Peter Lawwell joins new board as SFA and Celtic eye fresh start

THE Scottish Football Association and Celtic last night signalled their intent to move on from their disputes of last season as Parkhead chief executive Peter Lawwell accepted a place on the governing body's new professional game board.

Lawwell was named on the ten-man panel which will rule over the professional game in Scotland.

Celtic and the SFA clashed on numerous occasions last season. Referee Dougie McDonald quit amid pressure from Celtic after misleading manager Neil Lennon over his reasons for withdrawing a penalty award.

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The two parties then became embroiled in legal disputes over disciplinary procedures after Lennon was handed two touchline bans.

But Celtic backed SFA chief executive Stewart Regan's radical reforms, which were unanimously approved at the June agm, and Lawwell aims to help the governing body move forward.

A Celtic statement read: "It is well known that following events last year, Celtic called for a fundamental review of the processes and procedures within the SFA. We fully supported Stewart Regan's plan for reform and we feel that the creation of this new board is a very positive outcome of the SFA's own review. Peter Lawwell, on behalf of Celtic Football Club, will be pleased to accept this invitation to join the professional game board.

"He will aim to make an important contribution to the continued change and improvement of the game in Scotland."

Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie, a vice-president of the SFA, will chair the ten-man panel, which features the chief executives of all three governing bodies - Regan, Neil Doncaster and David Longmuir.

The new structure was designed to ensure relevant members rule over the professional game, with another board to administrate the non-professional game.

Alan McRae, Cove Rangers president and SFA first vice-president, appears on both boards while Highland League honorary president Sandy Stables also features on the professional board.

The professional board also features SFA president Campbell Ogilvie, Scottish Premier League chairman Ralph Topping and Scottish Football League president Jim Ballantyne, who is chairman of Airdrie.

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McRae will chair the non-professional board, which also features Ogilvie, Petrie, Regan and representatives from schools, amateur, senior, youth, women's and junior football. The other members are Donald Beaton, John Gold, Colin Holden, Tom Johnston, David Little, Maureen McGonigle and Andrew Renwick. A member to represent the Scottish Amateur FA has still to be appointed.

The composition of the SFA's main board will be constituted once the professional game board and the non-professional game board have elected their representatives, and upon the appointment of an independent non-executive director. This process has been initiated through the SFA's recruitment consultants.