Andy Walker urges Dom McKay to start turning round Celtic "managed decline"

By David Walton

April 19, 2021

Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker has already thrown pressure on Dominic McKay to turn things around at Celtic immediately.

McKay officially starts at Parkhead today after being signed up by the Hoops from the Scottish Rugby Union. McKay will officially take over from Peter Lawwell on July 1st, but will be part of a transitioning period between now and then.

Interestingly, McKay took the trip to Ibrox to watch Celtic in action during yesterday’s Scottish Cup fourth-round defeat. His presence will have been a positive for Celtic supporters considering he wasn’t even officially scheduled to have started in his new role.

But Walker, who slammed Celtic for the 2-0 loss yesterday, is already putting some massive weight on his shoulders as he steps into the club.

“It was interesting”

Speaking on Sky Sports News [19/04, 10:05], Walker said: “The result was entirely predictable. Rangers had all the best players in Patterson, Aribo, Kent, Davis. They were all on top form and Celtic couldn’t cope. Rangers are used to European competition and they soaked up a bit of pressure.

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“I thought it was interesting to see Dominic McKay there. I think that tells you that change is on its way. It has to happen as quickly as possible. Every Celtic supporter has been left in the lurch after this supposed January review.

“We have seen some third-rate decision-making over the last couple of seasons and that’s what McKay has to address. There’s been a managed decline here and he has to get on top of it. The sooner he gets involved in appointing a new head coach, manager or director of football the better.”

Andy Walker bang on about Celtic decision-making, but Dominic McKay can’t work overnight wonders

As Celtic supporters, all we can truly be certain of is that change will arrive at the club before the Champions League qualifiers in July. Outside of that, we’ve been given no bones to chew on by the board. Nobody outside of the Celtic Park boardroom has any idea as to how long the managerial/director of football hunt is going to go on for.

And the same goes for McKay’s transition period at Celtic. Nobody knows what that’s going to involve over the next few months. It’s anyone’s guess as to what autonomy McKay even has before Lawwell departs, even if we have an idea of how much involvement he SHOULD have.

But it was promising to see him at the game yesterday. When the Premier Sports cameras panned in on him, it was a sign of change. Something fresh for the Celtic supporters to look at. A reassurance that McKay was watching the exact same guff that we were watching.

Dominic McKay (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Fans have automatically had a good feeling about McKay ever since he was officially announced earlier this year. The fact he’s an out-and-out Celtic fan is the first positive. The second, and perhaps the most important, the growth in Scottish Rugby during his tenure there has been unprecedented.

But he’s hardly coming in at an ideal time and with a quiet summer ahead. It’s as much of a baptism of fire as he’s going to have at the club. He can’t be expected to turn everything around overnight without any slip-ups. He’s human like the rest of us – not a magician.

There are several steps he could take of course that would instantly see him taken in by the supporters. An increased openness and communication level with fans is a key element of the disillusioned state of the Celtic fan base. If he can sort that out in the long run, he’ll go a long way to becoming a successful Celtic Chief Executive.

But at the same time, he must also be allowed room for error even if we feel there is none.

In other news, a Celtic academy product has been credited for bagging his first senior goal in football.