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Celtic CEO Lawwell to retire this summer, McKay takes over

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell is retiring from the role this summer and will be replaced by Scottish Rugby’s chief operating officer Dominic McKay.

Lawwell joined Celtic in 2003, overseeing 13 Scottish Premiership title victories, as well as a historic quadruple treble of domestic trophies.

McKay takes over after 13 years at Scottish Rugby, the last six of which were spent as chief operating officer.

In a statement, Lawwell described McKay as an “excellent successor”, adding: “It has been an enormous privilege to have served the club and our supporters for more than 17 years – a wonderful honour to have been part of an institution I have loved and supported all my life.

“I will always be very proud of what we have achieved together and it has been a particular privilege to be involved throughout a period in the club’s history which has brought immense domestic success – as well as so many great European nights at Celtic Park.

PA - Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell during a Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow.
Image: Lawwell is leaving his position as Celtic chief executive after 17 years

“I first discussed the possibility of my retirement with the chairman last year and we were keen to ensure an orderly handover to a new CEO once we had found the right candidate.

“Now that the process to select Dominic McKay as my successor is complete, I feel the time is now right to announce my retirement at the end of this season.”

The past year has been a problematic one for Celtic with fans protesting outside Parkhead in December and the side currently 23 points adrift of Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers.

They have also been fiercely criticised for travelling to Dubai for a training camp during the coronavirus pandemic, and while Lawwell accepts it has been a “difficult year” he maintains the club is the “biggest and best in Scotland”.

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“It has been a difficult year for everyone in so many ways and I just wanted to take this opportunity once again to wish our supporters well,” he said.

“Even in a period of such adversity, upheaval and uncertainty, which our fans have faced in their own lives and communities, so many supporters have been with us again in such huge numbers. I sincerely thank all those supporters who have stayed with us.

“Celtic will always be the biggest and the best club in Scotland and our supporters will always be everything to our success. We need our fans with us to achieve that success.”

McKay said: “Joining Celtic FC as chief executive is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a new challenge I am very excited about taking on later this year. I have been incredibly impressed with the vision and people within the club and I look forward to working with them.

“I can honestly say I have enjoyed the best 13 years of my life at Scottish Rugby and made life-long friends across the sport and all its numerous Unions, partners, broadcasters and sponsors.

“I am incredibly proud of the progress the organisation has made in recent years and hope I have contributed to the strong foundations now in place, which I believe will serve Scottish Rugby well in the future.”

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