Part of me would like to believe that Celtic destroyed Ferencvaros with a multi-cultural display of slick football as a consequence of the hostile reception they received for an expression of support for racial equality before kick-off. But that’s not true. The home supporters deserved no more than to see their team bettered and beaten, Celtic would have been as fabulous no matter.
An early goal followed by an early concession gave the expectation that anything could happen. Liel Abada’s returned to the first team after a few weeks rest did him the power of good, he snatched onto a poor defensive touch, squaring for Kyogo. What followed took me back 20 years….. it’s been that long since we’ve had someone with such composure.
Joe Hart could do nothing about the deflected equaliser but when he smothered a shot midway through the first half, he sprung to his feet to release a break. David Turnbull got the faintest of touches for what would prove to be another assist as the ball found its way to Joto on the left. The Portuguese drew four defenders before firing a shot that clipped one on its way into the net off a post.
Celtic were on fire now and spurned several chances to stretch their lead, the best when Kyogo controlled an inch-perfect Turnbull pass before dinking the goalkeeper, only to be denied by a goal line clearance. When the third came, it was another poster moment for great football. Turnbull won the ball for McGregor to find Kyogo, who played a pass into the box, between defenders. Abada did not break his stride as he found the corner of the goal.
A late consolation brought Ferencvaros within striking distance of Celtic but the visitors managed the game to the final whistle without concern. The Europa League knockout rounds are still a possibility but it will almost certainly be the Conference League, which Celtic are now assured of.
Newco accounts for the year to 30 June 2021 are out. I’ll do a more in-depth look later, a few headlines:
Comprehensive loss for the year was £26.024m, elsewhere you will mainly see the lower operating loss figure quoted, not that £24.153m is low.
For Financial Fair Play purposes, Uefa permit this loss to be adjusted due to the unique circumstances we have lived through. A quick ready reckoner of this:
While other revenue streams and costs remain consistent with the previous campaigns, gate receipts are down £17.46m (no fans spending money at games) and operating costs are down £8.8m (no fans to serve or steward at games). Subtract the former from the latter and Uefa will forgive £8.6m of the comprehensive loss, reducing the Financial Fair Play loss to £17.42m or thereabouts.
Football has returned to largely normal operations this year, so that £17.42m figure is a good proxy for Newco’s forward comprehensive loss. For a business that has never earned more than £59m in its history, the lambeg drums must be ringing the alarm! There’s so much red ink at Ibrox you’d mistake the Clyde for the Red Sea.