Celtic were wrong not to appoint a sporting director during the summer and are now paying the price after chief executive Dom McKay quit last week, according to journalist Stuart Hodge.
What’s been happening behind the scenes?
McKay was confirmed as Celtic’s new chief executive at the start of the year, with a view to him replacing Peter Lawwell upon his retirement during the summer.
However, it was announced in April that McKay would begin working at the club close to three months ahead of schedule, with him taking on the role alongside the outgoing Lawwell in the interim.
McKay was then a key figure in Celtic’s search for a new manager and although Eddie Howe was initially keen to take charge at Parkhead, the Hoops pulled the plug on installing the former Bournemouth boss as their new chief after negotiations broke down.
Instead, ex-Australia manager Ange Postecoglou was handed the reins in June.
Following Lawwell’s retirement, McKay became the sole chief executive at the club. But he dropped a bombshell last week by resigning due to personal reasons.
It has been reported that tension behind the scenes was a leading reason for McKay opting to walk away just 72 days into the job.
According to the Scottish Daily Mail, via 67 Hail Hail, McKay may not be the only leading figure departing Parkhead as chairman Ian Bankier is also expected to leave.
What has Stuart Hodge said about the situation?
Hodge believes Celtic should have followed up McKay’s appointment by installing a sporting director at Parkhead.
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The journalist, who was certain Howe would take charge of the Hoops in the summer, believes failing to bring in a leading board member to fill that void could prove to be a costly mistake.
Hodge told GMS: “Celtic went down the route and at the start I thought it was going to be Eddie Howe as manager, a sporting director and Dom McKay.
“The alarm bells started ringing for me when no sporting director was brought in. Nobody was brought in to oversee that side of it.”
Were Celtic close to appointing a sporting director in the summer?
Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan had been touted as a potential candidate for the job before the now-departed McKay quashed the rumours.
However, Strachan did return to Parkhead for a three-month consultancy project in August, combining his new job with his work as Dundee’s sporting director.
Speaking to Celtic TV last month, manager Postecoglou hinted bringing in a sporting director was a priority for the club but unlikely until after the transfer window closed.