Former SPL Chief Roger Mitchell has voiced a potent critique of Celtic’s current board and governance structure and has interestingly dropped a major rumour surrounding Dermot Desmond and the board.

With a history of not shying away from vocal, often outspoken, opinions on Celtic and the wider Scottish football scene, Mitchell’s latest comments come at a time when Celtic fans are craving something fresh.

Mitchell, who has kept his ear close to the ground despite geographical distance, claims to have heard from two independent sources that Dermot Desmond, Celtic’s majority shareholder, is poised for a sweeping overhaul of the club’s board and executive suite. “For some reason, I get to hear stuff about Scottish football, even here,” Mitchell shared on social media, hinting at a deep-seated desire for change within the Celtic hierarchy. “I was told…Dermot Desmond is going to have a total clear-out…He’s had enough they said.”

Roger Mitchell

The call for change isn’t unfounded. Mitchell criticises the board’s long tenure – a staggering 23 years – as “bad corporate governance,” especially in an ever-changing football landscape. The criticisms don’t stop there; from nepotism whispers to legal and brand concerns, and a perceived lack of ambition that goes beyond domestic dominance, Mitchell outlines a club in dire need of rejuvenation.

Yet, it’s not all doom and gloom in Mitchell’s eyes. He acknowledges Celtic’s solid financial standing, the global pool of management talent linked to the club, and a history rich with glory as foundational strengths that could herald a new era of prosperity and innovation for the club. “This can be fixed. Easily. If there is will,” Mitchell asserts.

Peter Lawwell Celtic Board
28th October 2023; Easter Road, Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Premiership Football, Hibernian versus Celtic; Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell chats to CEO Michael Nicholson in the stand

The timing of these comments, following closely on the heels of Celtic’s interim financial results. With football itself at a crossroads – UEFA and the Champions League facing their own challenges and the sport at large grappling with impending environmental changes – Mitchell’s call to arms is a reminder that the game’s future is unwritten, and for clubs like Celtic, the “big game and prize is not Scotland.”

The former Hampden head honcho is not committing to the rumour he’s been told but it’s interesting nonetheless. It would be strange now would be the time Dermot put his foot down when he has been very hands off with the running of the club for a long time. Could his son Ross be gaining more influence when it comes to the club? But then again, if that’s the case it does nothing to quell nepotism inside the halls of Celtic Park.

Celtic fans on the whole want to see the club be more ambitious and less cautious. They want a club that pours the cash they earn back into the team to build a squad capable of winning European honours. Under the current self imposed ceilings, it feels so far away.


  1. Nepotism has been the downfall of Celtic in the past (remember Kelly/White debacle) & looks like being so again with Desmond’s own son together with Lawwells & Strachans given jobs they are not qualified for nor capable of performing. The club is in dire need of a freshening up of the Boardroom & employment of ‘football’ people as opposed to solely administrators who are only interested in lining their pockets with bonuses.

    The scouting department also badly needs upgrading rather than employing someone whose sole qualifications are managing a golf club & family ties. 🙄


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