Blood on the boardroom carpet


Football is brutal.  Each year, boys who have worked tirelessly for years in the hope of making the big time are cut free, hundreds of them across Scotland, little has changed in this respect for a century.  Whereas these traumas happen privately, the managers and coaches responsible for those decisions, face their own brutal edge in the most public manner possible, often with hoards yelling for their removal.

At every level, someone has the responsibility of telling someone else, he or she is out.  This is the DNA of an industry we all wanted to be part of as kids, then look on in horror later in life.

Dominic McKay was one of our own, a Celtic fan who worked his way up to run Scottish Rugby, not through the usual routes of commercial, accounting or legal, but from being the in-house public relations man.  The transformation at the club since the end of last season has been beyond my expectations; failures at Tynecastle, Ibrox and Denmark did not cut deep, as the direction of travel was clearly forward.  His course seemed assured from the outside.

Despite the common delusion, chief executive of Celtic is neither easy nor straightforward.  You run a TV channel and other media outlets, several licenced premises and restaurants; a bricks and clicks retail operation.  You deal with the whim of the police and Scottish Government, the SFA and SPFL.  There is a youth operation, with its myriad of complexities and a major events venue that accommodates enough people to bring half a city to a stop when in operation.

Then there are the pressure groups: fans, media, a board and major shareholders; executive, coaching and playing staff.  None of them are really pressure groups, but that’s what they will feel like if you are trying to keep them happy.  Crucially, if you want to affect change, you need to be able to lead people in those pressure groups.  If you cannot lead, your lack of followers is your fault.  Genuine agents of change prove this.

And there’s the football, which underpins all revenue streams and can cause joy or heartbreak on the bounce of a ball.

Wealthy young players, some with more sense than others, the ever-present contract negotiations with agents whose job it is to find someone else to make more money than you can afford.  You make multi-million pound investments with consequences that stretch years into the future and despite all the metrics, whopping mistakes are made at every club.

The bandwidth you need to do this job well is unimaginable to most of us.  It takes management experience, people skills and a firm control on your stress levels.  You need to know when to be hands off and when to give clear and early guidance.  Doing 90% of the necessary elements brilliantly will lead to disaster if you overlook something fundamental.  You also need luck.

Dominic McKay found out about that brutal edge earlier than any of us expected; football is meritocratic in this respect.  It was not results, it had nothing to do with former execs who are now on the beach (honestly!), nor was it about character, his remains impeccable.

He made mistakes, one was largish, but even the best do.  If he had the bandwidth for the task, he could have done more to demonstrate this, a large and complex business will expose your bottlenecks.  At Celtic, PR is hugely complex but even then, it would never be a launching pad for the top job.  PR in rugby is mundane by comparison; this route to the top drew the eye when I read of Dom’s appointment.  He was not a good fit and this is a poor look for Celtic.

Best of luck in your next appointment, Dom.

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  1. Watching Betis at Granada. 0-0 after 35 minutes, but Betis controlling the game. Fekir, Moreno and Iglesias look very good indeed. Fekir just struck the post from 25 yards out.

  2. took the soup recipe eye on

    ERNIE LYNCH on 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021 5:50 PM







    Thank the lord he put his money in when nobody else stepped forward at a time when Fergus Mc Cann was done.’







    What would have happened if he hadn’t?





    Ernie, I think that Willie Haughey, Michael MacDonald and Gerald Weitzfeld{sp} were waiting in the wings just in case there were any last minute hitches with the Brian Dempsey, Fergus McCann approach. So I’m led to believe.

  3. Mad Mitch 8.51pm


    I do not believe that my behaviour needs to be defended… if you stopped talking in riddles and said what you really mean, then 5hat would clarify things for most of us. My last on this.

  4. With a minute to go to HT, Rodri, who had just dived trying to get a penalty, raced down the right wing on a fast break, cut in, and unleashed a left foot screamer into the far top corner. I was just about to write that they look good, but beatable. Still think that.

  5. BURNLEY78 on 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021 9:09 PM



    An T



    Sorry to hear. Don’t let them grind you down !






    Not going anywhere Burnley78 :-).my post was in response to a long established poster(Bob Loblaw 16 years) taking leave due to the constant negativity.



    The reality is the typing eunuchs/press desk pishermen who have posted repetitively today know what they are not,pity they are clueless about themselves and miss point about a Celtic blog and supporting the club by posting a view on its betterment.




  6. Winger for Betis scored a cracker.


    Drifts in from the right wing and buries with the left.


    He’s a player

  7. Speculation, ifs, whats and mibbes…my tuppenceworth…who gives a f*uck…until we fans have a voice…they will continue to dismiss our views

  8. I think Betis,maybe a bad night,are very poor.Just scored on half time from one of countless Granada,who look worse than useless,mistakes.No pace at all about them.Commentator at the start saying none of teams have won this season.Betis only scoring 2 goals,one of them an OG.On this showing,can see why. Could be just a bad night.Let’s hope not.

  9. itscalledthemalvinas on

    Well done Chelsea,not a statement I thought I would ever write.


    They will take the “strongest possible action” against the individual making sectarian remarks against John mcGinn.



    Meanwhile in “indefinite ban land” the old sevco come out all guns blazing and lay down the law to the morons (with all due respect to morons)

  10. THELURKINTIM on 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021 10:01 PM


    Speculation, ifs, whats and mibbes…my tuppenceworth…who gives a f*uck…until we fans have a voice…they will continue to dismiss our views




    Yip! 🎯

  11. An T



    It seems to be pretty intense from those who thrive on anything negative about our club. So many armchair QBs for sure.

  12. “I only work for up and coming Millionaires,not old on the slide Billionaires”



    Aw de ye,Aye.




    Total fud.




    Ernie, I think that Willie Haughey, Michael MacDonald and Gerald Weitzfeld{sp} were waiting in the wings just in case there were any last minute hitches with the Brian Dempsey, Fergus McCann approach. So I’m led to believe.



    HI KEV. :-) Good to see you on,hope all well.



    I think Messrs Haughley and Weisfeld were eventually incorporated into Fergus’s plan..if I recall Michael was on our board after the initial shareholding.i would call that synergy for Celtic,heavyweights vying initially for our club and after Fergus’s takeover got fully behind him in the rebuilding of our wings kev,one continuous history thank god.




  14. THELURKINTIM on 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021 10:19 PM


    Tim v Tim…distraction….ffs




    Yip! 🎯🎯

  15. THELURKINTIM on 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021 10:21 PM


    WcCoogan…so ur ye?




    Nah. I went through initiation back in May.


    Yeez are too rough.👷


    It’s a guid laff awe the same eh? ☺

  16. For those of you complaining about the level of criticism levelled at the board on here are there no other Celtic sites where there is less of such criticism and where you might feel more comfortable?



    Agree with you on the strips. An abomination, just like the new Arsenal and Man U change strips – a dogs breakfast.


    I stopped watching at halftime. Betis are beatable, and do not look strong at left back. The big unit in the middle of midfield is very effective, and like most top level Spanish teams, they don’t need many chances to score. We also need to keep Bellerin busy. He has a lot of pace to get back and forward on the right.

  18. AN TEARMANN on 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021 10:16 PM



    My question was what would have happened if The Great Desmondo had not purchased Fergus McCann’s shares.



    It seems were are to thank the Lord that it did happen, the assumption presumably being that it would have been catastrophic if it hadn’t.



    I just wondered what disaster was averted.

  19. glendalystonsils on

    ERNIE LYNCH on 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021 10:28 PM


    For those of you complaining about the level of criticism levelled at the board on here are there no other Celtic sites where there is less of such criticism and where you might feel more comfortable?



    As you are no doubt aware , CQN is a positively fluffy, board hugging site compared with most others .

  20. Burnley78,



    Lol.Bit of a contradiction there.Granada tonight were absolutely dire.Terrific goal,but that was it.Last 5 minutes looks like The Keystone Cops defending.Shocking.Betis were not much better.On this showing,AZ a far superior team.


    I honestly never though I would see Spanish game so bereft of class.




    Only the cause matters. ‘Scotland the Brand’ supercedes everything, even overt racism. The strategy has always been “whatever we can get away with”. In the unlikely case of independence that will engulf us.

  22. Celtic, and by Celtic I mean Dermot Desmond, are only interested in the CEO being an administrator, not a leader.



    All the roles mentioned should have their own directors and teams under them. The CEO is there to pull it all together. Like a director of football should pull together sports science, coaching, recruitment,academy structure, data analysis, sports psychology and any other facet of the wider footballing structure, the CEO should be pulling together the business aspects…not running.



    I’m not sure what the mistake was that’s alluded to, but this reeks of Dermot Desmond not liking someone upsetting his play thing, having an opinion and his own ideas.



    Not liking someone who wants to open the purse strings.



    From the outside looking in, Dermot Desmond is becoming a cancer to the club.

  23. Right offski.Too much I’ll informed Boardroom politics.No time for it.


    Ange says he is perfectly happy,that’s all I care about.

  24. Its a shame in a way that fans don’t look likely to control our own club without a conflict with the PLC.


    I don’t think our fans have a conflict in them. Like to sing a lot about the troubles conflict and that’s as far as it goes I think.


    I know some of us will wonder where the money is coming from to buy out DD for example?


    But thinking out loud, is trying to buy out DD the only approach?


    What if DD buys more shares from somewhere then the fans would have to keep raising more money to up their share power and on, and on?


    I think there are two instruments at Parkhead that keep fans enslaved to DD’s PLC apparatus.


    Shares, and season tickets.


    The fans will never out DD, DD, when it comes to stocks and shares. DD owns all the system’s, device’s, etc, etc.


    But most important of all, the rules will be what DD demand’s. No ifs, no buts.


    So for Celtic fans to eventually take control of their club, almost 30 years since the sleight of Fergus’s hand allowed DD to take control of the club instead of fans as Fergus promised, Celtic fans have to remove themselves from DD’s system.


    No financial input, season tickets, merchandising, nada, zilch.


    This will prove painful for shareholding Joe Blogs type fans, as withdrawal of fans money from differing sphere’s of the club will create financial anarchy, sadly if the game that DD and his PLC goons want to play, depends on DD’s capabilities to move the goal posts whenever it suits him, then that game is corrupted. By DD and his goons.


    The fans only option that I see is for fans to bring financial anarchy upon DD’s corruption and withdraw themselves and their monies from DD’s Old Firm facilitating system.


    When fans no longer finance DD’s corrupt system, then within six weeks Celtic share value will fall through the floor and with DD into his 70’s now, and knowing that Celtic fans have sussed his corruption system of Old Firm facilitating cheating of Celtic fans, my guess is he’ll leave.


    Then Celtic fans move in and invest season ticket money with a view to limiting/dismantling the STH structure of the club. 👍

  25. ERNIE LYNCH on 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021 10:28 PM


    For those of you complaining about the level of criticism levelled at the board on here are there no other Celtic sites where there is less of such criticism and where you might feel more comfortable?





    Where is the criticism? More venting Ernie,


    Nonsense pish that is not constructive for the club and has no accounting for the uncertainty generated in the financial market we operate in.if constant whiners overun other sites who cares,here they will be met and their opinion directed. I was there in 1994.we are not in the same place as a club as then.



    May I ask the old ceo recruitment questions(just incase you take up Stivs offer of a job


    We know well the failures res12 etc,current remoteness,



    Successes spawned by DD involvement


    I would say 3.You? Tis easy to criticise.successes ??








  26. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Ernie Lynch on 13th September 2021 10:28PM 10:33PM



    Speaking for myself, it’s the witless criticism of multiple posters which lowers my spirits reading the blog. Today, the How Dare You Disappoint Me, Celtic Supporters Club members have been outnumbered by the How Dare You Keep On Disappointing Me, Celtic Supporters Club members. Sheesh.





    In 1999, when Fergus sold up he made available 10 million Ordinary Shares at £2.80 each to fans and Institutions. Dermot Desmond underwrote the disposal (because he’s such a nice guy, I guess) leaving Fergus in a no lose position.



    Fans and institutions bought 75% of the shares, Dermot harvested the remaining 25%. As we waved Fergus away into the setting Western sun, behind the Erskine Bridge, the relative shareholding positions were; DD 25%, fans 63% ( may the good Lord bless us and keep us all the days of our lives), Institutions 17%.



    Dermot has swamped us this century since then.

  27. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    The post above required an edit button. DD’s carry forward position was 20% in 1999, not 25% as typed. I managed to start writing a sequel to The Producers.

  28. From the McConnell article… ‘Even those players who were signed and failed to make the grade at Celtic were moved on yet still at profit; only Marian Shved and Olivier Ntcham would present a financial loss.’



    This reads like quite a privileged briefing.



    And it betrays that the figures cited when we sign players might be slightly exaggerated to play to the fans gallery (Eg I thought we’d dropped money on Bayo, Hayes, Hendry, Elhamed, Gordon. Jozo and Kouassi??)



    Anyways as aI said, despite Dom’s departure, our playing squad is in better condition under a better manager than for a few seasons. But if you think CFC is the zenith of Ange’s ambition, that’s a fallacy.



    Bring on the Beticos.