John Hartson provides his Dom McKay Celtic exit theory

By David Walton

September 13, 2021

John Hartson believes that former Celtic CEO Dom McKay could’ve been undermined in his role amid his shock departure at the weekend.

McKay left the club after only 72 days as Peter Lawwell’s replacement. Celtic confirmed the news on their official website, citing “personal reasons” for the former SRU chief’s departure.

The decision came as a huge surprise to the Celtic supporters. Especially considering McKay had made big promises about the club’s long-term future since coming in. Everything looked to be going smoothly from the outside too after a big summer transfer window.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And there’s something about the McKay exit that has irked Hoops great Hartson as he reflected on the news.

Speaking via Go Radio, the former Hoops striker said: “Of course, if it’s for family reasons he’s done absolutely the right thing because family always comes first. But I’m also thinking as well, you don’t walk away from a great opportunity, a great post after 72 days.

“The chief executive has to have a water-tight relationship with both the manager and the chairman. That’s ultimately what the relationship has to be. It has to be watertight between the chairman and the manager. Now I just think, at some stage he might have been undermined. Maybe there’s been influences within Celtic that have intervened.

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“He wants to be in charge of the whole shooting match. Everything. And I think somebody might have been stepping on his toes. And I also think there’s a possibility that he might have just gone for that particular reason. He’s jumped. But in general, there’s a possibility that he might have been undermined at some stage, when he wanted to come in and make an immediate impact. I thought he did make a good impact, but I believe that’s a possibility as well. That’s why he left his position.”

Dom McKay Celtic exit couldn’t have been more surprising

It’s fair to say the news on Saturday shocked the Celtic support massively. There were just no signs that McKay was even considering an exit. Or that the club was potentially looking to move him on.

The Hoops had just come out of a seriously productive summer transfer window. A window in which McKay can be pretty proud of in truth. He managed to help revamp the squad whilst ensuring we got decent figures in for our best players who didn’t want to stay.

All the while he’s had to deal with improving the fractured relationship between the club and its supporters. McKay was making progress on many fronts, or at least he was from the outside.

Dom McKay has officially left Celtic (Credit – Celtic FC)

What’s most concerning is the picture this paints. It makes things seem as though everything is a touch messy at the moment at Celtic Park. Thankfully, however, manager Ange Postecoglou is showing no signs of following McKay.

We can all speculate over what truly happened with McKay. The idea of him simply walking out for personal reasons, however, just feels unlikely. Regardless of whether it was in an official statement by the club.

Now, it’s all about finding what direction to move in as a football club. McKay’s time at Celtic has hardly been wasted. Taking the transfer window and the managerial appointment into account, he can be satisfied with some of the decisions that were taken under his tenure. It’s just a shame it all ended so prematurely.

In other news, Carl Starfelt tells Celtic support that he has “more to give”