ANGE POSTECOGLOU has welcomed the appointment of Peter Lawwell as successor to Ian Bankier.

The Hoops boss said: “It is fantastic news for the club that Peter will be taking up the role of chairman.

“He was instrumental in bringing me to Celtic, I know the love he has for the club and I know that his wealth of experience and knowledge will be invaluable to us all as we move forward together.

“I would also like to wish Ian and his family all the very best for the future.”

Postecoglou is now back preparing the players for the second half of the season with the team nine points ahead in pursuit of their second successive title with the league restarting with a trip to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen a fortnight tomorrow.

Before that they will have a warm weather training HQ in Portugal where they will play French club Rennes in a closed door match a week tomorrow.

The holders will face Kilmarnock in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden on Saturday January 14 and will also play Championship side Morton when the Scottish Cup kicks off at Parkhead on the weekend of January 21/22.

Chief executive Michael Nicholson also welcomed the news concerning Lawwell and told the club website: “We are delighted to welcome Peter as chairman and I look forward to working with him as we continue to progress and develop the club.

“Peter has a wealth of experience in the football industry at a domestic, European and global level, which is invaluable to the Club going forward.   “Our collective objective is to create a world-class football club that our supporters can be proud of, competing at the highest level, with a strategy based on growth and continuous improvement. “On behalf of the Board, and all of our colleagues at the club, I thank Ian Bankier for his service and contribution to our club, and wish him and his family the best for the future.”

Dermot Desmond, the club’s principal shareholder, continued: “I am delighted that Peter has agreed to take up the position of chairman. He is the outstanding candidate.

“Peter is a man of the highest quality, someone who has served the club already with real commitment and expertise and his experience and knowledge of the club, as well as of the wider global football environment, will help continue to drive the club forward.

“He is perfectly placed to work with Michael Nicholson, Chris McKay and the Board to ensure we continue to compete in Scottish and European football and to manage the challenges and opportunities in a European context.

“I would also like to thank Ian Bankier for his excellent contribution to Celtic over a number of years. I join everyone at the club in wishing him and his family every success for the future.”

Outgoing chairman Bankier added: “I am pleased that Peter has agreed to take on the role of Non-Executive Chairman. Against any reasonable benchmark, Celtic has prospered over the last decade and beyond.

“This is in no small part down to the stability of the club and the retention of knowledge and experience. Peter will be a most effective sounding board for the executive and a fine representative both domestically and abroad.

“I would like to thank everyone at Celtic for their support during my term of office. I shall miss them all. I wish the club and the Celtic support all the very best for the future.”

Lawwell will officially take over the position on January 1 2023 when Bankier retires.

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