Dominic McKay set for early Murrayfield departure

Current Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Rugby was supposed to take over as Chief Executive at Celtic on 1st July but appears set to make the switch three months early

Dominic McKay could be taking up the reins at Celtic Park as early as this week. Image : © Craig Watson -
Dominic McKay could be taking up the reins at Celtic Park as early as this week. Image : © Craig Watson -

DOMINIC MCKAY appears set to leave his role as Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Rugby to take on the Chief Executive position at Celtic Football Club three months earlier than initially planned, with the Daily Record reporting that a decision could be made as early as tomorrow [Tuesday] morning when the Stock Exchange reopens for business after the Easter bank holiday.

When the 43-year-old was unveiled as Peter Lawwell‘s successor at Celtic in late January it was stated that he would not take up the post until 1st July. However, McKay and his new employers were keen to move that date forward as the club looks to bounce back from surrendering their Scottish Premiership crown to Rangers this season, and it appears that they have now managed to reach an agreement with Murrayfield.

Scottish Rugby is entitled to demand that McKay works his notice period, and Chief Executive Mark Dodson indicated in February that he was not inclined to grant an early departure, but he did not rule out that possibility so long as his business doesn’t suffer as a consequence.

That was the month that was: March 2021

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“From my point of view, what’s happening at Celtic is something that is out of my control,” said Dodson. “I clearly know that Dom will have a very full in-tray when he gets there. The issue for us is that he has a notice period here and we need stability in our business too. I expect him to be here with us for a while yet.

“You’ve got to remember that we’ve got our own business to stabilise as well, so until we’ve stabilised our business, until we can replace him and make sure the business is in good enough shape, that’s the only time we’ll consider allowing Dom to move across to Celtic.

“And that depends on how quickly we can replace him.

“We are going through a restructuring process here anyway, so Dom moving to Celtic has probably just given us a chance to look once more at what we’re going to do. The role will be replaced and we will make sure we take our time and get some outstanding candidates.”

Asked whether a generous compensation package from Celtic might soften his stance, Dodson replied: “It’s not about the money. That’s a short-term fix, if you get into those kind of compensation deals. The most important thing is making sure this place can run and function properly. That’s my job as CEO, to make sure selfishly that we look after this business.

“If there is a point in time when we can let Dom go earlier than that then I’m sure we’d try to work around that, but as it stands at the moment, we are some way away from that.”

There has been no news of an incoming Chief Operating Officer at Murrayfield, and it has been suggested that rather than find a like for like replacement, the job may be broken up and shared out between other members of the senior management team.

Such an approach tallies with the announcement last month about Nathan Bombrys being moved from Managing Director of Glasgow Warriors to take on a newly created post as Head of International Commercial Projects, which is an area which previously came under McKay’s remit.

That was the month that was: March 2021



About David Barnes 3995 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Why does a domestic governing body need a Head of International Projects? That’s like the Vatican having a family planning unit. Let’s get a dose of reality here and focus on building the domestic game. If it’s a gentle way of showing someone the door then, please, let’s grow a pair.

  2. In the eyes of the chief his importance is magnified by how many management layers are under him.

  3. Scottish Rugby is not that large a commercial organisation – does it really need so many highly paid executives?

  4. I think the SRU should be making Mackay honour his contract and see out his tenure. Yes he has a massive job on his hands at his new job but thats not the SRUs problem.

    • Why? What’s the job to be done in his time left? Is he really going to concentrate on Old Glory or the shop in Osaka or is he going to focus on Eddie Howe and building Celtic back up? I don’t blame DM- I’d find that more compelling than fulfilling a role that wasn’t needed in the first place.


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