Lawwell - We don't need Gers
Bhoys chief pleased with his club's interim financial results
Last Updated: February 13, 2012 5:40pm
Peter Lawwell: Believes Celtic can continue to progress and improve without Rangers
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell claims the club do not require Old Firm rivals Rangers, with the Ibrox outfit facing administration.
The Bhoys have announced their interim financial results, with a £180,000 profit for the six months to December 31, while over the past year the club's debt has been trimmed to just over £7million.
Celtic's modest profits are in stark contrast to the developing situation at Ibrox after the Light Blues lodged intent to go into administration with the Court of Session on Monday.
Gers' long-term future remains uncertain as the club await the verdict of their tax tribunal, a bill that could be as high as £49million should they lose their case with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Rangers' demise could have larger implications on the game in Scotland, although Lawwell insists Celtic are only focused on their own future.
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"The way we would look at it is we don't need Rangers," commented Lawwell.
"We have a strategy that we have embarked on, that's independent of Rangers or any other club in Scotland.
"We have a vision, horizons and aspirations which are in Scotland and beyond that, in terms of European progression. That's what we are focusing on.
"In terms of Rangers' situation at the moment, nobody really knows what the facts are. I think it is inappropriate for us to comment on it.
"We are getting on with it, we are independent in terms of where we want to take the club and that's what we will continue to do.
"These are challenging times at the moment and we have to face them. There is a lot of big thinking to go on.
"In term of ourselves, we have set out a strategy which is now beginning to produce for us.
"Five years ago we said that we could no longer compete at the highest level, we could no longer attract the Premier League players that we had done, so we invested a lot of money in our recruitment and academy and creating, hopefully, a centre of excellence with the tentacles going far and wide.
"Identifying uncut diamonds, bringing them here, developing them and putting them in the team.
"We are beginning to see that with the strength and the value of the squad and the academy kids who are pushing to come through. So that is satisfying."
Asked if Scottish football could survive and thrive without Rangers, Lawwell replied: "If people take some clues from what we are doing, then why not?
"Again, I think it needs big thinkers. It needs people to think outside the box."