Last week Celtic delivered the news everyone had been waiting for, however, it was a case of too little too late from the Glasgow’s Green & White. “Celtic F.C, a club like no other” is the cry we hear from the Club’s Social Media accounts, week in week out. However, this season has proven this to be a negative statement after failure in all departments during the biggest season in the club’s history left fans rioting. With his departure only a week ago, Neil Lennon will know oh-so-well that his decision making both on and off the park was at the forefront of this downturn. The 49 year old from Lurgan has been ripped of his “Legendary” status by many, whilst leaving most bewildered by his obscene use of his £100 million squad. Many decisions in key moments this season have cost Celtic and Lennon, rightly so, must hold his hands up to this.
After 17 years at the club, Chief Executive Peter Lawwell has announced his resignation from his position at Celtic Park come the end of the season after continued resistance from the Celtic support. Several key decisions in the biggest season of the clubs history were made with the failure to put the neither the Club or the fans at the forefront. This led to various instances of upheaval from the Celtic faithful, including mass gatherings outside the stadium with chants of “Sack the board” and “Lawwell get to f**k” being heard. Various banners were also placed on fences outside Celtic Park with strongly worded messages directed at the Chief Executive. After announcing his decision to step down Lawwell commented: “I will always be very proud of what we have achieved together and it has been a particular privilege to be involved throughout a period in the club’s history which has brought immense domestic success – as well as so many great European nights at Celtic Park.
“I first discussed the possibility of my retirement with the Chairman last year and we were keen to ensure an orderly handover to a new CEO once we had found the right candidate. Now that the process to select Dominic McKay as my successor is complete, I feel the time is now right to announce my retirement at the end of this season.
“Dominic will inherit a first-class executive team and a superb group of colleagues. I am grateful to them all for the backing I have received during the past 17 years. I have also owed a great deal to the unstinting guidance and support from [Principal Shareholder] Dermot Desmond, someone who has been so fundamental to our success on and off the field.
“In addition, I thank our present Chairman Ian Bankier, previous Chairmen and board members I have worked with, as well as Neil Lennon and the other five football managers and their backroom teams and, of course, so many great players at Celtic Park across the years who have given me and our supporters so much pleasure through a sustained period of success. I know that they will provide the same unwavering support and help to Dominic as they help to build on our past success.”
Dominic MacKay – “SOS”
Celtic recently announced that current Scottish Rugby Chief Operating Officer Dominic McKay will be appointed as its CEO on 1st July.
A Celtic season ticket holder, McKay will take over from long-serving Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell, who announced he will retire at the end of the 2019/20 football season.
McKay is currently COO of Scottish Rugby Union, and Chairman of the Guinness Pro14 League. He joined Scottish Rugby in January 2008 as Director of Communications and Public Affairs from his previous post at Pernod Ricard. He was named in his current role as COO in 2015.
During his time at Scottish Rugby, he has been responsible for all group commercial matters, corporate affairs, government relations, stadium, and facilities, as well as overseeing the development of Scotland’s two top rugby clubs, Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby.
“It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I look forward to beginning my new role as chief executive officer of Celtic,” said McKay.
“Celtic is the premier football club in Scotland and one of the most recognisable football brands globally, with our fans and sporting ethos known and respected throughout the world.
“I look forward to working with Peter and the board to ensure a seamless transition. In Peter Lawwell, I can think of no better example to follow. His experience and leadership have been the cornerstones of Celtic’s success, success that I will now look to build on going forward. I thank him and the wider board for their support and encouragement.
Who’s next in the hotseat?
As expected there has been numerous names thrown into the cauldron with the aim of resurging Celtic into the force they once were. With John Kennedy most likely to take the job until the end of the season, this give time for valuable research and a thorough process to be undertaken. Former players, Legends, Ex- Premier League managers and European exploiters have all been discussed this week and we have chosen those best suited to a job of this stature with a full restructuring job expected to take place in the summer:
The former Celtic fans favourite has years of experience with the best players in the world, in his current role as Assistant Coach for the Belgium national team. There, he’s worked with coaches like Thierry Henry, now at Montreal Impact. The players he’s coached come under some of the finest names in European football – Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Toby Alderweireld, Eden Hazard, Youri Tielemans and more. De Bruyne – arguably the best midfielder in the world – said “he is one of the most educated managers I have worked under and he has taught me many great things”. This is a man who is currently being managed by none other than Pep Guardiola. If this doesn’t tell a story I don’t believe many things will…
Recently relieved by the club who presented him with the Legend status of today, the Chelsea icon will be keen to reignite his managerial career with a new challenge A.S.A.P. Previously rivals with Gerrard, Lampard will be keen to restart this rivalry, using his European pedigree and Champions League winners medal to his advantage in Europe. Added to with three Premier League titles and a Europa League, Lampard is no secret to winning silverware and has shown a passion to win at every level which could give him the mental edge over Gerrard.
One of Celtics all-time greats, Larsson is no amateur in the managerial game. Currently plying his trade as Ronald Koemans number two under the lights of the Camp Nou, the Swede will be looking to make the next step in his journey by returning to the hotseat in a similar environment. With previous Celtic experience, including reaching the UEFA Cup Final in 2003, Larsson knows what it takes for Celtic to reach their peak from his playing days and this could be vital in the clubs revival.
The current Scotland manager has continued to defy the odds north of the border at every hurdle. Despite claiming to be a Kilmarnock fan, Clarke’s family are known to be massive Hoops fans and this may just be a turning point if the job is presented to him after the Euros this summer. After finishing third with a mid-table Kilmarnock team last year, Clarke collected not one but two Manager of the year awards. This resulted in an SOS call from the Scottish national team, one in which he “could not refuse”. Defying the odds, Clarke has written his name in the Scottish history books, leading the Tartan army to European qualification for the first time in over 20 years
Rafa Benitez – (Our Favourite)
Rafa is one of the greatest managers in the modern game, guiding Liverpool to their famous Champions League victory in Istanbul, captained by current Rangers Boss, Steven Gerrard being one of his many achievements. This would be an incredible coup for the Celts with Benitez coming off the back of a £19 million a year salary in China. With an obvious pay cut needed, Benitez stated in January that he would be open to a move to the Glasgow giants come summer time, with the world famous atmosphere and chance of silverware being the key factors.
In’s and Out’s?
After Celtic failed to gather 10 in a row it remains evident that a huge overhaul will be conducted come the end of the season. Captain Scott Brown looks to be on his last legs at the age of 35 and will most likely adopt a coaching role in the seasons to come. He is said to be conisidering his retirement at the end of next season with one year overseas most likely. The rise of David Turnbull combined with poor form has left Ryan Christie’s agent discussing options south of the border with various clubs said to be interested. Flamboyant Frenchman, Odsonne Edouard has made his feelings known and is set to return to France with the hope of European football.
Check out our ‘CELTIC FC: TRANSFER TALK’ article where we discuss Celtic’s options…