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Dermot Desmond: Celtic director ditches club ahead of Transfer Deadline Day to play golf with Rory McIlroy

Ronan Murphy
Rory McIlroy, Celtic, 2023/24
© ProShots

Manchester United fans have spent years lamenting the ownership of the Glazer brothers, but rarely have the bosses of the Old Trafford club shown as much outright disdain for their club as Celtic director Dermot Desmond.

Desmond, who previously owned a stake in United that he sold to the Glazers, finds himself under fire at Celtic Park after a lacklustre January transfer window in which his side have added only winger Nicolas Kuhn to their ranks.

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While the Hoops stand still, title rivals Rangers have worked to reinforce their squad to put additional pressure on the Scottish Premiership leaders.

Celtic’s largest shareholder, though, does not appear to be concerned with these developments and is instead on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf competition alongside Ludvig Aberg.

The PSG has released its list of pairings, which will see Desmond feature on Thursday and Friday in the same group as Rory McIlroy at the event, which will see them play the famous Spyglass Hill Golf Course on Thursday, which is Deadline Day in Scotland, before tackling Pebble Beach Golf Links on Friday.

This, of course, is one of the most important dates in the diary of a football club, and particularly for a majority shareholder. Instead of overseeing things at Celtic Park, though, Desmond will be lining up putts and trying to avoid bunkers by the side of the Pacific Ocean.

Teeing off on Thursday at 16:45 GMT (8:45 Pacific Time), Desmond should finish his round just in time for the transfer deadline, which will strike in Scotland at 23:30 GMT.

This news is unlikely to impress Celtic fans who have already held protests against the board in recent weeks for their inaction with regards to investment in the squad.

The Hoops do look likely to land Adam Idah on loan from Norwich, yet having missed out on target Sydney van Hooijdonk to the Championship club, this is unlikely to be seen as any consolation to the Scottish Premiership leaders, particularly as reports suggest that Celtic’s dithering caused them to miss out on the Dutchman.

Desmond’s trip to California, then, only serves to heighten the narrative that Celtic’s leadership simply don’t care about this transfer window.

Meanwhile, Man Utd’s supporters can breathe a sigh of relief that this is likely the last transfer window the club will negotiate with the Glazers at the helm as INEOS near a 25% takeover that will see it take over the sporting side of things after a decade of mediocrity.

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