Tom English: Lawwell’s SFA appointment causes stir

Peter Lawwell: Sound reasons. Picture: SNS
Peter Lawwell: Sound reasons. Picture: SNS
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IF THERE was a Richter scale for Twitter then the news that Peter Lawwell had been appointed to the main board of the Scottish Football Association would have measured about a 5.5, the digital equivalent of a mighty earthquake.

When the news came through on Tuesday there was a sudden tremor online, a reverberation that could have only meant one thing. Something had happened in Old Firm land. Again.

There are very sound reasons why Lawwell should be on the SFA board. He’s in charge of the biggest and most successful club in the country. He’s run the finances of that club expertly. He has contacts and knowledge and experience.

If it was any other country in the world then there wouldn’t have been such a hubbub about his nomination.

The gist of the argument against it appears to be this: He’s Celtic and therefore anti-Rangers. He’ll have too much control. He’ll feather the nest of his own club and shaft the rest. Suspicion and conspiracy and poison, too, but not a lot in the way of commonsense.

On Twitter the other night we waited for something that went beyond the usual one-eyed hysteria, some level of criticism of the appointment that had any merit. Eventually, a point was made quietly. And it was an interesting point, whether you agreed with it or not. Is it right that Lawwell should sit on a board that exists to protect Scotland’s footballing interests when his own club have argued for so long that the sooner they leave Scotland the better?

That’s a legitimate talking point. Much of the rest of the reaction to Lawwell’s new role was depressingly predictable, though. After the online earthquake of Tuesday, the after-shocks will continue in cyberland for some time to come.