Peter Lawwell reveals he tried 'desperately' to keep Scott Brown as Celtic captain confirms Aberdeen move

Peter Lawwell has revealed he tried “desperately” to keep Scott Brown at Celtic after it was confirmed that the long-serving club captain will move to Aberdeen at the end of the season.

Celtic's Scott Brown embraces Chief Executive Peter Lawwell (left) after clinching the league title in 2018.

Brown will take up a position as a player-coach with the Dons alongside newly appointed manager Stephen Glass after signing a pre-contract agreement, bringing an end to a trophy-laden 14 year spell at Parkhead.

Lawwell, who himself will step down from his chief executive role at the end of the season, hailed the 35-year-old’s contribution to the club, which includes 22 league and cup medals, admitting that he failed in his attempts to convince Brown to prolong his Celtic career.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

“It goes without saying that we were desperately trying to keep Scott at the club, but while of course we are very saddened by his decision, we understand and respect it fully and wish Scott and his family nothing but success, health and happiness for the future," Lawwell told the Celtic website.

“We know Scott will continue to give everything to the club until the end of the season and as he always does will be working tirelessly to bring the club and our fans further success.

“I know our fans will miss Scott in a Celtic jersey and fighting for our badge, something he has done for so long. However, there is no doubt he will forever be remembered at Celtic as our captain, leader and indeed a legend.”

Describing Brown as the “heartbeat of Celtic” and “the most influential figure in the Scottish game across the past 15 years”, Lawwell paid tribute to a player he ranks among the club’s most legendary figures.

“With more than 600 appearances for the club, he has made an imprint on Celtic which puts him in the company of our other true greats - and with a legacy to match,” he added.

“When he chose Celtic over others, we were of course delighted. We knew we were getting one of the country’s finest talents and he in turn a chance to take to the stage and be part of Scotland’s biggest club. He took this opportunity with both hands but I don’t think anyone of us would have imagined just how successful he was going to be. Ever since signing, he has lived and breathed the club and our cause - day after day, across a decade and a half, giving his heart and soul to Celtic.

“As every Celtic manager in the past 15 years will testify, as well as being a hugely talented player, Scott’s effort, his drive, his work ethic and his will to win, are an example to us all. He has been a pivotal figure in delivering such a sustained period of dominance for the club and for that, I know every Celtic supporter will be so grateful to him.”

Lawwell also praised Brown’s character in how he handled challenges both on and off the park.

“Scott has had hugely difficult times in his life away from the pitch and his resilience and determination to face any challenge has been quite extraordinary. He is a tremendous man, someone of real quality and integrity and someone who I personally have been honoured to have at my side as Celtic captain.”

A message from the Editor:

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today