The news today that Michael Nicholson has been “voted” onto the SPFL board is interesting, but not surprising.
There was no real election here. Due to a grubby, scandalous backstage deal our club and the one at Ibrox swap places on that board every couple of years, a seedy practice the rest of the game here should be putting in the bin.
The Celtic CEO has been in his post for a while now.
Have you read a single interview with him? Have you heard a single word come out of his mouth?
He does exist, right? This isn’t the Politburo of some old style Communist republic where you have to guess if the Glorious Leader is even still with us, because he’s not been seen out in 18 months?
Bad enough that Desmond asks as the absentee landlord; we can’t afford that and an invisible CEO at the same time.
But that’s what we have.
There is a Celtic fans forum, hand-picked by the club, which meets with him from time to time although I couldn’t tell you when the last time was or what he talked about.
The Celtic Supporters Association executive, or members of it, meet up him with him regularly, but their communication strategy is a joke and has been a joke for a very long time. They aren’t terribly engaged with holding Celtic to account either, so don’t expect fireworks if they ever do decide to tell us what goes on at those meetings.
But the great broad sweep of the Celtic support is excluded from any contact with Nicholson and whilst some people might welcome having a CEO at the club who simply gets on with the job and doesn’t have his face in the papers every other day, for others his stony silence radiates contempt or worse; that he lacks the confidence to talk about his plans.
It is the role of the modern CEO to be the public face of an organisation. He prefers to bunker up. The press has not heard any more from him than we have, a situation which he’s only getting away with because the club is successful at the moment. If we go through a sticky spell they will hammer him for not offering a coherent vision.
The time for this timid act is almost over.
The upside of his going onto the board is that he replaces the serial incompetent at Ibrox, the guy who has waged war on the very body he’s been serving on this whole time.
One of Nicholson’s priorities should be pushing forward with a rule change that ends this practice of one of the two Glasgow clubs getting an automatic seat. That way, Robertson can be kept off permanently and Nicholson himself only appointed if he proves up the job.
That’s how it’s meant to work. Everywhere but here.