Dominic McKay appears set to leave his role as Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Rugby three-months earlier than initially planned to take up his new job as Chief Executive at Celtic Football Club, with an announcement expected this week, and perhaps even this morning. 

When the 43-year-old was initially unveiled as Peter Lawwell’s successor at Celtic in late January, it was stated that he would not take up the post until 1st July, however McKay and his new employers have been keen to bring that date forward as the club looks to start the recovery process following a turbulent couple of months, during which time the Scottish Premiership title has been surrendered to Rangers, manager Neil Lennon has left the club and significant unrest has been prevalent amongst the support base. 

Scottish Rugby is entitled to demand that McKay – who is a lifelong Celtic fan – works his notice period, and Chief Executive Mark Dodson indicated in February that he was not inclined to grant an early departure, but he did not rule out that possibility so long as his business doesn’t suffer as a consequence. 

“From my point of view, what’s happening at Celtic is something that is out of my control,” said Dodson. “I clearly know that Dom will have a very full in-tray when he gets there. The issue for us is that he has a notice period here and we need stability in our business too. I expect him to be here with us for a while yet. 

“You’ve got to remember that we’ve got our own business to stabilise as well, so until we’ve stabilised our business, until we can replace him and make sure the business is in good enough shape, that’s the only time we’ll consider allowing Dom to move across to Celtic. 

“And that depends on how quickly we can replace him. 

“We are going through a restructuring process here anyway, so Dom moving to Celtic has probably just given us a chance to look once more at what we’re going to do. The role will be replaced and we will make sure we take our time and get some outstanding candidates.” 

Asked whether a generous compensation package from Celtic might soften his stance, Dodson replied: “It’s not about the money. That’s a short-term fix, if you get into those kind of compensation deals. The most important thing is making sure this place can run and function properly. That’s my job as CEO, to make sure selfishly that we look after this business. 

“If there is a point in time when we can let Dom go earlier than that then I’m sure we’d try to work around that, but as it stands at the moment, we are some way away from that.” 

There has been no news of an incoming Chief Operating Officer at Murrayfield, and it has been suggested that rather than find a like for like replacement, the job may be broken up and shared out between other members of the senior management team. 

Such an approach tallies with the announcement last month about Nathan Bombrys being moved from Managing Director of Glasgow Warriors to take on a newly created post as Head of International Commercial Projects, which is an area which previously came under McKay’s remit.