Reviewing the Dom McKay Celtic promises as transfer window closure looms

By Euan Davidson

August 26, 2021

Celtic CEO Dom McKay came to the club brandishing promises. The former SRU chief, with a history in marketing and sports development, seemed a good coup for the club, after years of Peter Lawwell.

His comparative youth, his earnestness and the freshness of his ideas were welcomed by many supporters. Others, meanwhile, were wary. Speaking like a politician, or like a marketing guru, isn’t going to please everyone.

Because ultimately, nobody can please everyone.

Not least the Celtic board. After a tumultuous 20-21, the trust between the board and supporters was wafer-thin, if it existed at all. Sure, when Dom arrived, he did end up appointing a manager in Ange Postecoglou. But would he get sufficient backing? Would the promises of exciting, attacking football be delivered successfully?

It’s too early to tell, in most cases. However, there are some key things McKay said when was fully unveiled to the press alongside Ange [67 Hail Hail YouTube]. Of his promises that day, what has been delivered, and what hasn’t?

Dom McKay Promise 1: Getting fans back to Celtic Park

What McKay said:

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“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].”

What happened: Promise delivered. He’s one for one. In fairness, we don’t know how much this was down to the lobbying of Celtic as much as it was expected. The Scottish Government have lifted a number of Covid safety protocols, and it’s an ongoing situation.

However, yeah; McKay said he’d get fans back in. Fans are back in.

Dom McKay Promise 2: Communication with supporters

What McKay said:

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

What happened: In fairness, it’s been a bit better, hasn’t it? Celtic opened up new channels to Japan after Kyogo joined the club. That was a very shrewd move.

The Birthday Tweets have pretty much stopped, and fans are able to watch press conferences and interviews with members of the First Team, the B Team and Celtic FC Women.

Ange Postecoglou and Dom McKay

The real test will come when things aren’t so peachy at the club. That, and supporters clubs like the Celtic Trust aren’t overly impressed with how communication has been with CSCs over the summer.

So, for now, it’s pass marks but with reservations.

Dom McKay Promise 3: Giving Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou carte blanche

What McKay said:

“[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.”

What happened: Interesting one, this. In the transfer market, it would be hard to argue Postecoglou hasn’t been backed. Academy graduates have been used in matches, overseas talent has most certainly been brought in, and some great inter-UK deals have been struck.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Think Adam Montgomery and Dane Murray. Then, Kyogo Furuhashi, Carl Starfelt, Liel Abada and Josip Juranovic. In terms of the UK, Joe Hart has been an excellent signing, McCarthy is promising, while Shaw and Urhoghide are developing.

As for staff, specifically, there hasn’t been anything yet. As far as we can tell, Postecoglou is working with the incumbents from previous Celtic regimes, and to very decent effect.

He could still bring in some of his own staff, and usually has in previous jobs. However, the infrastructure that didn’t seem to work last season has been fruitful thus far.

There’s still plenty of work to do in this regard. From a player perspective, he’s absolutely kept his promise. The rest is more unclear.

Read more: Why a win would be even more impressive tonight

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