Celtic published their half-year accounts yesterday, and they are the cause of much sniggering and humour on another club’s fan forums and sites. But there are two things to remember about those figures amidst all the glee from elsewhere.
The first is that the club still had £19 million in the bank when those accounts were made up, and we added to that the £10 million fee from Frimpong. The annual numbers will be awful – there’s no getting away from that – but not debilitating.
The second is that we have serious money in the squad and if we were in dire straits we could trade our way out of it with a couple of sales.
We’re not in dire straits, and some of those players will be sold anyway, but that will fund the next rebuild if we ever get it started.
There is no reason to worry about the short-to-medium term future of Celtic. We are not skipping along merrily, but the house is secure.
This board might not get credit for everything it’s done lately, but they do for that.
To see their lot sneer and laugh over those numbers is pretty bizarre when you consider that their own numbers are going to be far worse.
Our merchandising deal dwarfs theirs, we have ten thousand more season tickets, our entire commercial operation is better organised and our wages to turnover ratio is much, much lower … you don’t read much about that.
In short, our figures might not be great but theirs are likely to be absolutely horrendous. The thing is, it’s doubtful that they’ll ever even get to see them. They didn’t publish half yearly accounts last season, and I don’t think they will in this campaign.
So their fans can have their wee moment of amusement, the latest in a season of them. But those who are smart will understand that if Celtic has problems that’s nothing compared to the financial time-bomb their own club has to be sitting on.
You don’t need to be a “finance expert” to know Celtic fans will have the last laugh.