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Celtic’s Interim Financial Results Are A Raw Expression Of Our Club’s Power.

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On the field on 2 February, we swatting Ibrox aside as if they were nothing more than a minor irritant.

The performance was superb.

There were those who watched it, amongst the commentariat, who thought that there was a clear gulf in quality between the two teams. A closer look reveals a gulf in quality between the squads.

Yesterday’s financial returns, and the whopping £27 million profit in them, is the proof that the real gulf lies where it always has, off the pitch. Our club is immeasurably stronger than the one at Ibrox, and this isn’t just down to a bigger stadium, which on its own gives us a financial advantage of £6 million in a bad year.

On top of that, we’ve got a commercial operation which runs like a Swiss Watch, and where we work with several top firms.

Remember when Ibrox advertised its business when it was looking for a kit deal a few years back?

Do you think we ever have to do that?

The top firms line up to throw money at us.

It’s inconsequential next to the standards of what the top European clubs earn, but that’s a mere consequence of being based in Scotland. The truth is, these numbers dwarf anything another Scottish club can make and it makes us look like one of the super clubs by comparison.

In a two horse race that matters.

The cash we have on hand is enormous, and it’s hugely impressive that we’ve rebuilt the surplus a year after the whole game was struck by the virus. God alone knows what shady financial arrangements Ibrox made to survive it, but everything we did is up front and available for scrutiny, and it was all above board.

Think for a moment of where we were twelve months ago, and think on how big a transformation in our fortunes has taken place since then.

Coming out of the global health crisis, we had an immense first team squad rebuild to do.

The press didn’t see where the money was coming from, and neither did anyone at Ibrox.

Their fans were gleeful about the prospect of us trying to do it on the cheap.

But I had written a couple of articles suggesting that the transfer kitty could have been as high as £40 million if we got the fees we wanted for the players who would be departing.

In the end, I was way off; we were able to do the rebuild for just over half that.

The other half is visible on the balance sheet, and although that figure will shrink in the second half of the season, as always happens with these things, we will probably come in at a profit when the season ends.

That’s a magnificent achievement for a club which has spent in excess of £20 million on players, and especially one in Scotland.

Part of it is that we posted almost as much income in these interims as we did in the whole of the last campaign, the one ravaged by the bug. Our finances last season could have been a car-crash. It is to this club’s immense credit that they were not.

But this year’s, they are going to be a triumph.

Bear in mind, the media is going to try to tell us that this is all due to our “playing trading” but even without selling players, we are making an interim profit of £7 million, and that is astonishing when you consider that the effects of the health crisis were still being felt during the early stages of this campaign, and haven’t entirely left us yet.

We are still experiencing a mini-downturn; for all that, the cash registers continue to ring and the money has continued rolling in.

We are in the strongest position we’ve been in for a long, long time and I never expected to be writing that in February last year, when this entire club was in the doldrums.

The remarkable thing is that the worst months of crisis were still in front of us.

That makes the turnaround all the more amazing.

Back when Dave King made his notorious “house of cards” prediction, some scoffed whilst others blanched; what if he was right?

I know that, speaking personally, I thought it was the ravings of a lunatic, because he apparently said it and believed it and I could not comprehend how he could really think such a thing.

Last season’s collapse did, for some, appear to confirm his view.

But all he had done was grossly underestimate the strength of this institution.

Celtic is a bigger club than the shoddy operation he and his board cobbled together over there; that’s just the simple truth of it. Our fundamentals are secure, and I cannot talk enough about how important that is, and how much it sets us apart from them.

When Rangers went to the grave we became the last remaining superpower in the Scottish game, and in point of fact I would argue that as their club was built on such shaky foundations we have been the only superpower in the game for a lot longer than just the last ten years.

Either way, the current club at Ibrox remains a pale shadow of us.

It is galling that their club managed to stop the ten in a row, but we are closing in on an even bigger prize, and I’ll get to that at a later date.

For now, we should enjoy where we are and what this moment represents; the proof of King’s ultimate folly, the proof of the strength of Celtic.

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8 comments

  • Frankie pearson says:

    All these good things coming to us are due to our board who have been slagged off by people who write about Celtic a lot of the time.Let us give our board the backing the so much deserve and the credit they so much deserve,enough said.

    • Jorge says:

      Whilst there are some on the board who indeed deserve some credit for their commercial competence, this does not exonerate them for other failings with regard to engaging with the support. Nor does it excuse them for their support for fellow board member Brian Wilson. This bitter little man should not be involved with our club in any capacity.

  • Seppington says:

    The board are of course due credit, I don’t think any of us doubted their ability to make money. They are mostly Tories after all! They may be excellent at business but they as dreadful when it comes to building a relationship with their customers, i.e. us, the fans.

    The daft thing is they don’t realise that if they listened and engaged openly with the support , instead of insulting us behind closed doors, they’d end up making even more money!

  • Benjamin says:

    First half financial results are almost identical to the first half of 2019-20 and very similar to 2018-19. Without the big profit on sales of players, the club is basically operating at a breakeven level as 2nd half usually shows an operating loss with little European income.

    The club really needs to step up on the commercial income side of the business. The amount earned in that area has stagnated and has actually grown slower than the rate of inflation over the last 15-20 years. For all the boasting the board and management has done over the years about the size of the global fan base, their attempt to leverage that fan base in sponsorship deals is appalling. They have just 1 major sponsor (Dafabet) that has a significant presence outside of UK/IRE. No sponsorships in Banking/Investments/Insurance. No sponsorships in the auto industry. No airline sponsor. And no regional sponsors outside of Scotland. There are TONS of opportunities to grow sponsorship income, but management and the board aren’t even interested in trying as long as they continue getting token increases from existing sponsors and can report ‘record breaking’ deals that in truth are a fraction of the size of the deals given to clubs who actually have competence in this area.

  • SFATHENADIROFCHIFTINESS says:

    It’s not the case that the Board are content in restricting sponsorship to Scottish interests. It’s the Board being restricted to Scotland only additional streams because outwith the confines of the ‘best wee bigoted Country in the world’ it is widely recognised that Scottish Football is corrupt.
    No major Company would dare to risk the damage to their own branding by being associated with a corrupt, bigoted and insular project that could go belly up,again, due to the cowboy economics of one of the major Klubss in the league not to mention that Klub’s widely reported problems with institutionalised racism and religious bigotry. They fear to be even mentioned in the same breath as the over exuberance of their marauding fans. There is a reason the SFA can’t get a sponsor for their showpiece ( aye right ) National Cup Tournament.
    These Global Corporations don’t generally forget due diligence when they contemplate entering into multi million medium to long term associations. Outside of the Protestant Masonic Walls that imprison Scotland the rest of the world does not tend to rely on a complicit, compliant Media to know what is really going on in our game or sad to say our Country.

  • Solas sa Saoirse says:

    Yes, the fact we can’t get sponsors for Scottish football, except mainly a few betting firms, is because multi-national, large companies don’t want their brand associated with a product that is tainted, or even corrupt. That is why the English media just laugh when Scottish football is mentioned. They ridicule us! We have a good product! Our football is as exciting as any to watch. But the Refereeing standard is a joke! The SFA are conspicuous by their non-presence. That is why there is no investment in our game. BTW. Huns have had six penalties in League this season. First four after they went a goal behind (to bring them back into game, of course) one that got them the three points at Ibrokes and the one after five mins. against Hibs. If they need a penalty, they will get one. Simple!

  • Bob (original) says:

    Well it does help to have 50K+ virtually guaranteed Season Tickets income to rely on each year – and the associated merchandising / commercial streams.

    Alternatively, my gut feeling is that the Board has actually been significantly underperforming.

    On the pitch over the decades we have seen that when we have a wining team we don’t build on that strength – but stagnate. This is reflected in the lack of meaningful progress in Europe.

    Off the pitch, the Board continues to make poor decisions – and without any Board member taking accountability. The recent examples include the Lennon appointment, the Howe shambles and the Dom McKay farce.

    [I believe the Board was simply incredibly lucky to get Ange.]

    Of course, we might only get an idea of how this Board has really performed once it has – eventually – been replaced with new blood.

  • s says:

    Yes, the face of the Club has changed with this Board. The previous Board, the Families, may have been seen as tight-fisted with their money. But this Board are obviously still counting beans, as they were before Lawwell fell on his sword. They rely heavily on Season Ticket money and Merchandise for income; but have made money on Player Transfer sales. From a position of such dominance in the Scottish Game, they have though been underwhelming in their contribution to the advancement of the Scottish Game. They have a strong hand in the size of the Club and they could use this to negotiate changes the Fans would like to see take place in the Scottish Game. But instead they prefer to remain happily seated at the back of the class. That will be their true legacy and not how much money they can stump up from the football punters.

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