John McLaughlin, the head of our academy, has left the club today to take up the open position as head of the youth setup at Hearts.
This is clearly a major move on our part, and a sure sign that the people who are just in the door at Celtic Park are anything but impressed by the “achievements” of yesteryear.
Let’s be honest, if McLaughlin still had a future at Celtic Park he wouldn’t be departing for the backwater and the dysfunction of Tynecastle.
The number of our youth players who have walked away from the club these past two years – the young goalkeeper Vincent Angelini being the latest to depart, when he signed for Watford today – is worrying.
Our record in keeping kids and breaking good number of them through to the first team squad has been patchy at best.
Too many have left when those inside the club were talking about them as if they were stars of the future without those players ever having a sniff of the first team squad.
Something has gone badly wrong in that part of the club … and I think this is a step towards fixing that.
Phil Mac Giolla Bhain said recently that the club had, in fact, conducted a full scale strategic review, which this site has been calling for since before Lennon got the gig for the second time.
McKay would have been behind that; it’s commonplace when a new CEO moves into a company.
He was said to be unimpressed with the results, and that’s what prompted all this talk of modernising. He has a keen interest in the academy systems of Europe; he talked about that at the recent fan press conference.
It would be no surprise if he was unhappy at how we measure up.
I suspect that McLaughlin was given two options which, to paraphrase a favourite Jack Nicholson moment (from the movie Wolf), came down to a choice between “no job and a job no-one would want.”
He has chosen Hearts.
The job nobody would want then. Understandable considering the alternative.
Celtic moves onwards.