Paul John Dykes was joined by Laura Bradburn, Jim Orr and Anthony Haggerty on the latest edition of A Celtic State of Mind, during which the panel spent plenty of time talking about the news that Peter Lawwell will be retiring as Celtic’s chief executive in the summer.
It’s been revealed that Dominic McKay, a communications specialist who is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Rugby and the Chairman of the Guinness PRO14 competition, will be taking over from Lawwell with immediate effect following his departure from the Glasgow club.
On the topic of McKay’s impending arrival at Celtic, Bradburn shared that she is “concerned” the incoming Celtic chief will want to take his time to assess things at Parkhead, rather than make immediate changes, and as a result, manager Neil Lennon will remain in charge.
The Hoops pundit said: “The only concern that I have is a situation where maybe the CEO comes in, the new guy, and sort of says, ‘well, I want to assess things, I want to see where we are and what’s happening’ – and therefore, Neil Lennon, by default, keeps his job.
“We’re all talking about there needing to be changes on the football side and I think that is a major issue. I’m just concerned that there’s going to be a situation where he decides to assess things rather than take action – unless this has all been going on in the background, which it must have been and he’s identified a person to come in and do the job that he wants, done.”
Will Lennon be at Celtic next season?
TIF Thoughts on Bradburn’s “concern” about McKay at Celtic…
It may be fair to say that the 2020/21 campaign has not gone well for Celtic, with the club out of Europe, out of the Scottish League Cup and while they’re technically not yet out of the Premiership title race, they trail their Old Firm rivals Rangers by a significant margin and look unlikely to win a historic 10th-straight Scottish top-flight title.
So, if McKay is to make a good first impression on Hoops supporters, then perhaps it would be a good decision to move on from Lennon after what is looking likely to be a failure of a campaign.
The incoming chief executive will presumably want to enjoy a successful first season at Parkhead and avoid the fan protests against Lennon that have happened this term, so with the 49-year-old’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, surely McKay and the rest of the Celtic decision-makers shouldn’t hand him a new deal.
It may be understandable why Bradburn is worried by the possibility that McKay will not want to make such a big decision as replacing the manager so early in his Celtic tenure and, as a result, might keep Lennon on, but it would also be a big decision to hand him a new deal, so you could argue that he will immediately be forced into a major call straight away, regardless, and it will be interesting to see what he decides to do.