Mark Lawwell off as CFG process ends at Celtic


Mark Lawwell, Head of First Team Scouting and Recruitment, and Joe Dudgeon, Lead First Team Scout, both resigned yesterday to “pursue other opportunities”.  Mark joined from City Football Group (CFG) in May 2022, Joe followed from the same source six months later.

While at CFG, Lawwell was Head of Scouting and Recruitment, responsible for Manchester City, Girona, Ange Postecoglou’s Yokohama and others.  The pair worked together for three years at CFG, where Ange bought into Mark’s recruitment and development pathway. Mark then recommended Ange to Celtic.

After his successful first season at Celtic, Ange brought Mark up from Manchester to head Celtic’s recruitment.  Plans were cut short when Ange left for Tottenham before the pair set to work in the summer of 2023.

It was clear to many that Brendan Rodgers recruitment methodology was different from Ange’s, while Mark Lawwell’s also differed from Lee Congerton’s, who headed recruitment during Brendan’s first term at Celtic.  Lee had worked with Brendan early in their backroom careers at Chelsea and followed him to Leicester in 2019.

Both Lawwell and Congerton suffered some reputational damage among the support during their times at Celtic, although Head of Recruitment is only one piece of the jigsaw.  Congerton’s reputation in the game got him the top recruitment job at Atalanta in 2022.

After the work he did at CFG and his transformational time at Celtic through Postecoglou, Mark Lawwell also has significant standing in the game.  He will end up back in the English Premier League, where there is a bit of flux at the top end.

City and Chelsea are prodigious hoarders of talent, although he may prefer not to return to City and not be further contaminated by Chelsea.  Postecoglou moved for him before and could take him to Spurs.  I would keep an eye on Manchester United as a possible destination.  Their new controlling shareholder is known to respect the work of CFG and will make changes to the football and recruitment operation.

Liverpool are probably too focused on replacing Klopp than making any further senior changes.  There are lots of clubs keen to move up the food chain further down the EPL, who may also move for him.  Bookmark me if you think any other scenario is likely.  What happens next will be a measure of what walked out the door yesterday.

The January transfer window was described as “disappointing” by Mark’s father, chairman, Peter Lawwell, showing his aptitude for understatement.  The manager and recruitment department need to work to the same methodology or we end up with £67m in the bank and spending very little.  The frustration would have been palpable.

I think everyone had the best intentions when Brendan joined in the summer and committed to work with the existing recruitment system.  The manager must always have the final decision in transfers, but if we do not sign who the recruitment department wants us to sign, those at the top will soon move on.

I doubt we will be able to get Lee Congerton back.  Whether you want someone like Lee in to work with Brendan they way they did until 2019 doesn’t matter, it is important that we get someone who operates like that.  The manager needs a Head of Recruitment who works the way he does, not the way CFG do.  It may not be to your taste, but it’s surely better than rejecting everyone.  So nothing to worry about.

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  1. onenightinlisbon on

    “Mark Lawwell has a significant standing in the game”



    What game would that be tidddlywinks?

  2. bigrailroadblues on

    Good morning all from Ruglen. Me and Brian M are going for a curer. He was refused service in the Tolbooth last night. Dearie me.

  3. Eh, Aye let’s wait and see where he ends up and for how long.agree recruitment and manager need to be aligned, Director of Football required perhaps to keep the club stable from player recruitment to Manager recruitment, no point in signing players who are unable or cannot adapt to the Manager’s style of play.

  4. Another curious appointment/position at Celtic Academy, Head of Coaches Steve Hammell what is his role there? That makes about 4 former Motherwell players at the Celtic Academy including Head of Academy Chris McCart.

  5. Monday 2nd March



    Much to the distaste of the Screws we ended the no-wash protest this morning. We moved to ‘B’ wing, which was allegedly clean.



    We have shown considerable tolerance today. Men are being searched coming back from the toilet. At one point men were waiting three hours to get out to the toilet, and only four or five got washed, which typifies the eagerness (sic) of the Screws to have us off the no-wash. There is a lot of petty vindictiveness from them.



    I saw the doctor and I’m 64 kgs. I’ve no problems.



    The priest, Fr John Murphy, was in tonight. We had a short talk. I heard that my mother spoke at a parade in Belfast yesterday and that Marcella cried. It gave me heart. I’m not worried about the numbers of the crowds. I was very annoyed last night when I heard Bishop Daly’s statement (issued on Sunday, condemning the hunger-strike). Again he is applying his double set of moral standards. He seems to forget that the people who murdered those innocent Irishmen on Derry’s Bloody Sunday are still as ever among us; and he knows perhaps better than anyone what has and is taking place in H-Block.



    He understands why men are being tortured here — the reason for criminalisation. What makes it so disgusting, I believe, is that he agrees with that underlying reason. Only once has he spoken out, of the beatings and inhumanity that are commonplace in H-Block.



    I once read an editorial, in late ’78, following the then Archbishop O Fiaich’s ‘sewer pipes of Calcutta’ statement. It said it was to the everlasting shame of the Irish people that the archbishop had to, and I paraphrase, stir the moral conscience of the people on the H-Block issue. A lot of time has passed since then, a lot of torture, in fact the following year was the worst we experienced.



    Now I wonder who will stir the Cardinal’s moral conscience…



    Bear witness to both right and wrong, stand up and speak out. But don’t we know that what has to be said is ‘political’, and it’s not that these people don’t want to become involved in politics, it’s simply that their politics are different, that is, British.



    My dear friend Tomboy’s father died today. I was terribly annoyed, and it has upset me.



    I received several notes from my family and friends. I have only read the one from my mother — it was what I needed. She has regained her fighting spirit — I am happy now.



    My old friend Seanna (Walsh, a fellow blanket man) has also written.



    I have an idea for a poem, perhaps tomorrow I will try to put it together.



    Every time I feel down I think of Armagh, and James Connolly. They can never take those thoughts away from me.

  6. When the red tops are printing Lillian gish about the huns moving their players on, they tend to litter non event stories with a variety of top level clubs.


    No substance, just drop some names in there. Utter nonsense though it keeps the masses amused.


    (an unknown club in an unknown galaxy type of story)


    They may mention Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd, Tottenham.


    Watch out for it, real lazy journalism.

  7. How are Ange’s recruitment styles and BR’s different – don’t know much about the area?

  8. Well, that was a measured lead and I’m sure all reasonable supporters will wish Mark and Joe all the best for the future.



    The why’s and wherefores can wait another day.



    After the January window closed, a CQN lead stated we’d “gone of piste”.



    “The only permanent and strategic signature was that of Nicolas Kuhn (24), from Rapid Vienna.  Nicolas arrived in the middle of the month and has already made his debut.  He is every inch the data driven dream: creates chances, is useful in possession and after an injured season, has been fit since the summer.  They are out there, if we are prepared to commit to the system…



    …The window shut with Brendan Rodgers words reverberating, “Obviously, statistics will give you a lot, but I’m not driven by it.”. So we’re off-piste now…





    This disconnect obviously could not continue and something had to give.



    Mark and Joe, had their chance, got their shot… some of the development guys they got in will grow into good players, no doubt, yet that takes time…



    If Kuhn and Idah come from different recruitment approaches we only have one winner at the moment.



    Again, for me Kuhn will improve.



    Yet, for hitting the ground running, physicality, pace, quality and technique the manager asked for Idah ticks the boxes and our performances have just got better through February when he’s played.



    Quality players are key, no matter what the data, metrics, analytics tell us, it’s the quality players that make all the difference.



    Hail Hail

  9. “The manager and recruitment department need to work to the same methodology or we end up with £67m in the bank and spending very little.”



    Branching out into satire are we? Good God.

  10. While City hover up young projects, they also buy first team ready players. A signing strategy based solely on projects is ridiculously risky. Mark Lawwell’s transfer windows has done a lot of damage to our league chances and will take several windows to put right. I’m very happy to see him leave.

  11. onenightinlisbon on

    AN DÚN on 2ND MARCH 2024 11:47 AM



    But but, he has “significant standing in the game”…..



    Why on Earth would we want to lose such a talent….



    You could not make this crap up.

  12. AN DÚN @ 11:47 AM,



    Well there is a bit of mystery surrounding exactly what Mark Lawwell done at City Croup but tell Pep who is first team players are wasn’t one of them…



    Hail Hail

  13. Imo, the finished article will always opt for England. It is not realistic to expect us to sign even reserves like Kelleher. I wish it wasn’t the case but, again imo, it is.

  14. I think yesterday’s developments pretty much mean that BR is going nowhere regardless of how this season finishes. BR has control now.



    He should have had control the minute he walked in the door. It does not reflect very well on how we’re run when the head of recruitment is clearly not furnishing the manager with his requirements.



    Mark Lawwell should have been moved on after the summer, had he been, January would have looked very different.

  15. Now that the reason we are destined to win nothing this season is identified and ditched, let’s do it, i.e. win nothing this season.



    Most probably there will be an extensive clear out in the summer – management, coaching and other staff – a bigger rebuild than what was required at the start of this season on the players’ front is inevitable, with some of our better performers leaving and non-starters shoveled-out….if possible. Let’s also hope that part of the so-called support which divides and damages the club financially and reputationally, week in, week out – season after season will also be hung out to dry.



    The Dundee result will be seen in hindsight as a ‘flash in the pan’ – a hollow victory against a poor side, much like the six nil “thrashing” of Aberdeen earlier in the season. Home points lost (9) against St Johnstone, Motherwell, Kilmarnock and Hearts are the reason we are in our current position. Therefore to expect a run-in of win after win is unrealistic and not supported by form, facts, or, trends this season – we simply don’t have the players up to the task.

  16. carpe diem 63 on

    Aipple …..God rest you Bobby Sands and may perpetual light shine upon you ⭐️🙏💚

  17. Sycophantic until the end, despite all evidence to the contrary.



    Can’t wait to see where the most sought-after head of recruitment in British football ends up.



    One down one to go.

  18. DARWIN @ 12:28 PM,



    Well, I’ve told you and I’ve told “the others”, Brendan Rodgers will be here next season, so the sooner you accept that the better.






    Hail Hail

  19. Weebobbycollins on

    Darwin now comes to the party buoyed by his chum George Galloway’s victory in Rochdale…

  20. carpe diem 63 on

    Interesting statistic …99.9 % of the UK population is squeezed into 7.5 % of the land mass…”this is perhaps the most astonishing case of calculated civil deceit ever performed on a whole country “ …the sooner we have a LVT the better .,.let’s stop taxing labour and start taxing LAND as a method of raising public finance 🤔👍

  21. carpe diem 63 on

    Ayrshire …33% of land owned by 196 people …Oxfordshire …43% of land owned by 304 people …Hertfordshire ..34 % owned by 153 people …East Lothian ..56% of land owned by 100 people …and so it goes on ….shocking and in plain sight 🤔

  22. carpe diem 63 on

    Scotland …the worst concentration of land in private hands in the world ….1252 families own 66% of the land 🤔

  23. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    As with our players we can’t expect to hold onto top talent forever. You have to wonder if those articles highlighting the quality of Kwon alerted some of the bigger fish who decided to go for the guy who found him?


    Maybe we could get one of the candidates who lost out to Mark if we still have the application forms and interview notes…..

  24. We all react differently to news.



    As far as I am concerned, two backroom guys left our club. I had no idea how well or badly they did their job and I still don’t. They will be replaced by two other backroom guys who we will praise, ignore or criticise based on as little information on how they did this jobs too.



    And most of us decide how well or badly they are doing, based on how well or badly Celtic are doing.



    But it’s easier to sack a backroom guy, as a sacrificial lamb, because we are 2nd and we’re not used to being behind, than it is to consider major changes in the midst of a tight league race that we can definitely still win (nobody but Darwin doubts that).



    The jury is still out on this season. Tomorrow will tell us a lot but it won’t confirm the league outcome. While we’re in the race, there can be no other attitude than complete support. Yes, we can spot and highlight individual player and manager failings, especially on a blog which influences nothing, but, at the park, we need to support as we strive to win.



    So- bye bye Lawell & Dudgeon- Celtic goes on – and the guys who replace them might even be given time to do their job, so long as their surnames aren’t Lawwell or Desmond or Rodgers.

  25. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Another Jump the Shark article, Lawwell was nowhere near Head of Recruitment for CFG,Pep couldn’t pick him out in a line up,the same as Lawwell couldn’t pick out Halaand in a line out.Manchester United? Liverpool? Total Playstation fantasy…….

  26. Paul67 et al


    Only comment worth making in response to today’s leader…..


    “Nice work……if you can get it….”



    Or, channelling my inner Brendan Rodgers….


    “Good Lhad”

  27. my question to chatgbt “is this true “Scotland …the worst concentration of land in private hands in the world ….1252 families own 66% of the land” Chatgpt’s answer



    “The claim that “1252 families own 66% of the land” in Scotland and that it has “the worst concentration of land in private hands in the world” refers to ongoing discussions about land ownership and distribution in Scotland. Historically, Scotland has had a highly concentrated pattern of land ownership, with a significant portion of its land held by a relatively small number of landowners. This issue has been a subject of public debate and policy intervention in Scotland for many years.



    The Scottish Government and various land reform groups have taken steps to address issues related to land ownership, transparency, and distribution. The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and subsequent legislation, including the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, were introduced to tackle some of these issues, promoting fairness and transparency in land ownership and use.



    The figure stating that “1252 families own 66% of the land” might not be current and can vary depending on the source and the method used for calculation. Land ownership patterns can change over time due to sales, acquisitions, and land reform policies. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it would be best to refer to recent studies or reports from reliable sources such as the Scottish Government, academic institutions, or reputable research organizations.



    If you’re interested in the most current statistics and discussions on land ownership in Scotland, I can look up more recent information. Would you like me to do that?”

  28. A strategy that hoards talent and pays the percentage shot every time is fine if pickets are as deep as they are in England – even if it will implode one day. Celtic need a good (i.e. better!) hit rate with projects and this strategy must be supplemented by experienced professionals with a couple of years of football left in the legs but a career’s worth of football in the head. Wise, smart professionals. It’s possible for a recruitment strategy to accommodate both experience and potential.

  29. Paul 67,



    We have got £67 m in a bank account accumulating interest.



    Do we have the ambition to put some of that sum to good use,re recruitment. Do we intend moving into the fast lane of the modern era and replacing or supplementing convention regarding football recruitment.



    Brighton are a good example of modernisation and punching above their weight.



    Perhaps we should combine traditional visual recruitment with AI systems using algorithms specifically tuned to our requirements.



    So could our next recruitment appointment be a hi tech ” Data collector ”



    We put in our requirements and parameters then follow the data visually.



    This maybe an excellent opportunity.



    HH, the future is not orange.

  30. bournesouprecipe on




    Your indefatigability is as topical as Gorgeous George, and certainly stouter than the Celtic trembling mince. Manchester Utd sounds about right for Celtic’s two alleged Dudgeon’s, you’re well and truly bookmarked.



    Popular news or not , now is not the time for recriminations, Brendan is off to Gorgie Park in the next instalment of ‘anybody but Celtic’

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