Celtic’s majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has been described as a ‘benevolent dictator’ by financial football expert Kieran Maguire.
The Lowdown: Desmond oversees glorious period
The 71-year-old has a 35% stake in the Hoops, who he has supported throughout his life, having initially owned a chunk of Manchester United during the 2000s before selling his share to Malcolm Glazer.
Desmond has overseen a great period in Celtic’s history, with trophies coming thick and fast and another Scottish Premiership title looking likely to arrive next month.
At a time when billionaires own clubs and don’t necessarily care deeply about them, Demsond’s Hoops roots make it a different situation at Parkhead.
The Latest: Maguire praises ownership
Speaking to Football Insider, Maguire discussed the Irishman’s frugal ownership style, praising it overall:
“If you’re a fan first and an owner second, you’re going to do what you think’s best for the club’s best interests. I’ve always said that the best ownership model is one of a benevolent dictator, who will act in the best interest at heart.
“He’s a billionaire that happens to be a fan, rather than a billionaire who wants an executive toy. It’s slightly different because he is a very prudent owner. Could Celtic have accelerated the gap between them and Rangers in recent years? Perhaps.
“But I think they have always taken the view that they have got the biggest stadium and some of the biggest commercial deals, and that is sufficient.”
The Verdict: Positives outweigh negatives
Football club owners are almost never universally popular among supporters and that is no different with Desmond, with fans criticising him numerous times in the past.
That being said, the positives outweigh the negatives with him and he is ensuring Celtic are run in a sensible fashion, often spending within their means.
Desmond cares deeply about the Hoops, which immediately works in their favour, and when he eventually sells up, it could be a case of only appreciating him when he’s gone.
In other news, a report has made an exciting Celtic transfer claim. Read more here.
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