It has been a while now since the Celtic CEO’s position was taken up by Michael Nicholson. It has been a while since Peter Lawwell stepped up to take his place as chairman. In that time, neither of these men has sat in front of the media.
Neither has sat in front of the fans.
Neither of them has offered an interview like the one James Bisgrove just did.
Bisgrove was arrogant and preening. He talked utter rot about how their club has historically been the “dominant force.” When in God’s name was this?
I remember one spell growing up when we were struggling under the old board and then adapting to Fergus.
Since the minute he completed the stadium we’ve been on top.
We stopped their ten and there was a period where the two clubs traded titles and then, after Rangers collapsed, the NewCo emerged and have been pulverised but for a single season when there were no fans allowed in the stadiums.
He made grand sweeping promises he may not be able to keep. He talked up the idea of bringing Graeme Souness – of all people – to the club in an ambassadorial role. His women’s team will love that misogynistic old bigot hanging around.
He was vague on most of the issues. But he talked up infrastructure spending, transfer spending and changes to the board without taking a single hard question about how any of this is going to be achieved on limited funds. Ibrox fans lapped it up.
But it was an exercise in pandering without offering any real answers, and I would far rather our own board stayed silent and got on with the job than indulge in what was little more than a crap public relations exercise. It was flibberjabber.
There was a time when I would have fumed at the stony silence at Celtic Park, but I get it now. Maybe I’m wising up the longer I do this. Maybe I realise now that it’s better for people to get on with the job than boast about how they intend to.
I know this; Celtic used to indulge in this stuff.
Celtic used to have a CEO who was always commenting on something, always involving himself in something.
Usually stuff outside the club.
I was often amazed at the amount of committees and subcommittees Lawwell found himself on; it’s like that article earlier on Mulgrew. He had plenty of outside interests. It’s little wonder that stuff at Celtic was getting missed in recent years.
Nobody at Celtic does that anymore.
Not even Lawwell himself, back in the chairman’s office without uttering a word in public about it.
I think it’s fair to say that the year before Ange arrived, and for a wee while afterwards, up to the moment Dom McKay resigned or was sacked or whatever that was, we were still getting a lot wrong in this regard.
But that experience seems to have come with heavy lessons learned across the boards.
Nicholson has been in the job since McKay went and you would not even know that we had a CEO except in that the level of professionalism at every level has dramatically increased and the whole operation is working like a Swiss Watch.
He has proved to be the right guy at the right time, something I would have considered astonishing when he was appointed.
But his quiet, disciplined manner and his being smart enough not to court publicity, preferring Ange to be the public face of the club, has proved quite brilliant. He would never have given an interview so full of … nothing at all.
We should all be well thankful for that.