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. If memory serves – he took the well-trod route straight to a definitive accusatory headline with our Club’s name writ large.



    When muppet meets puppet……………….




    I may be wrong, but I don’t think that’s how it was intended.

  3. prestonpans bhoys on



    TIMMY7_NOTED on 14TH SEPTEMBER 2021 9:05 AM



    And during the summer you could sign on and get your digs paid for too, happy days😂

  4. Am I bored discussing our footballing structure? Our lack of expertise? Our recruitment policy?




    However, I am concerned.

  5. The board acolytes …


    The happy clappers …


    The Bronskis / Small town bhoys …


    The hame ‘ll dae me faction …


    The Exec groupies …


    The Irish Raj apologists …


    The pot hunters …


    The rich man’s bag carriers — looking at you Toaty Trump.


    The hard of thinking …


    The small business men …


    The OF thinkers …



    And you wonder why Carthage fell?



    When the above become the majority / set the agenda then we will be toast.


    Thankfully they are still in a small minority.


    Just a case they all post on CQN.



    PL must have some size of extended family / clique of drinking buddies ?


    Or money talks — or it least it talks to the hard of thinking.


    DD / the Irish Raj vs DT / the Donald — who would win …


    Useless “Billionaire” of the Year?



    At least DT knew how to build a real fanbase.

  6. Alison McConnell is spot on in her assertion that so long as we win football games, there will be no mass revolt against this board. The appointments will go over most fans heads as we concentrate on the next game.



    Football results between now and the rest of the season will decided what happens to this board.



    I feel Dom was undermined and when I read about Ross Desmond organising transfers then it’s clear that no self respecting CEO would put up with such nonsense.



    We do need to now move on but football results will decide what happens from here. Lose at Livi and go 6 behind then we’ll be reading about Dom again next week. That’s how it works, McConnell is correct.

  7. prestonpans bhoys on 14th September 2021 10:07 am



    That first summer was the only one that I never worked, money was more important than holidays I’m afraid.


    As a result I never ended up inter railing until I got my first full time job and could take holidays.


    I enjoyed all of it but like most teenagers from a working class background I was always looking forward and never appreciated how much fun I was having at the time.


    The education was the way out for people like me and my friends, many of whom I’m still in contact with today.


    Uppity fenians every single one of them :-)

  8. Hahahahahahahahaha



    Easy on the drugs mitchy.


    Shroom season eh.


    Whit you like






    Cheers for the fun start of day.your pish is just not rational but like all press your scatter gun approach is akin to lookin for a solid bit in diarrhoea.






    Mind read up on Denis Healey the socialist who initiated have some homework to do.



    You have a good day mitchy.




  9. Mmm i took it to be this….


    You have already worked among people with No Probity.


    Therefore you lost your self respect..Just felt the comment “if that’s how it was intended ”


    Lacked respect for a man who went the full mile regarding Res 12…etc


    Apologies if I’m wrong ………

  10. The , I only work for billionaires (when I can be arsed ) that spend their time pounding their keyboard telling everyone how clued up they are brigade … 😜🤣🤣🤣

  11. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Tom McL ….



    Re being bored by the CEO story …



    Yip, I see your point.



    Nothing new emerging.



    Ideally (even in good times), I’d prefer the CEO to be rarely discussed.



    Vital role within any club clearly.



    But they are less important in the two areas that matter most to me



    1. Team on match day (manager/players)


    2. The soul/essence of the club (fans)

  12. JHB on 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021 11:12 PM








    Just how brown/tam the phone in ranter



    @antearmann1967 is my twitter handle.






    Your @radiofanjohn timeline is now quiet after last years flounce,full of huns right enough.unsurprising tho as trolls like you have several



    Keep apologising for Boris.what you don’t say only highlights your ability to be a eunuch.



    You keep on being all outraged at a tweet from a crap comedienne,it only highlights your ability to be quiet on the violence inflicted by Boris and pals thro their austerity if only there was nondom/offshore tax loop hole that would alleviate the poorest,the weakest paying for your Eton boys errors.not a word.silence.


    Keep gargling his chunks @mikemyers!

  13. AN TEARMANN on 14TH SEPTEMBER 2021 11:13 AM



    I don’t think you’re allowed to say comedienne any longer. It’s sexist. I’m not even sure you’re allowed to say sexist either because it assumes stuff that you shouldn’t be assuming and offends some people. I think we can still say people.

  14. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    I read the story from the42 which mentions a Celtic women’s team player called up into Ireland’s international squad. Izzy Atkinson. Well done Izzy, especially so if it’s your first time there.



    Watching the game on Sunday Izzy was one of the few taking the game to Glasgow City in the first half. The club can’t be charging an admission price for what was offered up for those forty five minutes. Second half, everyone stepped up.

  15. In all my years as an IT professional, I received many memos advising that Mr X Y or Z had left the business, usually including a polite thank you for his services.



    Not once did such memos include the words “because he was crap at his job” or “after being caught with his hand in the till” etc.



    Unless it was a very public misdemeanour, employers protected the outgoing miscreant with a level of privacy.



    Yet here we have people taking aim at Celtic FC for not spilling the beans on why McKay was shown the door.



    Just a bunch of gossip mongers looking for something to pass the time around the CQN coffee machine.

  16. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 14TH SEPTEMBER 2021 11:30 AM




    And are Celtic briefing a line to their favoured hacks which is at odds with their (no doubt lawyered to the hilt) public statement?




    Nevin was an S-Form for Celtic and was farmed out to Celtic Boys Club but at 16 was sent packing and never signed a professional contract.



    So yes, he was never at any time a Celtic player.

  18. Thursday cannae come quick enough.



    This will be a real test and we will hopefully come through it with a win or a draw.



    Tommy Rogic should have shaken off his jetlag by then. :))



    Come on you bhoys in Hooped Green,




    Did you follow the progress of the Res 12 issue on here during your self imposed exile/flounce?

  20. PETEC



    Aye Tom was not his usual self on Saturday and did seem to tire. Hopefully we’ll see him back to his creative best in Spain. I too would like to see Anthony back in defence with Josip moving to left-back.



    Looking forward to a cracking game.

  21. TMcL @ recently



    IT professional vs Military Intelligence — discuss ?!?



    IT — Star Wars vs Star Trek?


    IT — Single but still needed a 2 bed flat.


    The second bedroom is for the server farm.



    These are the big questions in IT — if you are / were a professional.



    Me — I just signed the overtime sheets and then invented cloud computing.


    Well cupboard computing but you get the idea.


    A lot cheaper than a Cray.

  22. Pretty sure Real Betis have an Ultra group which is fascist in ideology, they do wear green and white but I think our club’s fans on the whole would have more in common with Sevilla fans.

  23. TMcL @ 11.30



    Normally company statements don’t big up the new guy — very explicitly — as a team player.


    Normally the company don’t brief the media — that evening for next day publication — that the old guy wasn’t a good fit / couldn’t cut it.



    We did both these things that suggests that we had an axe to grind / have very thin skin / not very professional.



    Losing DMcK after 72 days tells the world more about us that it tells the world about him.

  24. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Paul Larkin casting new, negative light on Dom. Looks more and more like poor fit is right. Personally I don’t care who is CEO provided they enable rather than disable Ange. He’s the real leader of our club now that Pedro’s spending his golden years pounding Barassie beach.

  25. TMcL @ 11.59



    Have you ever had a server farm in your second bedroom?



    My experience:


    IT professional = yes.


    IT project manager = no.



    Also Star Wars vs Star Trek?


    Bigger division than UNIX vs Windows.



    Normally company statements don’t big up the new guy



    They sometimes do where the new guy is recruited internally.





    TIMMY7_NOTED on 14TH SEPTEMBER 2021 9:05 AM



    And during the summer you could sign on and get your digs paid for too, happy days






    Indeedy: I remember staying at a beachfront private hoose in Saloniki for the equivalent of around a fiver, which included a morning cheese pastry and a ‘kafes’ served in a rustic, chipped cup delivered to my room.


    Or changing a tenner for Slav currency in Zagreb and eating/drinking 3 meals and still having change to spare.






    THEHANDOFGOD – it’s generally been the case that Seville are the toffs team, and Betis the left wing workers.




    ‘Sevilla Futbol Club was founded in 1905 by Spanish aristocracy, but all was not well in the fledgling club’s boardroom. Two years later, in a row over the refusal to sign a player who came from a poor socioeconomic background, two directors of the club decided to break away and founded Betis Futbol Club. Naturally, Betis FC attracted the working classes and took on a left-wing reputation (a liberal reputation it retains to this day), but curiously enough, the club also gained the support of the then King of Spain, Alfonso XIII. Thus, when Betis FC merged with another club, Sevilla Balompie, in 1914, the club adopted the prefix ‘Real’ (royal) to become Real Betis Balompie. For much of the 20th century, Sevilla was the much wealthier and established club, but such economic disparities do not adhere to modern times.’

  28. PLB @ 12.01



    And so the campaign continues …


    The more that gets out means the more that the board have mucked it up.



    So he couldn’t fit in with a exec team that gave us season 20/21.


    If he was a “poor fit” — why didn’t he fit in?



    He didn’t fit in — I hope he wears that badge with pride.

  29. Ernie.



    I don’t think you’re allowed to say comedienne any longer. It’s sexist. I’m not even sure you’re allowed to say sexist either because it assumes stuff that you shouldn’t be assuming and offends some people. I think we can still say people.



    She’s no a funny wummin imo,she disnae know her place.@harryenfield lol


    Nae assumption there,but each to their own.


    My answer was to Tam the confused ranter(JustHowBanal) who focus more on unfunny tweets while not having a word to say bout the violence inflicted by continual austerity and war on the poorest by his fascist enablers.



  30. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 14TH SEPTEMBER 2021 11:30 AM



    Imagine calling us gossip mongers. That is not very nice.



    But more importantly, Surely as a former IT professional you know the basic concept of a blog.


    Our host pens an article ie ” Blood on the boardroom” and we discuss it



    Simple, and it would be rude not to.