Celtic’s revenue for the interim six months to 31 December 2013 fell 11% to £44.8m (2012: £50.1m), while operational expenses also fell, by 7%, to £34.3m. The club had £5.7m cash in the bank, £5.6m more than a year earlier.
A few factors behind the figures:
We played fewer home games, 16 as opposed to 19 the previous season, and although you may pay your season ticket up front, the club only recognises the income when games are played (cash at bank is recognised as soon as your payment lands).
Profit was up to an incredible £21.3m, from £14.9m), largely as a consequence of the sale of Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson last summer. Without wanting to go into the who ‘A word’ (it’s not 2004), money coming in from player sales goes straight to profit whereas money going out on player purchases hits profit gradually over the period of the player’s contract.
Investment in players was almost identical to the previous year, £5.0m from a 2012 figure of £4.7m.
Financially these are great figures but there are potential weaknesses lurking. The club are absolutely dependent on reaching the Champions League group stages more seasons than not. This brings significant revenue – and supports whatever player valuations the club will be able to achieve should they sell. It also acts as the most effective tool to attract talent to Scottish football.
Finishing fourth in the Champions League, not second, is the most significant factor in the interim drop, but it will have a more significant impact on the second part of the season, which will be without a knock out stage round.
Celtic are still repointing the club away from the arms face they fought with a lemming club but they have delivered the key on-field objectives, which in itself takes care of the finances.
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