work'.

Let's call a spade a spade here. The Green Brigade openly support the IRA and other republican murder gangs. These idiots hold British passports and use UK driving licences. Most haven't set foot in Ireland. Yet, they chant about the murder of British men, women and children by the IRA.

Celtic stated: 'Any support for a paramilitary or proscribed terrorist organisation has no place at Celtic Park. The club has been consistent in condemning such conduct on the very few occasions in the past when it has occurred at Celtic Park. It is unfortunate that such a small minority of the crowd at Celtic Park last night behaved in such a way.

Really? 'very few occasions'? 'a small minority'?

February 2017: Celtic have been hit with yet another UEFA fine ' this time for fireworks and crowd trouble during the Manchester City clash at the Etihad.

August 2016: Hapeol Beer Sheva (H) ' £8,616 fine for displaying Palestine flags.

December 2015: £10,000 fine for improper conduct of team as well as flares away to Fenerbahce.

February 2015: Clashes between fans and Croatian police, as well as the use of fireworks during a Europa League group stage match against Dinamo Zagreb, sees Celtic receive a £7,300 bill from disciplinary bosses.

March 2015: Inter Milan (A) - £5850 for improper conduct of team, £3650 fine for flares.

September 2014: UEFA again cracks down on the Hoops, this time issuing a £15,900 fine after fans display a Palestinian flag during a Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik.

December 2013: AC Milan (H) - £42,200 fine for illicit banner banners of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and William Wallace along with lyrics including: 'The terrorist or the dreamer?'

September 2012: The use of fireworks at Celtic Park during a Champions League qualifier with Cliftonville costs the Scottish title winners another £4,200 as they are again found guilty of "improper supporter conduct".

March 2012: The Parkhead outfit are again punished with a £21,000 penalty after supporters set off fireworks and unveil an insulting banner aimed at UEFA during their Europa League fixture with Udinese at the Stadio Friuli in Italy.

December 2011: Celtic are fined £12,700 by UEFA after fans make pro-IRA chants during a Europa League clash with Rennes in Glasgow.

Other 'misdemeanours' over the years include banners showing republican snipers, terrorists in balaclavas and Michael Devitt to messages such as:

'Kill All Huns'

'No Bloostained (sic) Poppies'

'a uniform so simple in its style'

'they hung out the flag of war'

'let's go to war'

'remember the hunger strikers' 

to the hanging of two blow up dolls, one representing a Rangers supporter, the other a member of the Orange Order.

From today's papers, we read: Green Brigade savage Celtic board and insist they will never 'dilute their politics'

The Ultras have hit back at Hoops hierarchy, insisting they "refuse to allow a discredited and corrupt organisation like UEFA or a board which has welcomed Tory Lords to dictate our moral compass".

This writer is frankly stunned by an outfit like the Green Brigade using the word 'moral'.

I haven't even touched on the weekly IRA karaoke, home and away. Can't remember a media frenzy about that particular songbook, so Peter is doing his job again, suppressing the reporting.

The Green Brigade's most recent statement sees them admit the use of pyrotechnics and the flying of the controversial 'Brendan's Undefeated Army' banner.

Lawwell must know that a two game ban on these 'ultras' is no more than a slap on the wrist. They must be banned forever.

Lawwell now faces his biggest test.

Dwight D Eisenhower also said: Leadership is the ability to decide what is to be done. You know what is to be done, Mr Lawwell.

Dwight D Eisenhower was a brave man. Are you, Mr Lawwell? 


by 1972
by 1972


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