Celtic failing to show any crisis management improvement after UCL exit

By David Walton

July 30, 2021

The Celtic response to Wednesday night’s UCL exit at the hands of Midtjylland has been both predictable and disappointing.

Last season, the Hoops support was used to being ignored by the club after bad results. It led to full-blown empathy amongst large sections of the Hoops faithful too. There was ignorance, arrogance, and dismissive tendencies within the club when it came to how it viewed its fanbase.

Celtic fans were given reason to believe this year would be different. The arrival of Dom McKay as the new CEO meant that the shadow of Peter Lawwell had finally departed. A new way of working was upon us. A new era of fan engagement.

It was always going to be easy for McKay to come across well in the early stages. Say the right things and show you’re a keen Celtic supporter. That’s all he had to do to pass his initian inspection.

But now he’s been given his first major challenge. His first sign of adversity. McKay promised to ensure Postecoglou had the tools to deal with his short-term challenges [Daily Record]. Instead, Celtic went into Midtjylland with no senior centre-backs or reliable right-back options. You could say we were in fact short in five positions including goalkeeper, right-back, left-back, centre-back, and left-wing.

Ange took responsibility, now the Celtic board must do the same

Nobody expected all of those positions to be sorted. However, there were some glaring holes that needed filled that simply haven’t been. Or at least weren’t in time for Midtjylland.

Want to join the discussion?

Join the 67 Hail Hail Forum now and have your say

Join the forum now >>

And Celtic’s response to the defeat is just as disappointing. The club has been totally tone-deaf. McKay hasn’t been in front of the cameras to explain the shortages. Ian Bankier hasn’t been anywhere near the public view either despite being the club “chairman”.

Yesterday, Celtic effectively tried to act as though the game didn’t happen. We bigged up Carl Starfelt for what feels like the third time. The club behaved as though it wanted fans to simply forget what happened.

Celtic failing to address UCL exit isn’t a promising sign

McKay could’ve done himself a huge favour yesterday by getting in front of cameras and offering an explanation. Even if it had to be an in-house interview.

It wouldn’t have even mattered if fans disagreed with elements of his explanation. Just the sign that he was ready to front up to the disappointment would’ve been so promising.

Look, we don’t expect the CEO to throw himself out into the spotlight after every poor result. But Wednesday night was a special case.

Dom McKay: needs to answer to fans already / (Credit – Celtic FC)

The club has known for seven months that we would be short in the areas we were. McKay is the man in the hot seat and therefore it’s down to him to answer why we didn’t tackle those issues.

It’s clear what the tactic is from here on in. Keep silent and allow Ange to do his pre-match presser and answer questions himself. With a bit of luck, we’ll win at Hearts and there we go – crisis averted. High fives all round.

The fact is that Postecoglou has nothing to front up to. We know why his Celtic side lost on Wednesday and it has very little to do with him. He can’t answer why we haven’t strengthened in key positions. He can’t explain the short-termism that plagued this club in January and is still having a lasting effect.

Wednesday night was on the board. Thursday’s response was on McKay. The tone-deaf silence hardly gives us grounds for optimism that we’re entering a new era of positive fan engagement.

How Celtic have responded to Wednesday night is already bitterly disappointing.

In other news, Hearts boss Robbie Neilson defends Ange Postecoglou and Celtic