Former Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell could be set for a return to the Premiership champions as the club’s new chairman, according to reports.
The 63-year-old stepped down as chief executive just over a year ago after nearly two decades in the role.
He has now been tipped to replace outgoing chairman Ian Bankier who announced on Friday that he will retire at the end of the year.
Majority shareholder paid tribute to Bankier and insisted that there would be a swift transition to replace him.
The Daily Mail are now reporting that Lawwell is the front-runner for the position.
Bankier, who has been at Celtic since 2011 and worked alongside Lawwell for ten years, will officially step down on January 1 2023.
In a statement released on the club’s website on Friday Bankier said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the club I will always love, as chairman, for more than ten years.
“Our aim was always to deliver success on and off the pitch and, above all, to give Celtic fans a club they could be proud of. During this time, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many fantastic people who have had Celtic in their hearts and worked so hard for our club.
“I know Dermot, Michael, and the rest of the board will continue to seek the very best for Celtic at all times and will seek to ensure that Celtic maintains its position as the biggest and best club in Scottish football, as well as progressing as a force in European football.
“I wish the Board, our fantastic manager Ange, our players and staff and, of course, all our supporters much continued success as our great club continues to move forward.”
Desmond said: “I would like to thank Ian sincerely for his contribution to Celtic across the past decade.
“Ian has provided great counsel and stability across a sustained period of growth and success for the club, and I wish Ian and his family well for the future.
“We will ensure that we work very closely with Ian over the next few months to deliver a smooth and effective transition prior to announcing his successor.”
Michael Nicholson, Celtic’s current chief executive, added: “I would like to wish Ian the very best for the future.
“Ian has led the board with great skill and dedication during an important time in the club’s history and a period of success on and off the field.
“Throughout, Ian has been a source of constant support for all members of the board, and we are all grateful to him for that.”
During Lawwell’s 18 years at the club Celtic picked up 13 league titles, including a run of 9 league titles in a row and four consecutive trebles.
He came under fire during the 2020/21 season when Rangers romped to the title and ended Celtic’s dream of a historic ten in a row.