Celtic has just announced the appointment of Michael Nicholson as CEO with immediate effect.
It is a dire, disgraceful decision which again demonstrates how far we are from having the leadership at the top of the house that we badly need at this moment in time.
Nicholson has been in the post, on an interim basis, for the past few months and he has spent them in hiding.
From the fans and from the press.
If he’s articulated a long-term vision at all he’s done it behind the scenes.
We have no way of knowing because the club’s communication with us on this has been virtually zero. And this disgraceful lack of engagement is only my first concern.
In a good year, we are a £100 million organisation.
What exactly are his qualifications for running such an enterprise?
We should be looking well beyond that figure in the near future … we haven’t done nearly enough to expand the brand.
Where is his history of doing that? What’s his background in growing business revenues?
What examples are there of his ability to think outside of the box?
What innovations has he introduced in previous roles?
Nicholson worked on the legal side of Celtic, not the corporate side.
It is the responsibility of our directors to appoint the best available people to the critical roles at the club, and this is the biggest of them all. The decision to appoint from within, and to appoint such an anonymous individual to what’s a high profile media-related job is terrifying for what it implies for our immediate future.
I am appalled by this.
You know, I was glad that the fans came together to protest the proposed appointment of Bernie Higgins, but that was nothing compared to the need to get the CEO appointment right and whilst various groups and organisations have their own wee pet peeves and causes for which they like to bang the drum, not one of them was focussed on this.
This is a far more worrying development than putting an ex-cop in some backroom somewhere where his narrow remit wouldn’t directly influence the club itself in any major way.
I never cease to be amazed at the importance people place on issues like that when issues like this have the potential for far greater damage and go unremarked on.
Too often our supporter’s organisations focus only on the narrowest, and at times, largely pointless objectives except to themselves.
To be frank, I don’t know what some of them do or are for.
One has had several meetings with Nicholson over the last few months, as its heads have confirmed, but the membership as a whole doesn’t know what happened at them and had no say beforehand in what would be discussed.
And that’s how certain people like it.
Some of our supporter’s reps had way too cosy a relationship with Lawwell and see the appointment of his right hand man as a way to maintain their own positions, and that’s as coldly and bluntly as I can put it.
Others seem to want to wage endless war on officialdom.
It’s just not clear how any of them actually serve the greater interests of Celtic with this stuff.
This board has just given the most prominent role in the day-to-day work of this club to someone with no qualifications for the job.
They didn’t even look for a more qualified candidate, and that would not have been hard to find. An internal appointment does nothing but allow these people to continue to live in their comfort zone, and that’s where we get into trouble.
Organised fan action prevented the Higgins appointment.
So well done.
It has prevented us getting an unacceptable head of security operations or whatever his role was going to be.
Important yes, but consider …
It would not have made us less attractive to investors, or hampered our vision or stopped us from reaching out beyond the safety of a localised market for commercial sponsorship and opportunities, or given him responsibility for transfer negotiations or the managers budget or his backroom or investment in any of the critical areas of Celtic where Nicholson is now in charge.
Yet not one banner was raised against this prospective appointment, although this site and others have been warning that it was imminent and virtually certain to happen for many, many months.
Not one protest was made in the name of hiring a competent, visionary chief executive officer.
The board did their thing here.
This appointment is entirely in keeping with their lack of long-term thinking and their absence of any strategic outlook.
It’s a comfort-zone decision, a shocker, and we will suffer for it.
And you know what? The fans as a whole have let it happen.
It was we who were asleep at the wheel this time, and whatever the consequences of this appointment are, let’s not pretend they aren’t at least a little bit on us too.