Celtic have made £97million profit in player sales over the last decade and cannot allow a boardroom reshuffle to impact their successful buy-and-sell model.
That is according to football finance expert and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after Celtic announced that Chief Executive Peter Lawwell would retire in the summer.
His departure may light the touchpaper on a major boardroom reshuffle at Parkhead.
Recruitment chief Nick Hammond’s position as director of football is under threat, and there may be a potential executive roll for powerbroker Dermot Desmond’s son Ross, as revealed by Football Insider earlier in the month.
Good recruitment is the bedrock of any well-functioning football club, says Maguire, particularly for the likes of Celtic who spin enormous profits from player sales.
Asked how important Lawwell has been to Celtic’s recruitment model, Maguire told Football Insider: “For a club like Celtic, it’s absolutely essential.
“Over the course of the last decade, Celtic have made profits of £97million from player sales. That’s down to good recruitment.
“Persuading players that you are a development club and that you’re not necessarily an end in your self but part of a player’s pathway to success is really important.
“That has allowed Celtic to reinvest that money, so it can become a virtuous circle. The problem is if you have a season where you don’t really have a big-money sale.
“They made a profit of £24m on Tierney, £17.7m from Dembele, and they’ve been very smart in the last few years.
“This year, the football has been poor and that’s had an impact on the fees they can charge. So spotting talent and then being able to sell that talent is very, very important, unless you are backed by someone like Abramovich who can afford to write off players.”
Lawwell has been the chief decision-maker at Parkhead for 17 years, presiding over a period of unparalleled success with the Hoops winning 29 trophies in that period.
After cutting his teeth with West Brom and Reading, Hammond has been in his position for just 15 months.