Celtic’s Accounts Show How Far We’ve Fallen, But How Far Ahead Of The Rest We Are.

Image for Celtic’s Accounts Show How Far We’ve Fallen, But How Far Ahead Of The Rest We Are.

Celtic published its accounts today, with little fanfare and zero hype. We posted a profit, a small one, nothing terribly exciting or worthy of note. There are a couple of issues to tackle – such as the remuneration for certain executives – but I’ll cover that at a different time. The numbers aren’t particularly shocking; last year wasn’t expected to be a good one in financial terms. Our season ticket numbers had fell, attendances were poor … the club was in a slump.

Yet in that slump we posted turnover of £52 million, much the same as the year before when we actually posted a near £4 million loss.

We are in profit this time around because of the Van Dijk transfer; it’s not great but it shows that even in the years when things go wrong – and over the last two they went wrong alright – that we can still get by.

Next year’s figures are expected to be vastly better; we’re on the way to £80 million in revenues, which will be the highest we’ve ever posted as a club.

But let’s take a look, for a minute, at the big numbers, the ones that matter; revenue and expenditure.

Revenue of £52 million doesn’t put us in EPL territory, of course, but the next biggest club in the land (allegedly) posted revenue of just £15.4 million in their last accounts. In their best year so far on “the journey” they posted income of £17.1 million.

That’s chump change compared to ours, and reveals a gap of monumental proportions, one that even European football won’t bridge. A better retailing deal would give them an extra £4 million to play with, if they were lucky, and they’d still only have half our income. Favourable cup draws – all at home, of course – might put another £1 million on the table after match-day costs … but they’re just not going to get there.

Their outgoing, £25 million at the last count, are more than half of what ours are and they are still too high.

They made £6 million in losses in in the year ending June 2015, more than a club with no banking facilities to speak of can possibly support.

Debt to their “holding company” stands at £18 million and is climbing higher every single day.

Their income rose this year, probably by a few million, on the back of a season ticket upturn and increased prices but the increases to the wage bill have probably wiped out any upside. They’ll post a loss when the figures for 2015-16 come out and another when you see this year’s numbers in 12 months time, if they last that long.

In short, they’re still miles behind.

When people at the club stop giving soft loans a period of austerity will have to commence, to bring their running costs down.

In short, it’s a mess and a half over there.

Celtic, in the meantime, has been able to maintain the integrity of the squad through this summer. Zero net spend actually resulted in a stronger team, and with a better manager at the helm. Our massively increased turnover gives us the chance to spend big in January or next summer, in preparation for another Champions League campaign.

The financial status of our club means that we are able to invest like at no time since the O’Neill era and there might even be room for our financial position to improve further, for example if we can make a hit in the US or Asian markets as we did when we signed Nakamura.

Our club is moving into a brand new phase of expansion and development, and the funds to do it are there. This season’s season ticket sales have been monumental; up 50% on last season, they are a whopping £19 million … more, on their own, than Sevco’s entire income.

For a couple of years now, King has been telling his fans that the only way to catch us is for them to spend more money; if you consider that 50,000 of them would have to spend an extra £200 each, every single season, just to make up £10 million of the shortfall – and the shortfall is three times higher than that right now and will be four times higher for the current campaign – you start to see just how deep the hole that they are in actually is.

We’re so far in front of them they can’t even see our dust in the distance.

On and off the park, last season was a bad one for our club. Yet in what the CEO describes as a “disappointing year” our turnover was nearly three times what theirs was and we finished up with the SPL title in spite of it all.

They need more than a sugar-daddy with ill-gotten gains.

They need fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Share this article