“Don’t do it Jim” is all I can hear in the back of my ancestral Donegal head. But it would be hard blame Jim McGuinness for taking a pretty cool package from Neil Lennon’s Celtic Football Club. It’s not as though he’s unqualified:
McGuinness, who has a masters in sports psychology, has struck up a good relationship with Celtic manager Neil Lennon, a former Armagh minor footballer, while the club’s administration are known to have been impressed by his achievements with Donegal.
He had made no secret of his willingness to work in professional sport and make the most of his qualifications.
It says a lot about Lennon’s ambition that he’s prepared to invest in his club, now their big rivals in Scottish football have been humbled. He has to in way, since the Scottish Premiership is down to the tune of six big matches every year.
There may be a strong personal friendship there, but McGuinness is an inspired pick. The ties are strong between Donegal (which even in the heart of the western Gaeltacht has always had a strong gra for the foreign code) and Celtic.
As a lifelong follower of the county’s GAA team, I would like to think (for the county’s sake as much as for McGuinness) it could come off.
Realistically though, split site working doesn’t have a great record, in football or anywhere else. And without a similar capacity building exercise in Donegal it’s hard to see how it can work for both sides.
I’ll await further news with interest…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty