On the whole, the club are still dominant but they aren’t as strong as previous years.
The main reason for this is failure to qualify for the Champions League group stages. This shows how vital participation in the premier competition is to the club’s continuing domination.
What the Celtic finances are saying
All in all, The Hoops’ financial results are as strong as they’ve always been – the club are in profit with money in the bank and plenty of it.
Highlights from the interim report includes:
- Revenue decreased by 30.1% to £50.0m (2017: £71.5m)
- Profit from trading was £6.2m (2017: £23.7m)
- Profit from transfer of player registrations (shown as profit on disposal of intangible assets) £17.6m (2017: £0.5m)
- Profit before taxation of £18.8m (2017: £19.5m)
- Profit after taxation of £15.2m (2017: £17.4m)
- Period end net cash at bank of £38.6m (2017: £30.9m)
- Period end net cash, net of debt and debt like items, of £37.7m (2017: £17.0m)
This isn’t bad for a year in which the club are not competing in the UEFA Champions League.
However, it must be noted that The Bhoys are still in the Europa League, qualifying from that group stage into the Last 32.
It’s not all roses on the playing field
Chairman Ian Bankier emphasised how important the club’s participation in the Champions League is to the club’s finances.
To make up for losses, the team was weakened by the sale of Moussa Dembélé to Lyon at the end of last summer.
Bankier said: “These results reflect the absence of substantial UEFA Champions League revenues in comparison to the same period last year.
“But they are counter-balanced by the benefit of player trading, significantly by the permanent transfer of the registration of Moussa Dembele to Olympique Lyonnais.
“The profit on disposals of intangible assets of £17.6m (2017: £0.5m) largely represents this sale.”
In January, the Hoops only managed one notable permanent signing in the £2 million buy of Vakoun Bayo.
However, short term loans are in place for Oliver Burke, Timothy Weah and Jeremy Toljan.
The peculiar thing is that the finances show Celtic having around £8 million more in profit than the previous year.
If Italian reports are to be believed, the Hoops placed a bid of under £9 million for Atalanta right-back Timothy Castagne – using that extra cash to improve the squad.
Fans and finance men will hope for a return to the Champions League to maintain the club’s success on and off the field.
However, if quality isn’t replacing quantity in the summer then that can be forgotten about.
It’s up to the board to work with the manager to make sure qualification to the group stage happens.