Astonishingly good financials underpin on-field success


“Astonishingly good”, does not even begin to tell the story. Celtic’s financial record for the year to 30 June 2017 is a work Michelangelo would be proud of. Income topped £90m for the first time. Your eye may have been drawn to the leap from the previous years’ turnover, £52m, a figure achieved without Champions League football, but that only tells part of the tale.

Turnover had never previously reached £80m, peaking just shy of £76m the season we beat Barcelona, sold 125 Anniversary merchandise, and earned north of £5m for reaching the Champions League knockout stage.

Champions League income was most significant contributor, but there has been considerably going on. Commercial income rocketed. You saw Dafabet step forward, with Magners finding new real estate on the shoulders of the strip. These front-and-back of the shirt deals were not only innovative, they funded the risk Celtic were prepared to take in signing Brendan Rodgers as manager.

With Brendan’s contract funded, Celtic brought their chips to the table. £13.8m was invested in the playing squad, a figure we would consider eye-watering at any previous point in our history. Progres to the group stages of European football is never guaranteed, but the building blocks were in place to ensure we had a sporting chance.

The consequence of all this is Invincibleness. We didn’t deliver the country’s first undefeated treble because we have some magic potion, it happened because we are significantly better run and more resourceful than all domestic competitors. No team has ever enjoyed this degree of comparative advantage in the history of sporting endeavour in Scotland.

At year-end our net cash position (bank balance minus loans) was £17.9m It is easy to consider this as a reserve, but it’s not. Our reserve is our available borrowing facility (as it always has been). The cash balance will be used to build infrastructure, keep the stadium safe and appropriate, and deliver a stronger team on the park (and for those thinking money in must be spent in the next available window, it just doesn’t).

Back in the old days, I would benchmark our accounts against Rangers, whom we were engaged in a football arms-war with. We’ll do that with Newco when their figures are available, as it will only tell you the reasons behind what you are seeing. Newco’s turnover for the previous year (lower league football), was £22m. We will turnover a magnitude of three times as much as they do. It is as appropriate to compare us to Kilmarnock.

I get to see a wee bit of the stresses and strains of what it takes to produce a successful football club in a challenging environment – and we operate in a very challenging environment. The commercial deals we have delivered are incredible. Ticket sales have been just as remarkable.

We have a great deal to do if we are to match last season’s domestic success in the current campaign, but all other things being equal, turnover will be up again this season. A win on Wednesday night and £100m just might be within reach.

Well done to all of you.


To get you in the mood for tomorrow we thought we’d re-post the launch edition of the CQN Podcast – A Celtic State of Mind, for you to enjoy. If you missed it the first time around you are in for a real treat.

You’ll love Paul Gallagher’s Celtic stories and will enjoy his digs at Sevco Rangers, specifically his forcefully stated views on the same club myth.

Paul is featured in the second half of the podcast if you want to jump forward…

The CQN Podcast is presented by Paul Dykes with Kevin Graham and you can catch up on all the subsequent podcasts on Celtic Quick News.


Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. ...
  4. 5
  5. 6
  6. 7
  7. 8
  8. 9
  9. 10
  10. 11
  11. 12

  1. Hate these days… no matter what apparition of zombied thems turn up today I won’t be watching, listening or even following on CQN. I’ll take myself off, probably up to my knees in donkey poo rather than my fenian blood- anything to avoid their bile. Then at 2 pm I’ll sit down with CQN and relive our victory ( anything else and I’ll be back to the donkey poo).


    The next 4 hours are going to drag and drag but for me it’s the only way to cope.


    An injury free win will set us up grand for Brussels.

  2. Good morning CQN, nerves are strung out as always before this game, like some others have said 1 nil will do for me together with a football lesson.




  3. I haven’t read back. But two things regarding Pauls analysis of the accounts.



    This sudden realisation that investing in the football team brings success financially is pretty hilarious when you look back at the years of debate around speculating to accumulate. It seems that Paul, a bit like the sfa, either has a short memory or doesn’t mind cognitive dissonance.



    Secondly, our net cash at bank (always makes me smile). So what is our cash at bank. I reckon it must be north of £30m. But according to Paul it’s not there to be spent. On its own that’s a bizarre statement. However what is happening is that Celtic intend to use this to build the hotel and museum complex. That might be ok and to some extent it’s about creating financial income for the future. But clearly the board don’t want to finance that externally. So they will sacrifice continued football expansion.



    It’s just they won’t tell you that.

  4. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    I have just read the BBC Scottish football gossip article .



    Pedro C is not happy with match officials and is going to keep an account of for and against decisions against ‘rangers’.



    Good one Ped, gaun yersel. Sounds more like a Jabba inspired comment.



    JMcCormick , I agree with your earlier comment with regard to predictions of us winning handsomely against ‘rangers’ . As much as I would love it to happen , the number of times in the early to mid 90’s when we were massive underdogs , we drew or got an occasional win with the first Ibrox club.

  5. saltires en sevilla on

    Remind me again…



    What version of the cheating, tax dodging, racist bigots are we playing today?






    Bring on Anderlecht!!




  6. theBHOYfromU.N.C.L.E on

    SANDMAN on 23RD SEPTEMBER 2017 10:24 AM



    Couldn’t agree more……………..they have not suffered enough.



    Batter them Celtic




  7. saltires en sevilla on




    We recall a few there and then up to Joe’s for a wee pit stop!



    Another era and yet another version








    Very good point. As I recall,the reason we had a football board and a PLC board was that the PLC board would provide funds via commercial income to spend on our football operation.



    Not the other way round.



    Anyway,leave that for another day,get the Hoooops on and give it laldy



    You know it makes sense!





    Hope you both have a great day-and Happy Anniversary,IIRC.

  10. Good to see some expectation management here this morning.


    We all want a big win, a drubbing, a huniliation today, but……as has been said already, it’s not easy going to places like Pittodrie or Tynecastle, so let’s not expect it to be easy today at the hunderdome.


    I’d settle for any win, with a good performance, and no injuries, same as any other game we play, no matter the opponents.


    That said, there is the potential for today to be special ;-)



    Happy with 5 or 6 but expecting 1 or 2



    Stay safe, anyone in or near the haters today.

  11. Good luck to all the Celtic £49ers attending the old firm game today. A victory and a safe return.



    Celtic open to all (except lefties and the GB)




  12. Neg Anon



    “This sudden realisation that investing in the football team brings success financially is pretty hilarious when you look back at the years of debate around speculating to accumulate. It seems that Paul, a bit like the sfa, either has a short memory or doesn’t mind cognitive dissonance.”



    Where is this speculate to accumulate strategy you now believe has been implemented?



    You, along with every other proponent of that theory, have been stating at every transfer window, including the last, that we had again failed to meet your expectations in the “flash the cash” stakes. Now that we are on a winning streak, the cognitive dissonance has kicked in and you guys are now stating that this success is down to “speculate to accumulate”, even though you were saying the opposite as recently as August 31st when we failed to sign a CB at a sufficient cost to please you.



    The two things that have actually happened financially are :-



    1) We are spending the amounts we had kept in reserve for the period that a club playing out of Ibrox was back in the Scottish Premiership. That plan has been trailed for many years on here but you ignore it now and attribute it bizarrely to the Board agreeing with you on Spec to Acc.



    2) We are paying a smaller group of players and a manager, higher wages to keep many of them happy so that a) they stay and b) they don’t work a Bosman exit and we get to sell them for real profit.



    All of that costs. Whether it is Speculation or not will only be determined by what we do as a result of it. If it was Speculation, we have yet to see the promised effect i.e. accumulation.



    We earn no more in Scotland by winning a treble or a double. Only winning the league gives us a fighting chance of accumulating the riches of CL qualification. Well, we won that league in all those years of fulfilling your criteria that we did not Sp to Ac. Even Ronny Deila won both his leagues but he never got to enjoy the increased spend by Celtic when Sevco got promoted.



    Did our increased spending help us accumulate in the CL? Well Brendan’s team did reach group stages 2 years in a row- and they were close run things against an Israeli and Kazakh team for much of the time, but then the teams of WGS and NFL also managed this, and more in reaching last 16, when you were of the opinion the Board were failing to adopt a strategy of sp to ac.



    Last year, with our increased spend, we got 3 draws in a CL group. Creditable as that was, it was no way a vindication of an increased spend and there was certainly no great accumulation that was not gained by previous managers. This year we have 0 points so far- so again- no vindication of your preferred strategy as yet.



    We all hope that it will come but, meantime, let’s just enjoy a better period which has been planned for over a long period and has not seen The Board turn towards any profligate or unsustainable spend. Their long term strategy is bearing fruit but spare me the claim that it was because they listened to you or other devotees of Spec to Acc.



    Pedro better have a very big for column today with Thomson in charge.


    Thomson has had a litany of wrong decisions in Celtic v Whoever calls themselves rangers and all have benefitted one club.


    He is a cheat who probably has being an Edinburgh jury member on his wish list.

  14. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Saltires, chez Joe’s was terrific at any game at Ibrox we attended whether against the now defunct club or when we played semis or finals there.

  15. Neg is correct in his Financial analysis but I think as long as we invest enough in the squad to keep winning the SPL & qualifying for Champions League that will do me.


    The next level is investing to win a European Trophy & unfortunately that would be a chasing Moonbeams strategy & could bankrupt us.


    If we have spare cash & build the Hotel than great, the future revenue streams will put us even further ahead of the rest of Scotland & when { because it will happen}, they develop a European League, we will be well set up to invest in a squad to compete at that level.


    However today is a football day so above is my only non football related remark of the day.



  16. Good reault for me today –



    – All Celtic fans come home safe and sound


    – No serious injuries to key players


    – A Celtic win by any margin



    Anything beyond that a bonus

  17. embramike says ” Yer team’s deid…Beat it!” on

    Today’s starting line up



    Gordon; Lustig Simunovic Boyata Tierney ; Brown Armstrong ; Roberts Rogic Sinclair ; Griffiths


    Subs: De Vries, Ntcham McGregor Forrest Hayes Bitton Dembele

  18. Come on Celtic let’s get this done and move on to Wednesday ! Hope all the Bhoys at the bigotdome get back safe and sound ! HH !

  19. SFTB theory? A theory that buying better players equals football success? A theory? Wow.



    Anyway Paul said….



    “With Brendan’s contract funded, Celtic brought their chips to the table. £13.8m was invested in the playing squad, a figure we would consider eye-watering at any previous point in our history. Progres to the group stages of European football is never guaranteed, but the building blocks were in place to ensure we had a sporting chance.”



    Couple of points on that but if I follow Pauls logic then in previous seasons we didn’t even give ourselves a sporting chance? Indeed you tell us that it was common knowledge that we were stockpiling while the Huns were in the lower divisions. Really? Was that stated policy. If it was can I get my feckin season book money back for those years please because why the hell should supporters put money in for the board to not invest it. That’s the same attitude that will see the Huns catch us again. Arrogant, dismissive if supporters and quite frankly hunlike.



    Incidentally unless I read the accounts wrong we actually made a profit on transfers? So not really much speculation there really.



    You also, like all lazy commentators, immediately talk about me asking to splash the cash or aim for profligate spending. I have never called for that but in your urgency to dismiss what I say you feel the need to do this.



    One thing that did worry me from the accounts were our costs. They have it seems rocketed. No mention of that from Paul. Interesting.

  20. Forrest must be disappointed not to start today. Maybe he has been promised a start in CL. And perhaps a 15-20 minute spell at the end to keep his 2 goals per game streak going.



    Rogic and Roberts though, wooft. Looking forward to that.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. ...
  4. 5
  5. 6
  6. 7
  7. 8
  8. 9
  9. 10
  10. 11
  11. 12