Dominic McKay off to an uneasy start at Celtic; how he can ease fan anger

By David Walton

May 30, 2021

Dominic McKay has had a difficult start to life at Celtic Park, but as a born and bred supporter, he’ll surely understand the fan anger.

In fact, his frustration will almost certainly be as severe as the rest of ours. The failure to bag Eddie Howe and get him confirmed as Celtic manager is a bad look for everyone, the new CEO included.

No, he hasn’t officially taken over from Peter Lawwell yet. That isn’t due to happen until July 1st. No, this is just the smooth transitional phase. Only it’s going anything but smoothly, as Celtic have had to rush into bagging Yokohama Marinos manager Ange Postecoglou [BBC].

McKay may not officially have taken over, but he’s clearly making some big decisions already. The Daily Record reported last week that it was McKay who was looking to have everything sorted by the end of the week. That he was also apparently closing in on a Director of Football too without any further update since.

The new man hasn’t helped himself by staying in the shadows either. Since his first official day of work at Celtic Park back on April 19th, we’ve yet to see him in the flesh. You could be forgiven for wondering whether he’s even come out of the stadium since that day last month considering we haven’t heard a peep from him.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

That’s a level of silence that Celtic fans don’t like. McKay has to make himself as engaging as possible with the supporters. Failure to do so and he’ll quickly be charred with the brush of being just another one of Dermot Desmond’s puppets.

It’s a massively unfair accusation to make just now of course. But fans are beyond giving this football club time and patience.

Dominic McKay should avoid excuses; Celtic fan anger means there’s no room for it

The failure to secure Howe can’t be excused. There’s nothing McKay can tell supporters that will make us believe the club took the right decisions. But worse than that is a failure to explain it at all.

We haven’t heard a single word from the soon-to-be CEO of the club since he started working with the outgoing Lawwell. As soon as this disaster struck, that was the time for McKay to stamp his authority. A chance for him to tell Desmond and Lawwell that he was going to give a proper explanation to the supporters.

That may still happen, there’s time to do so this week or perhaps it will be saved for when the new boss is appointed. But either way, McKay can ease a lot of fan anger by giving us a detailed explanation of what exactly happened here.

Incoming Celtic CEO Dominic McKay (L), striking a rugby deal in Singapore / (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Celtic statement didn’t go far enough

Sure, Celtic released a pretty vague statement on the day of the Howe news. That’s not going to cut it though. We need some proper answers. Why did Celtic give Howe so long to sort out the backroom team? In fact, who was in charge of getting his backroom team in place? Why didn’t we find out they were unattainable weeks ago?

If McKay can come out and answer the questions fans want to know, it’ll be a promising sign. No, it won’t satisfy us or make us believe the club acted in the right manner. From the outside, this looks amateurish and naive. But it would suggest that this is a man who’s willing to leave no stone unturned in his engagement with supporters – something the fans have been begging for over the course of the last 10 months or so.

Let’s hope Dom really is a Celtic man at heart. If he is, he’ll know it deep within him that he has to give us a detailed, no-nonsense verdict on this entire saga.

In other news, how events over the last 48 hours may have affected Celtic’s transfer work.