CELTIC have announced a whopping profit of £27.6MILLION in their interim report for the first half of the season.

The figure includes a massive £26million on player sales such as Odsonne Edouard to Crystal Palace, Kristoffer Ajer to Brentford and Ryan Christie to Bournemouth.

Ange Postecoglou was appointed the long-term successor to Neil Lennon in June last year as the Hoops kicked off a new era in the 2021/22 campaign.

Peter Lawwell left his post as chief executive around the same time and Michael Nicholson was eventually appointed as the Parkhead side’s new supremo after replacing Dom McKay.

For the first part of the season, the club’s revenue also increased by a huge 29.9 per cent to £52.9million compared to £40.7million in 2020.

Celtic did spend more money on bringing new players into the club in the first half of this season at £16.8million – an increase of more than £4million from the year before.

TOP BHOY…16-goal Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates one of his double in the Premier Sports League Cup triumph over Hibs.

The highest fee was £4.6million for striker Kyogo Furuhashi which was paid to J-League outfit Vissel Kobe in July while Swedish central defender Carl Starfelt cost £4.2million from Russian giants Rubin Kazan.

But overall, the club’s net cash bank balance had also gone up by almost £6million to £25.6million overall.

Reacting to the interim report, chairman Ian Bankier revealed the Parkhead club expect to finish this financial year with revenues ahead of what they previously anticipated.

In a club statement, he outlined: “The major factors driving the much improved financial performance for the period under review were: first, the return of fans to the stadium driving crucial match day income; second, our qualification for another season in the Europa League with the accompanying ticket sales that were absent last year; and third, the revenues received from successful player trading, notably the sales of Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer.

“In the same period, we made substantial investments back into the player squad in order to target the football success that drives our financial success.

“Whereas the Covid-19 environment has improved markedly, the sudden emergence of the Omicron variant and resultant reintroduction of temporary societal restrictions in Scotland adversely affected the football sector.

“This demonstrates our continued sensitivity to the threat of the pandemic.

THANKS A MILLION…Odsonne Edouard headed south in a big-money summer deal for Crystal Palace.

“Mindful of the risks posed to the club’s finances from further restrictions, we continue to manage the business on a prudent basis, balanced against the benefits of investing in the football department.

“The forecast outturn for the second half of this financial year is expected to be more modest owing to the trading seasonality inherent in the business.

“As we know, most of our earnings are typically derived in the first six months of the financial year.

“In line with prior years, we expect to incur losses in the second six months of the financial year owing to the expectation of having less player trading gains, lower Uefa media right distributions and associated Uefa match ticket income, higher amortisation emanating from player acquisitions in January and seasonally lower retail income.

“In addition, our outturn earnings may be materially impacted by success in footballing competition.

“On the basis that the impact of Covid-19 appears to be receding at present, we anticipate to finish the financial year with revenues ahead of our previous expectations.

“It has been a period of transition for both the executive and the football department.

“Michael Nicholson’s appointment as chief executive was confirmed on 23rd December, along with Chris McKay’s promotion to Chief Financial Officer.

“And our football manager, Ange Postecoglou, joined us at the start of the season.

“Ange has been able to assemble a first-team player squad to fit his proven methodology of attacking football.

“We have achieved the permanent transfers of Osaze Urhoghide, Liam Shaw, Liel Abada, Kyogo Furuhashi, Carl Starfelt, Joe Hart, Liam Scales, Josip Juranovic, James McCarthy and Georgios Giakoumakis.

UP FOR THE CUP…Ange Postecoglou celebrates his first piece of silverware as Celtic manager.

“In addition, we welcomed to the Club two quality loan signings in Cameron Carter-Vickers and Joao Pedro Neves Filipe (Jota).

“Further to this, we added Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi, Johnny Kenny, Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley over December 2021 and January 2022.

“As we progress through the season we are delighted to return to winning ways, securing the first silverware of the season, the Premier Sports Cup in December.

“This is the 20th time Celtic has won this trophy.

“December also saw us finish third in the Europa League group with a creditable nine points in what was a difficult group.

“We now enter the newly constituted Europa Conference League where we will play FK Bodo/Glimt.

“At the time of writing, we sit at the top of the Premiership with 12 games remaining and we have reached the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.

TWO OF A KIND…chairman Ian Bankier and former chief executive Peter Lawwell.

“We also note the progress which continues to be made by our women’s first team and in particular the magnificent achievement of winning the SWPL Cup in December 2021, the women’s team’s first trophy in over 10 years.

“We congratulate the players, Fran Alonso and his management team on this success and hopefully can look forward to further success in the near future.

“On behalf of the board, I express my assured confidence in the football management team and the executive management team who collectively share many years’ experience in Celtic Football Club and who have worked tirelessly to restore our current position at the top of Scottish football.

“We are optimistic about the future.

“Finally, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to our supporters, our shareholders and our commercial partners.

“The support they offered over the last six months and beyond as we emerge from Covid-19 has been immeasurable as we have navigated the club through this transitional period.”

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