Celtic have confirmed the appointment of Michael Nicholson as Chief Executive on a permanent basis with immediate effect.
Nicholson became the club’s third CEO of the year in an acting capacity on September 10 following the sudden departure of Dominic McKay for “personal reasons”.
McKay arrived from the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) and replaced long-serving Peter Lawwell who retired from his position in the summer but he lasted just 10 weeks in the role.
Nicholson has been actively planning for the January transfer window with Hoops manager Ange Postecoglou and the club’s recruitment staff in recent months.
The 45-year-old has been at Parkhead since 2013, initially arriving as company secretary and head of legal, before earning a promotion to the role of director of legal and football affairs in 2019.
Commenting on his appointment, Nicholson said: “As a Celtic supporter all my life, I will do everything I can to drive the Club forward, working at all times in the best interests of Celtic.
“I have been fortunate to be part of this great institution for a number of years and it is a privilege to now hold this new responsibility.
“We have a team of brilliant people who are absolutely committed to Celtic and we will work together to deliver success for the Club and our supporters.
“I look forward to working with Ange, the Board, our colleagues and supporters in order to advance as a club, proud of our traditions and dedicated to constant improvement.
“The current environment remains uncertain and everyone at the club recognises and sincerely appreciates the ongoing commitment of our supporters.
“Our League Cup victory at the weekend gives us all something to celebrate and we look forward to continuing success for Celtic Football Club.”
Current board member, Chris McKay, will assume the role of chief financial officer.
Club chairman Ian Bankier added: “We are delighted to confirm this appointment. Michael is well known and highly respected across football domestically and internationally.
“He has the ability and experience to take Celtic forward positively and achieve great results.
The appointments of Michael and Chris bring important continuity. They has been close to Ange since his arrival as football manager in the summer, and since then they have supported him brilliantly and will continue to do so as we further develop our football operations.”
Celtic supporters appear underwhelmed and angered over Nicholson’s appointment, with many sighting a “lack of ambition” from the board, on social media:
@CelticBlog2018: “A ridiculous decision. Absolutely ridiculous. An internal appointment with zero experience and no attempt made at all to find a qualified candidate. He’s been acting in an interim capacity for months and spent them in hiding. A dire appointment. This board is not fit for purpose.
@TheProvocativeH: “The lack of vision in our club is incredible. It’s just confirmation of the stale environment under the overly influential but absent shareholder. No ambition. No innovation. The self preservation society continues.”
@jamielawson08: “A yes man what 100% suits the board. Thanks for the Christmas present Celtic, letting us fans no we have appointed someone who will take us backwards rather than forward. January transfer window is now very concerning.”
@Dannylo89011163: “We’ll soon find out how much power he has in the January window. Hope he doesn’t become a hide and seek champion like the rest of our board.”
@campR13ska: “A time to modernise the club and this appointment stinks of lack of ambition.”
Some fans remain more optimistic that Nicholson can prove a successful appointment:
@ramsey_paul: “Get the cheque book out in January then and show us your intentions as a fan of Celtic Football Club.”
@HPaulODonnell: “I wish him all th best and hope he is successful in the role. I have doubts if your success criteria matches mine though, but I live in hope.”
@LeinsterBhoy: “Don’t know much about Nicholson tbh but best of luck to him. I have my reservations due to his association with the current board but hope he succeeds in his new permanent position.”