Celtic reported turnover of £101.6m for the year to 30 June 2018, the first time the club broke through the £100m barrier. Just as income rose from £90.6m the previous year, costs rose to £87.1m (2017; £76.3m).
The club was profitable to the tune of £17.3m, buoyed by gain on the sale of player registrations of £16.5m. Without Champions League football, this season’s results will be significantly different, but net cash (after debt and similar were deducted) was £27.0m, so we can continue to operate without the need to cut costs.
The most striking aspect of these figures is that, with the current wage structure, we are roughly breakeven with Champions League income (before player trading).
We are in the middle of first team contract renewals, which will push wages higher still. We are increasing our cost structure despite the lack of Champions League football, but this is necessary. There are risks (transfer market crash), but these are no more relevant to Celtic than anyone else.
We are never going to guarantee Champions League money every season (no matter how easy your pal tells you it is), so buying wisely and selling before players exhaust their contracts or lose form is critical to the operation. Therein lies the challenge – which is also easy, just ask the same pal.