Everything Dominic McKay has said about Celtic as chief executive leaves role

By Mark McDougall

It's only been a few months since Dominic McKay walked in the doors of Celtic Park and he's already on his way out of them.

Celtic announced on Friday afternoon McKay had decided to leave the club with Michael Nicholson taking over as acting chief executive for the short term.

McKay's time at Celtic hasn't been as easy as he might have hoped having taking over from Peter Lawwell at a time fans were especially unhappy.

He appeared to be winning them over before deciding to leave the club on Friday and Record Sport Online have taken a look at everything he said during his time at Celtic.

On the day he joined

Dominic McKay in the stands (PA)

“When Peter told me he was considering retirement, I did my utmost, unsuccessfully, to dissuade him.

"Celtic Football Club owes a major debt of gratitude to Peter Lawwell, who has made a unique and transformative contribution to our club. I have been privileged to work with many CEOs and Peter ranks up there with the best of them.

"Over the years, Peter was sought after by many English Premier League clubs, but his love and commitment to the club and Scotland were more important to him. Since 2003, under Peter’s tutelage, Celtic has achieved incomparable domestic success and the number of trophies is unsurpassed by any other club in Europe.

"Peter’s expertise and professionalism have been recognised by UEFA where he has been an outstanding contributor, to the benefit of both Celtic and Scottish football. I have had a first-class relationship with Peter over the years, speaking daily and often multiple times daily. The club and I will miss his wisdom, energy and unwavering devotion to Celtic FC. I cannot adequately express my thanks and appreciation to Peter for all he has done for Celtic FC.

"It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I look forward to beginning my new role as chief executive officer of Celtic. 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.

"Of course I understand that Celtic is more than just about financial results off the pitch and football results on the pitch. Celtic is built on a charitable ethos that underpins everything that happens at the football club. Developing and nurturing the rich Celtic ethos with all our supporters and stakeholders is a key component of my role going forward. I’m looking forward to supporting and building upon the great work carried out by Celtic FC Foundation to ensure that this remains at the heart of the Celtic way.

"Having spoken with Dermot Desmond I know I will have a shareholder who cares deeply about the club and who will take the time to provide advice and the benefit of his experience to help me in my new role. I thank him for his confidence and support as we embark on our journey.

"I relish the opportunity to start working with my new team, the footballing and playing staff and most importantly the supporters and to see what we can achieve together for this great club, delivering the success that Celtic is built upon."

(SNS Group)

On his main challenge

“My job as the leader of the organisation is to lift everybody’s heads back up again: the staff, the supporters and the players.

"To say this is an unbelievable club, it is global club which attracts unbelievable talent and we are going to go again. We are going to have a great journey going again.

“My challenge is to make sure the future is really positive building on these great foundations put in place by Peter and the rest of the team previous to my arriving.

"That we modernise and build those foundations out and that we benchmark ourselves, whether that is against Brentford or Seville or Manchester City or Liverpool. That we take the best parts of European football, world football with Ange having been in Australia and Japan and make sure it works for Celtic.”

On his Celtic heritage

“My first game was the Scottish Cup final in 1988, Dundee United against Celtic in the centenary year.

"My father took me to that game and at that point I fell in love with Celtic. I am deeply in love with Celtic as a club that can do great things because I had seen the joy and success in the hugs terraces at Hampden.

"I saw it in my father’s face. I thought I want to be part of this going forward. Then you get the opportunity to become a season-ticket holder, which I have been for the last 20 or so years.

"I have not been to as many games as I might like – rugby got in the way a bit – but it didn’t stop me wanting to be a season-ticket holder. It is that emotion and connection I got with the club.

“But it was a big decision for me to come to Celtic because I am a fan. It needed to be right for me from a business point of view. I thought about that pretty seriously because once you are part of something you are really passionate about then you need to make sure you are adding value constantly.

"My fan bit really stops when I walk through the front door. I am in here to make sure I set the standards, set the culture, set the organisation on the right footing to make sure we are as successful as we can be in the years ahead.”

On Peter Lawwell staying

"He's been kind enough to say he is on the end of the phone if there are any interesting questions I want to bounce off him.

"He's achieved so much and, during the whole transition, Peter's been fantastic to me.

"We've got two more years on the European Club Association and that's a really important role for Scotland and for the club, so he will stay engaged with that."

On Ange Postecoglou joining

"I think securing Ange is a huge coup - we have a winner in Ange. I am hugely impressed by his plans and philosophy.

"My priority is to settle Ange in and have a productive pre-season and then start to evolve and modernise the club. We want to get back to successful ways but with a panache and flair."

On season ticket sales

"I would like to reiterate Ange’s words and thank each and every supporter who has bought a season ticket for the campaign ahead. Your support and commitment has been incredible once again.

“By you supporting the Club in these outstanding numbers it allows us a strong platform to build from, with your backing crucial in everything we do as we work to deliver an entertaining, exciting and successful season.

“We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you home to Celtic Park tonight for the first time in a long time, for what looks set to be an emotionally charged occasion.

“Together, as One club, we can achieve great things, as we have done over the many years of our proud history and it is fantastic that you can join us in person once again as the season unfolds.

“On behalf of everyone at the Club, thank you once again for your incredible support.”

On Celtic's transfer business

“From the skill and experience the likes of Joe Hart and James McCarthy bring to the squad, to the flair of players like Kyogo and Liel Abada, this transfer window has been a busy period for the club with 12 new players joining Ange and our squad at Celtic

“We have strengthened the squad in all areas of the pitch, with international-level talent, and while naturally disappointed to see some faces head in the opposite direction, we wish them every success in their next ventures.”

On leaving the club

"I'd like to thank the board and everyone at Celtic for their support and wish everyone at Celtic every success for the future."

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