Soccer-Police investigate arson attack on Celtic CEO's home

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi Final - Celtic vs Rangers - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 15, 2018 Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell before the match REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

LONDON (Reuters) -Scottish police said on Wednesday they were investigating an arson attack that caused serious damage to the house and vehicles belonging to Celtic's Chief Executive Peter Lawwell.

Police they were called to an incident at about 1 a.m. local time at the property in Thorntonhall, a village just outside Glasgow, where three vehicles were deliberately set alight and a garage had sustained extensive damage.

The fire was being treated as deliberate as closed circuit television (CCTV) footage showed a man had poured an accelerant on the vehicles, Police Scotland said.

"We can confirm that significant damage has been caused to Peter Lawwell’s house and vehicles there, following an explosion and fire early this morning, forcing the family to leave the property," Celtic said in a statement.

"Clearly, Peter’s family are extremely shaken and shocked by these terrible events, but thankfully all are safe."

A Police Scotland spokesman said they were now hunting for the suspect caught on the CCTV.

"This was a completely reckless act which destroyed three cars and caused significant damage to the property's garage," Detective Inspector Susie Cairns said. "The consequences could have been so much worse but thankfully nobody was injured during this incident."

Lawwell is due to step down from his role at the Glasgow club in June after a 17-year tenure which saw the club pick up 29 trophies and reach the Champions League last 16 three times.

However, the recent season has been a disappointment, with arch rivals Rangers romping home with the league title, while the club was beaten in the second qualifying round for the Champions League.

(Reporting by Michael Holden. Editing by Andrew MacAskill and Costas Pitas)

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