The real reasons behind the Dom McKay exit leave Celtic with a lot of explaining to do

By Euan Davidson

September 11, 2021

Yesterday was a bad day for Celtic, with Dom McKay making an exit from the club after just 71 full days as CEO.

There’s no getting around that. It’s an event that’s going to have a seismic impact over the next weeks and months, until a permanent successor is named, or the club at least clarify what happened.

After “personal reasons” were cited by Celtic in a statement, it sounded as if it was an amicable agreement between both parties. What’s emerged since hints at anything but.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In The Herald, Alison McConnell has written that McKay was a deemed an “imperfect fit” at the club, barely months after joining and covering an intense summer of transfer activity.

An “inauspicious impression” was left by McKay at Celtic Park, and the club had to act on what they deemed to be a regrettable choice as CEO.

The Daily Record stated that McKay was pushed to quit before he was sacked. Disagreements had come to a head in the Celtic camp, and that was that.

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Of course, plenty of questions arise here: just what was it that Dom McKay was or wasn’t doing? Is it possible that his ideas about modernising weren’t compatible with the club’s ethos?

Or, conversely, was he not working quickly enough? While the transfer business was fruitful, his talk about structures and modernisation had to have won the board over before it could the fans.

Celtic dealing with another mess after McKay exit

What’s left now is an overriding feeling of worry. The rhetoric so far has been that either it’s not a huge deal. Or, that the board didn’t like the cut of McKay’s modernisation jib, and something more sinister is at play here.

Again, the mixed information has left fans wondering how honest the board are being with them.

Simply put, Celtic couldn’t risk being made to look incompetent. Hiring a guy for such a massive role, then discarding him less than three months later would’ve made the club look hasty and badly organised.

Therefore, “personal reasons”. However, the club must’ve been cognisant of the fact that the real issues behind McKay’s exit would quickly emerge. You could make your own arguments about whether the info was coming from Celtic, in order to paint their narrative. It’s subjective.

Ange Postecoglou and Dom McKay

Either way, it’s hard to argue this isn’t anything other than a bad look for the club. If the board were serious enough about McKay’s theories, but not the execution, then surely they’d want someone from outside the club with fresh ideas and impetus.

If they hire from within, that sends the opposite message.

Overall, it’s a mess. And Celtic are going to have to act quickly to put this fire out.

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