Home Sports Headlines Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell admits Dubai trip was ‘a mistake’ and apologises to fans

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell admits Dubai trip was ‘a mistake’ and apologises to fans

by Ryan


Celtic’s season has gone from bad to worse in recent weeks — Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell admits Dubai trip was ‘a mistake’ and apologises to fans - PA
Celtic’s season has gone from bad to worse in recent weeks — Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell admits Dubai trip was ‘a mistake’ and apologises to fans – PA

Chief executive Peter Lawwell has admitted Celtic’s controversial decision to go to Dubai was “a mistake” and has apologised to fans.

Celtic had confirmed Christopher Jullien tested positive, but all others and staff members were negative after being checked following their return to Scotland last Friday.

However, 13 other players, manager Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy were deemed to be close contacts and had to join the French defender in self-isolation.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon questioned whether the trip was essential and revealed doubts “based on some pictures I’ve seen whether adherence to bubble rules was strict enough”.

Celtic fans themselves were leading the widespread criticism and amid a furore, it was a makeshift side which drew 1-1 at home with Hibernian on Monday night.

Speaking in an in-house interview on the club’s official website, Lawwell addressed the issue and said: “It has been an extremely difficult few days and on reflection, looking back and with hindsight and looking at the outcome of the trip, clearly it was a mistake and for that I profoundly apologise to our supporters.

“The rationale for the camp was very much with the best intentions. Things haven’t gone the way we wanted to and the outcome is clearly very regrettable.”

The draw against Hibs did little to lift the mood of the fans as it left them 21 points behind Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership with three games in hand and with their bid for 10 in a row in jeopardy.

Lawwell expanded on the thinking behind the mid-season break abroad. He said: “If you look back over the last four years, going to the camp in Dubai has been extremely successful.

“What we planned to do was take them again to these facilities, which are world-class, after a very hectic programme in November and December which has in the past proven to be a great benefit in terms of performance after January, to get to that performance level again.

“In terms of the facts surrounding the trip, we decided in November to go and were permitted to go.

“Clearly the landscape has changed significantly, particularly in the run up of going to Dubai, particularly the infection rate and whatever.

“Overall, the decision to go was for the right reasons, for performance and, of course, at the end of the day the outcome of that has been really disappointing.”

Lawwell was asked about accusations of arrogance and the questioning of the club’s values. He said: “I don’t see that, I don’t agree with that and I think it is actually unfair.”



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