Our view: Sutton is right, but Celtic man Dermot Desmond cannot work on spite alone

By Euan Davidson

February 13, 2021

Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond will be fuming.

According to Chris Sutton [Daily Record], the Celtic bankroller watched Rangers over come Ronny Deila’s side [BBC]. It was in the moments when the Rangers board were celebrating, that Desmond decided to launch his bid for Brendan Rodgers.

4 trebles followed. Now, though, we find ourselves in a situation where Dave King is gloating again.

Sutton finished his column by stating:

“I can’t imagine Desmond is just to roll over and accept his management of Celtic being publicly filleted.

Lawwell is moving on and the changes at Parkhead are going to be sweeping for the next few months as they look to get back what’s been lost.

Desmond would surely have had big plans, in any case.

But I can’t believe they have not just got up a notch or two with King’s derisory tone.”

All fine and well. Sutton has insider knowledge of the club, and will have dealt with Dermot Desmond. It’s good insight. But there’s a problem here:

Are the Celtic hierarchy’s motivations solely based on spite?

Game’s a bogey; Dermot Desmond / (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Celtic bankroller Dermot Desmond should be acting out of pride

It’s concerning, to this Celtic fan, that Dermot Desmond hasn’t already intervened this season. The club he helps to bankroll is taking hit after hit. Stupid decisions, like the Dubai trip, or holding on to Neil Lennon, ultimately fall to his board.

He can’t make up his mind as to whether he’s an absentee landlord or a hands-on director. One of his sons is taking on a bigger role behind the scenes, which implies he wants a bigger influence at the club. But his actions seem reactive rather than proactive.

Now, I for one understand being horrified by the joy of anyone associated with Rangers.

However, that can’t be the sole driver of change at the club. It’s too little, too late. Celtic have endured an incredible decline over the space of just one season, with months still left. Desmond, if he has ultimate influence, should use his sway to bolster the club because of the fans that drive money into it, and make us world-famous. The supporters are the lifeblood of this club; that should be Desmond’s motivation, not Dave King dishing out patter.

This is no knock on Chris Sutton; I can’t be clear enough. He’s right that this will hopefully kick Desmond into some action. The fact we’re here, though, is due to neglect. Desmond might not care, but he’s not going to win any new fans by reacting far too late.

He has the resources and, supposedly, the willingness to make Celtic a force. The fact is, he couldn’t be bothered to do so until we lost our chance to create history.

ELSEWHERE: former Celt Jack Aitchison reflects on his time at the club.