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Dominic McKay

Discussion in 'Celtic Chat' started by Mr. Slippyfist, Jan 29, 2021.

Discuss Dominic McKay in the Celtic Chat area at TalkCeltic.net.

  1. Tony Ralston Gold Member Gold Member

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    It always has been that, his way has just been increasingly getting away from our way.
     
  2. Bobo_ Gold Member Gold Member

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    It’s not Charlie Mulgrew fs :56:
     
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  3. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    Big things were expected from Dominic McKay when he started work as Celtic chief executive on July 1.

    He lasted 72 days.

    This summer was hardly the ideal time to start as CEO of the club. McKay was immediately tasked with appointing and supporting a new manager, navigating a raft of player departures and initiating Celtic’s biggest squad rebuild in over a decade.

    All the while, he had to coordinate the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-awaited — but bureaucratically challenging — return of fans to grounds.

    And there was more…

    The Athletic also understands McKay faced a host of other, internal, challenges at the club, including differences of opinion on how to move Celtic forward, and what he perceived as an undermining of his authority.

    The exact reason for McKay’s departure is unclear, with the club only confirming on Friday that he had left for “personal reasons”.

    Ultimately, however, Celtic supporters, manager Ange Postecoglou and his players are now left confused as to the direction of the club.

    What actually happened with McKay?
    Celtic announced McKay left his position for “personal reasons”, with the specifics ambiguous.

    The Athletic can however provide context to his extraordinary two and a half months as Celtic CEO.

    After being announced as Peter Lawwell’s successor in late January, McKay saw out half of his notice period after six years as the Scottish Rugby Union’s chief operating officer before joining Celtic early in April, to help ease the transition from one chief executive to another, in the run-up to his official start date on July 1.



    The move to appoint long-time Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe as Neil Lennon’s successor fell through in late May, but McKay was peripheral to those discussions, which had begun in earnest last November. Rather, the negotiations were fronted by Lawwell and Celtic’s major shareholder, Dermot Desmond.


    The alternative to Howe, Postecoglou, was appointed in early June, and was billed as McKay’s selection. It is understood McKay was more heavily involved in discussions with the Australian than he was with Howe and the pair even hosted a joint, inaugural press conference together in June.


    It was at this press conference that Postecoglou outlined his vision of expansive, free-flowing football — and McKay presented his ambition of modernising Celtic, name-checking both La Liga side Sevilla and Premier League newcomers Brentford as businesses and sporting models to learn from.




    A week after Postecoglou’s appointment, there was speculation that former Celtic and Scotland Gordon Strachan would be appointed as sporting director — something McKay was asked about in that first press conference. He rubbished the story and stated the club would wait patiently before making structural changes or appointing a sporting director, as they wanted to make the correct appointment.




    Celtic had been on the cusp of appointing Manchester City’s football partnerships and pathways manager Fergal Harkin as sporting director in February, but pulled the plug before it could be finalised. McKay wanted to revive such a model and made an appointment one of his first objectives in his strategy for modernising the club.



    It is understood that disagreement over a prospective change to a sporting director model became a major source of tension between McKay and some of Celtic’s other board members, who did not feel ready for a change of structure or did not feel one was necessarily needed. McKay, in turn, believed this impacted his autonomy to restructure Celtic.



    It has also been suggested that Strachan’s return last month in a three-month consultancy role — while still also working as fellow Premiership side Dundee’s technical director — was a further source of tension between McKay and some board members, with multiple sources suggesting he may have felt Strachan undermined his authority during his time as CEO.



    As a counterpoint, someone close to the club’s board says they were unimpressed by McKay’s start in the role and may have felt it was time for both parties to move on.



    Another source of friction was Celtic’s handling of transfers.



    Head of football operations Nick Hammond’s departure at the end of March — effectively, he led the club’s recruitment team — left Celtic without a central, head-of-operations figure to co-ordinate incoming and outgoing transfers.




    Multiple sources external to Celtic have described their confusion over who they were supposed to contact about and negotiate over transfers. McKay, Desmond, Desmond’s son Ross, Lawwell and the club’s head of scouting operations, Jay Lefevre, all were involved in co-ordinating transfers or club matters to varying extents this summer. Michael Nicholson, the club’s head of legal and now acting CEO, was also involved.



    Sources have spoken of receiving mixed, contradictory messages from different club figures. One described Celtic as being “painfully slow” in some discussions and several mentioned not receiving replies to messages for days or sometimes weeks. When replies did come, they would sometimes be from a different club figure.



    One source described it as “messy, everyone stepping on each other’s toes”. More than one target is said to have been missed out on during this process.



    There are conflicting claims over who or what was ultimately accountable for this summer’s difficulties. One source close to the club says some board members believe McKay was too passive in the transfer market, while an external source believes the lack of a clear hierarchy of authority on transfers was responsible.



    McKay came in wanting autonomy to build his own vision of Celtic and it is believed he felt he was not being given the power to deliver that.



    The board were reluctant to concede significant day-to-day input, with some members also hesitant over McKay’s vision for the club, as well as his acumen to deliver on that vision.



    So, what impact did he have?
    Lasting only 72 days, there was little opportunity for McKay to make a real impact at Celtic but even in that limited time there were seeds of promise.


    It is understood that, coming from a PR and communications background, he was intent on improving the club’s communications and marketing.



    It has been suggested to The Athletic that McKay was involved in the move to start a partnership with Dugout Media, who specialise in behind-the-scenes video content, in February — although he did not officially start as CEO until July.


    A four-minute video of Postecoglou’s training sessions went viral on Celtic Twitter earlier this summer, both because of Postecoglou’s charisma seen in the video but also because it was something new and fresh the club had not produced previously.



    McKay also introduced fan-media conferences with the new manager and players, to build a relationship with Celtic’s popular and prominent fan-media outlets.



    But perhaps McKay’s biggest legacy is an intangible one. His primary ambition was to modernise Celtic, underpinned by a long-term strategic plan of improving their infrastructure and work practices over several years.



    That long-term vision, aspiring to be something more than just trying to win the Scottish Premiership every season, had been absent from Celtic for some time — at least in the public realm — and many fans bought into it.



    Who is Michael Nicholson, and does he have the right skill set for the job?
    Nicholson has been with Celtic in a variety of roles for over eight years. He was initially club secretary and head of legal before his 2019 promotion to director of legal and football affairs.


    He comes from a sports law background, having been a partner at the Glasgow firm Harper Macleod. He also acts as an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport and is a former council member for the Law Society of Scotland, and graduated from Harvard Business School in the US.

    Nicholson is described by club chairman Ian Bankier as “absolutely a team player” in Celtic’s statement on McKay’s departure. He is well-liked and well-regarded by the rest of the board and is close to Peter Lawwell.

    Very influential at the club, the board have considered Nicholson an executive capable of greater responsibility for several years.

    What do Celtic need from whoever comes next?
    They need to provide stability and then communicate a palatable long-term vision that everyone, from the fans to the boardroom, can get behind.

    If the board disagreed with McKay’s strategic vision for the club, or were not convinced he had the ability to deliver it, they still need to present the supporters with a similarly compelling plan, as many had bought into his and are perhaps not content to settle with the status quo.

    The next CEO will have to facilitate short-term success by providing Postecoglou (and his eventual successors) with the infrastructure to best support him but also, in the long-term, build an inclusive coalition of fans, shareholders and board members who trust in the club’s overarching direction and ambition.

    Is there any indication yet of who might get the job permanently?
    For the moment, no concrete names are being put forward.

    That Nicholson is so highly thought of internally has prompted discussion over whether he might be a viable permanent candidate, while there is the inevitable suggestion of a Lawwell return.

    But those are only rumours for now.

    Where does McKay’s departure leave Celtic and Postecoglou?
    Although Celtic lost two consecutive games before the September international break, there is nevertheless a feeling of forward momentum at the club and they did get back to winning ways on Saturday with a 3-0 home victory over Ross County.

    The vast majority of fans support the new manager and a number of this summer’s signings have already caught the imagination. There is an acceptance that this is going to be a transitional year, that the necessary squad rebuild is incomplete, and that it is unlikely Postecoglou and his new-look team can fulfil their potential until next season.

    But a transitional season needs to ultimately culminate in something. On the pitch, that means domestic silverware and respectable showings and fond memories made in European competition again. McKay’s departure inevitably raises questions about this process and its destination, however.

    Given Postecoglou was so explicitly McKay’s man, the latter’s departure partly casts doubt on his own long-term future at the club, although chairman Bankier closed Friday’s statement by name-checking the new manager: “The board, Ange, our management team and all our staff will continue to work together with the ultimate objective, as always, of delivering success for our supporters.”

    Postecoglou currently has no head of recruitment to identify targets specifically for his style of play, while it has been suggested to The Athletic that Kyogo Furuhashi and Josip Juranovic were the only two of the 12 summer signings he personally identified as players of interest.

    Given McKay was the figure lobbying for a move to a sporting director model, the imminent arrival of one, who could support Postecoglou in the club’s football operations, is now unlikely for the foreseeable future.

    Celtic have also yet to replace head of sports science Jack Nayler, who moved to the Red Bull group in late June. In July, Postecoglou even commented: “I think the areas we need (people in) are particularly in the conditioning area and the sports science area — we need some more people in to help us. It’s going to be a punishing schedule.”

    Postecoglou is currently without a CEO’s explicit backing, heads of department in both recruitment and sport science, or an overarching figurehead overseeing operations in the style of a sporting director, to help him.

    “We’ve come through a really hectic period where I think getting a squad together has been the number one priority,” he said on Saturday. “Now we get an opportunity to organise a structure around it and if I feel changes need to be made we will make those changes.”

    He, and the Celtic support, could benefit from clarity about the club’s direction.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  4. Tony Ralston Gold Member Gold Member

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    The transfer bit is interesting and McKay doesn’t come out of that looking good. He’s supposed to be the leader in there, if it’s disorganised as much as that, that’s down to him.
     
  5. Slaw

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    How hard can it be to get a sports scientist in to help? * joke
     
  6. Marie Administrator Administrator

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    Can someone summurise that please, got a headache and can't be bothered reading through it.
     
  7. Leone Naka Fan

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    Hard to lead if he is being sabotaged. He shouldn't have left on his own. Force the * to fire him, and stick with his vision till the end.
     
  8. PaddyMcCourt20

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    Celtic are one of the worst run clubs in Europe at any level.
     
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  9. Ciaran_67

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    To me, it just sounds like the dinosaurs are continuing to run this club into the ground.

    I’d say McKay wanted to change things up quite a bit and him being appointed on his revolution manifesto was done so in an effort to appease the fans and getting season tickets sold. However the old cronies, boys club board were always looking to have ultimate control.
     
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  10. Slaw

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    The board needs to be * out on their ear.. how? No idea
     
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  11. Marie Administrator Administrator

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    Cheers Paddy, all our thoughts confirmed then:(
     
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  12. Hammy89

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    Completely run as an authoritarian dictatorship.

    It's embarrassing that we don't have the structure in place. We've had 9 years of utter dominance where we should have been looking to modernise behind the scenes but instead we're now behind a club that isn't even a decade old.

    Heads should roll. The board should be lynched.

    Shoot the board.
     
  13. The Phoenix Black Lives Matter Gold Member

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    I follow that guy Kieran Devlin on Twitter.

    I like him but have no idea about his reliability when it comes to "inside" sources, or even "external" sources.

    But if even half of that article is true, it's absolutely grim.

    I always felt that the transfer window would give us an indication of the intentions for this season, and it seemed clear to me, when we failed to add the sufficient numbers after Ibrox, that we were setlling for 2nd place. This article cements that view.

    Disgusting tbh.
     
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  14. McChiellini..

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    One of the worst run 'big' club's about in so many way's..
     
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  15. Tony Ralston Gold Member Gold Member

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    We’re a joke
     
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  16. Tony Ralston Gold Member Gold Member

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    Don’t think it’s sabotage as much as incompetence.
     
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  17. s88 Gold Member Gold Member

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    That article could be put together from posts in this very thread. Anyone who joins Celtic must have some non disclosure term written into their contract, because the sheer radio silence from anyone associated with the club past or present is ridiculous. 99% of the support suspect something is rotten at board level, any sensible person can look at the way things are run and see things aren't right, yet there is never anything revealed.
     
  18. Forestbhoy66 Gold Member Gold Member

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    Sorry if I’ve missed this, but who did identify the players brought in if ange only had a hand in two ?
     
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  19. joemc

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    It's a difficult read a bit long winded, but if u read between the lines like how this has been put together it has a feeling of lack of trust at the top, certain people not being kept informed of movement, in other words persons, or person assuming responsibility for duties as their remit through frustration while not going through the channels the club directed.
     
  20. Gyp Rosetti Gold Member

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    Sounds more like that guy on the sites that noises that hun * up.