What a seven days it has been concerning news about Celtic.

From last Friday to now, the club have announced their interim financial report, scored 10 goals in two games and have now confirmed the departure of their head of recruitment, as well as the chief scout at the same time. Of course, the latter two are the ones making all the headlines at the moment, as Mark Lawwell and Joe Dudgeon have been placed on gardening leave following their respective resignations.

Both joined the club in 2022 and were entrusted to aid Ange Postecoglou with the identification and arrival of the next generation of Celtic imports from across the globe. They came with good reputations, having both been part of the prestigious City Football Group, headed by the Abu Dhabi Group, who own clubs such as Manchester City, Girona and Melbourne City, to name a few.

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For Lawwell in particular - despite this background – this was always going to be a tough sell to the supporters. Not just a coincidental surname, the new head of recruitment’s father is none other than Peter Lawwell, the former chief executive of the club, who coincidentally rejoined the club again that same year as chairman shortly after his son’s arrival.

Lawwell was never announced – or even mentioned – on Celtic’s social media channels when he arrived, during his two years in the role or when his departure was confirmed. Like some sort of unspoken fact that wasn’t to be broadcast, his existence was known, but not addressed. This relationship – or lack of it – was doomed from the start, in all honesty. Indeed, Ange Postecoglou was plastered all over his announcement, as it was an easier sell with the manager publicly endorsing this new role being taken up. He said: “I was very keen for Mark to join the Club and clearly I am delighted that he has accepted this important role and that we have been able to bring him to Celtic.

“Mark is someone who I worked closely with throughout my four years at Marinos, through which time we developed great trust and an excellent working relationship. He knows the way I like to work, the way my teams play and the particular player profile which this requires.

“I know he will be a great addition to our team, leading our first-team scouting and recruitment function and delivering on our key objective of identifying and bringing exciting, talented players to the Club.”

This is where the pleasantries surrounding Lawwell conclude, however, as the three windows he oversaw as head of recruitment were, at best, mixed and shambolic at worst. Perhaps the biggest transfer misstep under his watch was his very first, as the high-profile arrival of left-back Alexandro Bernabei from Argentina’s Lanus for £3.75 million has so far not been value for money. Reportedly an area of expertise for Lawwell, this signing largely embodies his tenure as a whole.

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Despite some good signings coming in the form of previous loan signings Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota, as well as the inspired acquisitions of Aaron Mooy and Alistair Johnston, there were far more misses than hits in Lawwell’s first season in charge of recruitment. Benjamin Siegrist – a first-choice at Dundee United – now struggles to get on the bench, whilst Sead Haksabanovic now occupies Stoke’s equivalent on loan. Who can forget – or remember, actually – Oliver Abildgaard’s time at the club on loan from Rubin Khazan, as both his and Moritz Jenz’s deals were terminated prematurely. Yuki Kobayashi – Jenz’s replacement last January – is firmly out of the picture under Brendan Rodgers.

However, the reason why many are rejoicing today’s news is because of Lawwell’s record in the summer transfer window. To say it was disappointing and underwhelming would be an understatement, as only Luis Palma, Paulo Bernardo and recently Yang Hyun-jun can be considered successful at this moment in time. Marco Tilio – a summer signing from Melbourne City – is now back at his former club on loan, whilst Kwon Hyeok-kyu is plying his trade in Paisley with St Mirren. Gustaf Lagerbielke – signed for over £3 million – is now surplus to requirements after just half a season at his new club. There are question marks over Odin Thiago Holm and Nicolas Kuhn, despite their age, which points to a failure as a whole in Celtic’s recruitment drive.

This leads us to today’s bombshell announcement, conveniently dropped after Rodgers’ press conference at Lennoxtown. Again, the wording of the statement was notable, as well as the fact that it wasn’t broadcast on their social platforms, much like his arrival. Before two admittedly short remarks from the manager and chief executive Michael Nicholson, an interesting sentence was present. Speaking about Lawwell, the statement read: “Mark was recruited to the Club by then manager, Ange Postecoglou, in May 2022 from his position as Head of CFG Scouting and Recruitment, within City Football Group’s global structure.”

Interesting, that, as this was never relayed or accepted as public information whatsoever. There are no doubts of a solid relationship between the now-Tottenham Hotspur manager and himself, but there were never any suggestions that the Australian personally recruited the City Group employee to the club. We will not know all the ins and outs fully of this, though from the outside looking in it looks like a manufactured softening of the blow concerning the resignation, and a passing of the blame and heat to a man not at the club anymore, just to save face.

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A partnership doomed from the start, both Lawwell and Dudgeon will see out the remainder of their contracts from afar, before leaving the club in the summer. It does, however, bring an opportunity for change within the football club, and a potential avenue for proper modernisation to take place within the football club.

Many will see this exit as good news, though the club have to get Lawwell’s replacement spot on, with the individual up and running ideally before pre-season even begins. Time will tell if the club pay for the departing recruitment chief’s lacklustre business domestically, in the shape of the Scottish Premiership title and the European riches that come with it. Quite simply put, the club cannot afford to get this next appointment wrong. There is no margin for error.

 Let’s see if they can recruit a competent recruiter in time for what is sure to be a busy summer for the club.