McKay has taken over the reins at Parkhead this summer from Peter Lawwell and, alongside new manager Ange Postecoglou, is charged with bringing success back to Celtic after their quest for ten top-flight titles in a row were crushed by Rangers rampaging to the 2020/21 Premiership title.
McKay, whose previous role was with the Scottish Rugby Union, knows that the mood music around Celtic is melancholy due to the impact of last season on the staff and fanbase and has vowed to piece together various elements of other outfits across the globe to “modernise” the club.
“My job as the leader of the organisation is to lift everybody’s heads back up again: the staff, the supporters and the players,” said McKay. “To say this is an unbelievable club, it is global club which attracts unbelievable talent and we are going to go again. We are going to have a great journey going again.
“My challenge is to make sure the future is really positive building on these great foundations put in place by Peter and the rest of the team previous to my arriving. That we modernise and build those foundations out and that we benchmark ourselves, whether that is against Brentford or Seville or Manchester City or Liverpool. That we take the best parts of European football, world football with Ang having been in Australia and Japan and make sure it works for Celtic.”
McKay revealed that he has been a season-ticket holder at Celtic Park for many years now and explained how he fell in love with the club.
“My first game was the [Scottish] Cup final in 1988, Dundee United against Celtic in the centenary year,” recalled McKay. “My father took me to that game and at that point I fell in love with Celtic. I am deeply in love with Celtic as a club that can do great things because I had seen the joy and success in the hugs terraces at Hampden. I saw it in my father’s face. I thought I want to be part of this going forward.
“Then you get the opportunity to become a season-ticket holder, which I have been for the last 20 or so years. I have not been to as many games as I might like – rugby got in the way a bit – but it didn’t stop me wanting to be a season-ticket holder. It is that emotion and connection I got with the club.
“But it was a big decision for me to come to Celtic because I am a fan. It needed to be right for me from a business point of view. I thought about that pretty seriously because once you are part of something you are really passionate about then you need to make sure you are adding value constantly. My fan bit really stops when I walk through the front door. I am in here to make sure I set the standards, set the culture, set the organisation on the right footing to make sure we are as successful as we can be in the years ahead.”