CHARLIE NICHOLAS has challenged Dermot Desmond to “stand up” and prove he is the man to answer the demands of the disillusioned Celtic support.

The multi-billionaire Irish businessman has responded in the past when the Hoops have come off the rails.

Desmond was quick to bring in Martin O’Neill in the summer of 2000 after the flop of dream team John Barnes and Kenny Dalglish which saw the former England international sacked after only eight months in the job following the sensational Scottish Cup loss to Inverness Caley Thistle.

And it was the club’s majority shareholder who introduced Brendan Rodgers in June 2016 after the two-year reign of Ronny Deila.

Now the faltering champions, with the quest for the historic 10-in-a-row in tatters, are searching for a new gaffer following the departure of Neil Lennon a week ago today which was confirmed on the Stock Exchange the following day.

Former Hoops striker Nicholas claimed: “Celtic fans need to see and hear if Dermot Desmond still has the hunger and desire to take the club forward.

“Neil Lennon has left and Peter Lawwell is leaving, so Desmond’s voice is the only one that matters now.

“Dominic McKay is an accountant and when he comes in from Scottish Rugby to replace Lawwell as chief executive it will be to balance the books.

“McKay won’t have the same power as his predecessor when it comes to transfers, influencing club strategy and controlling the spending.

“There are strong rumours that a technical director will come in. That is also well and good, but until we hear from the man at the top it doesn’t really matter what anyone says or thinks.”

Nicholas, writing in his Daily Express column, added: “Hoops supporters need to see that Desmond has a plan and the passion to keep taking the club forward.

“The Irish tycoon might officially be a non-executive director, but everybody knows he is the voice and the decision maker at Parkhead.

“Desmond once had a go at me because I accused him of treating the club like a toy.

“Now it is time for him to stand up. Not to me or the media, but to the heartbeat of the club – the fans – to tell them how Celtic is going to move forward from this season.

“They need to get a structure back in the club and get the hardcore of the support back on track.

“Until that is done then Rangers will continue to grow and get stronger while Celtic will just get weaker and slip further and further behind.

“If Desmond has lost interest, then the possibility of a new purchaser coming in would concern a lot of fans.

“They only have to look at what happened across the city when they were taken over by so many wrongdoers.

“Celtic aren’t in freefall, but they are not in as good a financial position as they have been in previous years.

“The appointment of the next manager could be a real indication of the level of Desmond’s ambition.”



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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