Speculation on Dermot Desmond’s Celtic intentions

The Celtic PLC Board will be backslapping over financial results, but for the most Celtic supporters it feels like a slap in the face…

Peter Lawwell, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Nicholson (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic yesterday announced their eagerly awaited half-yearly financials and it came as no surprise to learn that the club is sitting on a massive pile of cash, which will thrill and delight that curious group of Celtic supporters, the Balance Sheet Bhoys, who will be lapping up the numbers on their spreadsheet and drooling over just how clever Peter and his boys really are.

This week we’ve found ourselves in the position where we are looking for a new goalkeeper after the classy Joe Hart announced his decision to hang up his gloves at the end of this season. I’m surprised that the Balance Sheet Blogger hasn’t quickly suggested sticking his best pal Pistol Pete in the team to replace Hart. Well, he certainly knows how to save! On second thoughts the wages and bonuses would too much even for our remuneration friendly PLC.

David Watson of Kilmarnock scores with a header to tie the score 1-1. Celtic v Kilmarnock, Scottish Premiership, , Celtic Park,  17 February 2024. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

Celtic’s revenue increased by 11% to £85.2 million. Profit trading was £32.0 million, and a profit before taxation of £30.3 million. You don’t need to be a financial expert to know that is a healthy figure in this current landscape.

That is good news for those in charge who no doubt amidst some back slapping opened the bubbly and raised a glass to toast yet another healthy bonus heading their way. That’s how it works, right?

But it was ever so touching to read that they were as disappointed as the supporters when they failed to add the required quality to the squad in the January transfer window, after Project Shambles last summer. Yes, it isn’t just about this window, it’s about the one before that, and the one before that too! In my view they’ve taken their eye off the ball and neglected their duties regarding squad improvements for quite some time.

Celtic Chairman Peter Lawwell and Chief Executive Michael Nicholson in the directors box. Celtic v Kilmarnock, Cinch Scottish Premiership, 17 February 2024. Photo Stuart Wallace Shutterstock

They really do take us for fools if they think we are going to fall for this nonsense. They must think we are as gullible as our rival supporters across the city, we are anything but.

By announcing these massive financial numbers it certainly clarifies the position as we watch a Celtic team showing the quality you’d expect if we were skint and couldn’t afford anything better. That’s where we started on this PLC lark back in the 1990s and the deal was always the supporters back the PLC and they deliver the team on the park. It now looks like one side of that bargain is being taken for mugs by the other. Our team isn’t strong enough and we lack the required quality and depth which is evident in our performances and current league position.

Celtic supporters make their thoughts clear up at Pittodrie ahead of the first match after the January transfer window closed.

The incoming manager Brendan Rodgers accepted what he was given last summer, after they explained to him how clever they were with this project signing strategy then when he saw what he had to work with he very respectfully made it clear that he was short of four quality signings. Yet they delivered none in January as we watched a ten points swing in the title race where we could be five points behind at kick-off time tomorrow.

The way this Board are lording it up while trying to sympathise and connect with the supporters is a kick in the teeth to each and everyone one of us who have put our hard earned money into the club.

They are the ones reaping the rewards while we get excuses in return, delivered alongside those incredible financial result, numbers actually driven by the outstanding financial support given to the club by the Celtic support. In return get to watch an underwhelming, underperforming side on the pitch, a team devoid of quality and no real hope of improving while they get to enjoy their big fat bonuses.

Aberdeen v Celtic,  Celtic fans pack out the away section on 3 February 2024. Photo Stephen Dobsonx PSI

Was there a note in those figures explaining that not a single penny will be paid in bonuses or dividends this season as a result of the failings to deliver in the key aspect of the club, the team on the park?  If not, there should have been.

And there’s nothing on the situation in the women’s game were for every pound Celtic spend on the team theRangers are apparently spending three and they are now eyeing a Double Treble in one season, where we’ll be back to world records and all that stuff and the board’s pals in the mainstream media will be lapping it all up. How many pages do you think the Daily Record’s Special pull-out supplement will be? 16? 24, 32?

Dermot Desmond is seen prior to the Celtic vs St Mirren Cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park on May 20, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It can’t be allowed to continue, we need to push for change and we need to hear from Dermot Desmond.

Talking of Celtic PLC’s biggest shareholder, yesterday after the Interim Results were released, Roger Mitchell posted this on his X account:

“For some reason I get to hear stuff about Scottish football, even here. I was told by two different sources that Dermot Desmond is going to have a total clear-out of the Board and Csuite. He’s had enough they said. I have no idea if this is true but I hope it is. We all love this club.”

Roger Mitchell

The former SPL Chief Executive added: “The board has been in place for 23 years and that is just bad corporate governance. Especially in a sector that is changing so much. Some of the CSuite are frankly less than mediocre. The business of football is markedly different than it was in 2002. The model, fans, comms. The club needs a radical injection of new thinking and energy.”

Then this: “It has major weaknesses in needs to draw a line under. The waft of nepotism…the legal and brand concerns over the Boys Club’…the idea that the club has no ambition beyond beating rangers as cheaply as possible, without killing them.”

The good news is this. It’s got money. Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s…It’s got a diaspora of management talent all over the world who’d join the board likely for free…it’s got a backstory of glory no one can match. This can be fixed. Easily. If there is will.”

And finally: “Football is entering the End Game. Who knows its future? UEFA and the UCL look tired. There will be environment change. The club needs to be ready and tooled up. The big game and prize is not Scotland. I shall watch with interest.”

Mitchell was asked What is Csuite? He explained: “Ceo CFO CRO director of football. CTO. The senior exec team.”

Make of that what you will. We know that the Celtic support is not happy at the failing in the January transfer window. It’s hard to believe that the manager is happy about it either. The Board’s Chairman yesterday said that they were frustrated and disappointed. What if Roger Mitchell is right and we have a situation where Dermot Desmond is all of those things, angry , disappointed and frustrated? Maybe he will decide to take action?

Or will we say he failed?

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


  1. The January transfer window was an opportunity to correct the previous shambles of recruitment.
    We all knew where we needed strengthened ; it was so obvious.

    The fact that we remain a weak first 11, even allowing for the injuries, is a disgrace.
    Is DD having a clear out or is just more soothing rhetoric.

    • Hmmmmm, where have I heard our major shareholder and his puppet admitting there are problems and say they’ll do better come the summer window and beyond?

      Could it be there are STs to be sold in the next few weeks?

      Lies, lies and more lies!!!!!!

  2. Anthony Mcquade on

    Please Mr Desmond,sell your shares to someone who cares .
    Willie Haughey
    Rod Stewart
    Taylor Swift
    The Pope
    2 of these have at least the decency to attend games .
    Your too busy ?
    Sorry ,forgot your preference is sit your arse at the side of an American golf course
    Hail Hail

  3. Brian McAllister on

    Agree with most points here. Board have been a disgrace. Apart from referring to a team ‘devoid of quality’.
    Cameron Carter Vickers, Reo Hatate, Kyogo, Calum McGregor, Joe Hart, Daizen Maeda, Matt O Riley, Palma. It’s a team that needed quality signings to improve on players not listed here. This is a team UNDER-PERFORMING at the present moment. Devoid of quality is bollocks.

  4. Haughey!! Your kidding you ever listened to that guy ! He won’t be involved wee Fergus was so right about him in 94. We fans need to mobilise and hope we can get some visionaries on board! We must get behind the trust it’s the best way with bloggers and new blood.But those tired names forget it they be as bad! They are on the gravy train and continually praise ” Peter and dermont”!

    • William Melvin on

      Serious question, bud.
      What did Fergus say about Haughley?
      I was out of the country all through the 1990’s and the only news l got was the scores and league tables.
      I’d be interested in knowing as l’ve always been led to believe he was gonna be our saviour.
      Thanks in advance to you or anyone else who can tell me.

  5. Yep. Sell the club. Either to a consortium of celebrity fans or have the German model where the fans own the club.
    These options would see people that care about the club and fans.

    The other acceptable option is to sell to big money Arabs that don’t give a shit about our history but will spend bucket loads of cash and view us as a Champions League team.

  6. “Was there a note in those figures explaining that not a single penny will be paid in bonuses or dividends this season as a result of the failings to deliver in the key aspect of the club, the team on the park? If not, there should have been.”

    No, of course there wasn’t as the board do not get paid bonuses (they earn £40k a year total) and Celtic does not pay a dividend on its ordinary shares, it never has. If you’re going to write a snide article taking shots at other bloggers the least you could do is ensure you have basic facts right.

      • Yes, preference shares where is a contractual and pre-defined dividend built into the shares. Not a bonus or a discretionary dividend. I agree completely with the criticism of money not being spent on players but there’s a nonsensical narrative around directors keeping it for their bonus or dividends gaping legs.
        Fair play for actually posting my comment though – a lot of these sites edit out anything conflicting with their posts.

  7. “a man is judged by his deeds, not by his words proverb Actions are more revealing of one’s true character since it is easy to say things or make promises, but it takes effort to do things and follow through”

    We are going to do this, and we are going to do that, blah, blah, blah, blah. heard it all before. Its odd timing isn’t it, that the very people, that have milked the Celtic fanbase stolen millions from the club to line their pockets over the last twenty years are all of a sudden panicking and changing their tune? Rember, that this is the very same individual’s (that we financially backed during a pandemic) that went on to attack their own fan base with all sorts of untrue, bias slurs of “Dirt”, “Scum”, “Mob” and “Entitled”.

    My fello Celtic, come this time next year (regardless if we retain the league or not) it’s time for that much needed change that Celtic fans have been wanting for years. Don’t allow yourselves to be bought off with a new manger (Mourinho or not) and a few decent signings, that’s not going to be good enough. A clear out of the board is required, but Desmond has to go as well, his time up.