Peter Lawwell tells Celtic AGM that Euro league talks are on

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell today revealed there are exciting new developments within Uefa that could allow the club to quit the SPL.

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Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell at Celtic's AGM. Picture: Jamie Simpson
Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell at Celtic's AGM. Picture: Jamie Simpson

Speaking at the AGM at Parkhead this morning, Lawwell explained there are moves afoot to enable big clubs who are in small leagues to make changes that would allow them to increase their commercial revenue.

However, he stressed all talks were at preliminary stages, although Celtic would be open to all offers of change.

Lawwell said: "We are committed to the SPL but nothing stays the same. "There are very early proposals with UEFA that would suggest they may be open-minded to some kind of regional league.

"They recognise the chasm and the polarity in terms of media value for clubs who are in smaller leagues and they are looking to do something about it.

"The early proposals are for regional leagues which would allow countries to merge for bigger media rights.

"We believe we are a top-class club. We want to maintain the standard we have set for ourselves and if there are any changes then we would like to be a part of that."

And Lawwell also insisted that Celtic's win over Barcelona in the Champions League last week was the biggest result ever enjoyed in the lucrative competition at Celtic Park.

Celtic enjoyed a 2-1 win over the Catalan side, a result that puts them within touching distance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the tournament.

Lawwell, though, was quick to stress the importance of winning the league every year in order that Celtic are invited to dine at the top table of Europe's elite.

"It's where we want to be," he said. "But my view is that the win over Barcelona was the biggest achievement for Celtic in the Champions League.

"It showed all that is great about Celtic. That is why the target every year is to win the league. The Champions route gives us a decent opportunity to get through to the group stages every year."

And the Celtic chief executive remains convinced the club's decision to vote against the newco Rangers gaining entry straight back into the SPL was the correct move.

"Quite simply we felt we had to uphold the integrity of the game," he said. "Short-term, we will suffer in terms of commercial interest, but we feel we are on a solid financial footing."

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