We actually got to see Celtic chief Dominic McKay today!
McKay, who hasn’t even properly started as CEO, has borne the brunt of criticism from some supporters. That’s despite not actually being in place yet, his role in Project: Salvage at Parkhead has been much maligned. You have to wonder what he was thinking, prior to today’s announcement.
After all, he’s taking over from a very divisive figure in Peter Lawwell. That, and the club has lurched from crisis to disaster at a rate of knots since even before he was announced. The incoming chief has quite the job to do, and you can imagine there were a few sleepless nights on his way to this morning’s pomp and ceremony over Ange Postecoglou.
He’ll sleep soundly tonight, though. And he deserves to, frankly. But what comes next on the agenda for the likeable ex-SRU man?
Here are some burning questions for Dominic McKay.
Will John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan be part of the next phase at Celtic?
Whether fairly or otherwise, a lot of supporters don’t want two of Neil Lennon’s team from last season anywhere near the dugout. In John Kennedy’s case, he had a pretty impossible job to do, but still failed to impress in what definitely wasn’t an audition for the top job.
Kennedy ended up being a bit disappointing, in truth. Results continued to be poor, and aside from two excellent wins over St Johnstone and Livingston, the free-flowing, attacking football we hoped for under the ex-Scotland international didn’t really come. He lacked bravery in big moments, and that yielded some of the worst Glasgow Derby performances in recent memory.
As for Strachan, we talk about modernising the club, but lampoon the man with the iPad. In truth, I find it a bit confusing, but only because we don’t really know what Gavin Strachan actually does. As a first-team coach, you’d assume he leads training, but he also has the look of a Data Analyst. If he is leading training, he’s clearly got the memo from the boardroom marked “Don’t bother training the team to defend set-pieces”.
Both men could feature to some degree under Postecoglou, and quietly rebuild their reputations. Few will be chasing them out of the door like they are now, if that was the case. But it’d be a bold move, and maybe not the right one. So the question is: what’s going to happen to this unpopular pair in the near future?
Who is helping Postecoglou sign players for Celtic?
Another biggie, this. Nick Hammond left the club months ago, and while Jay Lefevre, Peter Houston and Tosh McKinlay are at the club, there’s confusion over who does what, and who has the ultimate say on scouting targets for the club.
This is where a Director of Football may come in handy (we’ll get to that). Or a Sporting Director. A ‘Transfer Guru’, if you like. Will Ange Postecoglou being the all-seeing eye, a la Brendan Rodgers, and drive the recruitment strategy too, or will he have someone working above him to allocate scouting funds, pinpoint weak areas in the team and set the agenda?
It’d be good to know, purely because if it goes wrong like it did this season, blaming the wrong people is hardly a worthwhile exercise. Ideally, we wouldn’t have to blame anyone, for anything. But in the words of Kurtis Blow, these are the breaks.
Is the club still pushing to sign a Director of Football?
It’s all gone a bit quiet on a particular front. While there was the groaning over Fergal Harkin not coming to the club after weeks of speculation, there wasn’t the usual “ah well, who now?” atmosphere that follows a disappointment like that. Example: after Howe-gate (as I’m insisting on calling it), Postecoglou immediately appeared as the next favourite.
That hasn’t really happened with the Harkin saga. Not really, anyway. Shaun Maloney was tentatively linked with some kind of role at the club [Daily Record], and for the record, we’re into it. Our Europa League rivals, including Lille, have benefitted enormously from having a Sporting Director with fantastic contacts, pipping PSG to win Ligue 1. He’s now being linked with Manchester United, amongst others [Sky Sports].
If you ask us, that kind of forward thinking and strategy would be immensely popular, as well as successful. As much as we hate to say it, our rivals south of the Clyde have this kind of model, and it worked for them last season.
Modernising is important, yet the trail seems to have gone cold. Does Dominic McKay have another trick up his sleeve for the short term? We hope so.
More of this kind of thing? Check out Hamish Carton’s latest video “Dominic McKay’s exciting plans to “modernise” Celtic” on the 67 Hail Hail YouTube channel.