Every promise Dom McKay has made to Celtic fans

By Euan Davidson

June 26, 2021

Don’t get us wrong; we were pretty impressed by Dominic McKay and his performance at Celtic Park yesterday.

While, admittedly, he likes a buzzword and some corporate language, that’s the nature of his work over a successful career. The way he turned the SRU and professional Rugby in Scotland was, by all accounts, staggering. His work in communications bodes well, and most importantly: he’s a massive Celtic fan.

What was most surprising yesterday, you could argue, was the sheer volume of promises McKay made to fan media yesterday. Alongside Ange Postecoglou, McKay was clearly buzzing [67 Hail Hail on YouTube]. There are some long-held ideas he wanted to get off his chest, and there was something infectious in his enthusiasm.

Like every significant institution, McKay knowingly finds himself under scrutiny from Celtic supporters. That’s not a bad thing, obviously, and it’s a challenge he seems to be relishing. So far, at least.

Let’s take a look at every promise McKay made during yesterday’s fan media conference, in his own words.

McKay on Better communication with supporters

“Hopefully today demonstrates my openness and keen-ness to engage. And that’s going to be a cornerstone of my administration.”

Getting supporters back at Celtic

“I’ve really missed it, you’ve really missed it, being in and amongst friends and colleagues watching the games. I think we’re making some good steps forwards.

“We’re working really hard with the Government and the city to get as many supporters as we can back in for that European game [against FC Midtjylland].”

Evolution of footballing operations, becoming ‘World Class’

“My intention is… to make sure we evolve and modernise the club. So what does that mean? What that means to me, is looking at every single part of the club. Whether that’s football, whether that’s business, whether that’s engagement. Making sure we’re benchmarked – are we the best we possibly can be? Are we world class in these areas?

Lennoxtown / (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

McKay on Ensuring Celtic have a ‘World Class’ Academy

“We want to look at all parts of the organisation, including the Academy, to make sure it’s World Class, and make sure it’s ready for the next 10 years. We need to evolve that, modernise that further, and we’ll absolutely do that.”

On Transfer policy and coaching staff

“[Ange] gets a blank canvas in terms of appointing the people he needs around him. That extends to making that we, together, work to get the best possible talent through the Academy, the best possible talent in from overseas if that’s required, or from the UK.

“[Ange] is pivotal to everything we do in terms of recruitment.

“We want to leave no stone left unturned, in terms of bringing talent into the club.”

Dom McKay and his Ten Year Plan

“Every element of the club needs to make sure it remains as professional, as slick and as World Class as it should be. We operate in a high-performance environment, we want to make sure we’ve got the best possible tools and people and processes at our disposal.

“So every part of the organisation, I’m going to want to make sure is ready for the next ten years. That’s my mission. Having done that, pretty much in rugby… I want to make sure we’re ready for the next ten years.

“Whether it’s in data analytics, whether it’s in recruitment, whether it’s in engagement, whether that’s on investment in facilities, whether it’s up at Lennoxtown or Barrowfield or here at the stadium, I want to make sure that we’re ready for the next ten years. And that we’re surprising and delighting people along the way.

“We can’t take shortcuts. We’ve got to do things right.”

McKay is desperate to get supporters back to Paradise / (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Our take: change is hard, but McKay is making the right noises

None of this is to criticise McKay. On the contrary, these are the kind of ideas and the smart strategic thinking we’ve been crying out for. Lawwell, despite all his trophies, seemed a very analogue CEO in a world turned digital. Dominic McKay is of a newer school of thought, and with so much to prove to Celtic supporters, he’ll understand the responsibilities he has.

Dominic McKay has obviously had a successful enough career to ostensibly run a top football club. He’s done that by delivering on aims, and that’s hard to do. So, there’s reason to be confident in him, but when you make big plans in football, you’ve got to back them up.

McKay speaks well, but it’s his actions that will define his era at Celtic. He’s already led the assault to bring in a manager that would undoubtedly raise eyebrows, but that he believes is the right choice. Ange Postecoglou is unmistakably a McKay hire.

For once, though: excitement. We didn’t hear any of this kind of thing, in any meaningful way, up to now. Yes, the trophies came in their bunches, and we’re not ungrateful for all the incredible success we’ve had. But football is cyclical, times change and so too do the methods to achieve success.

If McKay delivers on these promises, we might just have that “World Class” club he’s dreaming of.

Watch Hamish and Euan discuss yesterday’s fan media conference on our YouTube channel

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