Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has earned an astonishing £15.8million since joining the Parkhead board, reveals Kieran Maguire. 

The football finance expert and new Football Insider columnist spoke exclusively about the 61-year-old’s wages stretching back 17 years amid a potential boardroom reshuffle at the club.

Lawwell is under the spotlight at present amid Celtic’s implosion both on and off the pitch — he was forced to apologise following the fallout a controversial trip to Dubai.

At a time of huge uncertainty about Lawwell’s position in a new Celtic era, the debacle has brought his pay-packet into question.

Maguire, however, believes that economic forces alone justify the chief exec’s enormous salary.

He told Football Insider: “Desmond doesn’t get involved in the club on a day-to-day basis, so he wants someone who is a safe pair of hands.

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“Peter Lawwell is someone who is held in pretty high regard by other clubs in the industry. So, therefore, while he is paid a substantial seven-figure sum by Celtic, the fear was that he might go elsewhere.

“It wasn’t that he was necessarily worth that in Scottish football, it was more to do with the fact that he could command that sort of money in English football. It’s more about Desmond protecting his asset.

“Peter Lawwell is a competent administrator and if things don’t go right in the boardroom, things can unravel very quickly. So if the club is willing to pay that level of wages, then that’s why he’s earned £15.8m since he arrived.

“If he wasn’t there then you’d have to pay someone else and they might not be as good.”

Celtic have been hit hard by the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with revenue down by 15.8% compared to last year.

However, they still turned a pre-tax profit — albeit a minuscule one of £100,000 — and their overall financial health is steady.

In other news, a top pundit has suggested Celtic need to readdress their recruitment strategy.