Peter Lawwell: Why don’t Celtic get more praise from politicians?

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Celtic chief Peter Lawwell has hit out at the politicians who he says are “unaware” of the positive effect Celtic has on Scotland.

In a podcast with Celtic Underground, Lawwell took aim at the Scottish Government over the Offensive Behaviour Act and strict liability, as well as claiming that there was “no public recognition of what Celtic does” for the country.

Peter Lawwell made the comments on a Celtic fans podcast. Picture: SNS Group

Peter Lawwell made the comments on a Celtic fans podcast. Picture: SNS Group

And now Lawwell has demanded more respect for Celtic’s “contribution to the East End, Glasgow and Scotland socially, culturally and economically”.

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Lawwell said: “One of the frustrations here in my job is we’ve been pretty progressive over the last few years in terms of wanting to update the stadium, try new ideas, give our supporters a better matchday experience and it is taking a long time.

“[The first licensed fanzone] was a great success on Sunday for us,... it was an overwhelming success and clearly we’d like to do it again.”

But the Celtic chief bemoaned the car parking exclusion zone, branding it “draconian” and “terrible”, adding: “We understand supporters who have got a community around the stadium and the way to address that is that we should be, and will be, good neighbours. But to have the draconian decision to put in a one kilometre parking zone particularly with no enhancement to public transport, we oppose that.”

Decisions like the parking exclusion zone, said Lawwell, were bad for Celtic and Scottish football.

He continued: “Things like that would lead you to think that the contribution that we make to Glasgow and to Scotland socially, culturally and economically, doesn’t seem valued.

“So we’ve started an economic impact study for Celtic and how we affect the East End, Glasgow and Scotland economically, socially and culturally. Then we can hopefully enlighten those who don’t recognise what Celtic do and make it a little easier to form partnership and improve Celtic Park and the environment for everybody.”

Suggesting that the authorities were “rarely positive” about football, Lawwell added: “If you look at Holyrood then it’s offensive behaviour act, strict liability and no public recognition of what Celtic does, and what football does for Scotland and that is a frustration and hopefully, by producing this piece of academic work, we can show people in authority what Celtic, and therefore football, contributes to the nation and the purpose of that would be that we could work together to improve things.”

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