Roger Mitchell has been speculating about a takeover bid for Celtic with The Celtic Way. Serious contenders are likely to be more discrete in their negotiating techniques.
The one time SPL chief executive has been spending a lot of time on Twitter discussing aspects of Celtic’s business model which he views as out-dated and parochial.
In almost every aspect the approach of the Celtic board is safety first but four seasons without playing in the group stages of the Champions League suggests that their policies are back-firing.
Dom McKay’s 72 reign as CEO has put a focus on the Celtic board, the board that backed Neil Lennon until he resigned then took 106 days to bring in a replacement from another continent.
Since stepping down from the SPL in 2002 after a broadcast deal collapsed Mitchell has been based in Italy but appears to harbour ambitions to get back involved in football.
He told The Celtic Way:
When you see the negativity and “can’t be done” reactions of people, you ask yourself, “Why bother?” Nothing worthwhile is easy. Otherwise, those same people could aspire to it. Interesting are people now reaching to me, after what was an off the cuff comment.
I’m going to answer this properly in the open. I’m not looking for anything. I have a very very nice work-life balance. I have a decent profile in the industry internationally. I don’t need to get back into the mud up there. And I won’t. Not today. But here is where we are…
Half the world of capital is looking at sports franchises. Multi club strategies. I’ve worked on some things directly. Club Brugge is one I can mention. Celtic is unique as a community business. It’s huge diaspora, and tech now allows you to build and monetise that. It’s a peach.
What are the blocks? One is the location. Scottish football is not seen as a fertile terrain for proper football operations. I did a 3 hour podcast on ‘Is Scottish football investable?’ That’s the hard thing to sell to an investor.
Investors are happy to look at Holland, Belgium, Portugal, England, Italy, France, Spain. It’s everywhere. Scotland, less so. That is why I wanted to meet Rob Gordon [Hibs’ owner]. And they realise. Hence Deloitte [investigation into Scottish football]. Let’s see what comes out. The other issue is Dermot Desmond. Everyone says he won’t sell.
What percentage does he hold? 30 or 40 percent? So no majority. Loads of capital is looking for assets like this. Celtic is a peach. Scotland is an issue. Dermot Desmond not a seller but he has no majority. It’s doable.
This would be the kind of project that requires your heart and soul. Full focus. Stubbornness and persistence. You’d need to move to Glasgow. It would be rough to deal with Dermot Desmond. Hence “not today”. Chi me lo fa fare [why should I go to all that trouble]!”
Ok. So the pitch is
Dermott, you need fresh capital. You know that. Especially post covid.
Your share price is in the toilet so Mr Market is not loving the status quo.
Take some PE money, sort the lost 20%, and build a fit for purpose club for 2021.
— RP Mitchell (@RPMComo) October 8, 2021
What is truly astonishing is how big a club Celtic is. How many people are totally invested in the club.
One day I’ll try to get some PE money together and buy it, and give these good people what they deserve.
But not today.
— RP Mitchell (@RPMComo) October 7, 2021