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‘CELTIC WON’T BE RECKLESS’ BANKIER

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CELTIC chairman Iain Bankier has admitted the team’s European performances have not been good enough.
However, he insisted the Board would not adopt a “reckless” financial policy to chase a place in the Champions League.

Bankier spoke as Celtic published their financial results for the six months that ended on December 31, 2015, showing a pre-tax profit of £11.7million – up from 2014’s figure of £6.6million, mainly due to the selling of Virgil van Dijk to Southampton.

In his chairman’s statement, Bankier said: “On the park, it has been a frustrating season. We are top of the Scottish Premiership and in the sixth round of the Scottish Cup, but we fell short in the SPFL League Cup, being knocked out in the semi-final.

“In the European competitions, we were unable to progress beyond the group stages of the UEFA Europa League, having not qualified for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

“The strategy of the Board is unchanged. Our overwhelming priority is to win the SPFL Premiership and to qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

“Our performance in Europe this season has been the cause of considerable frustration.

“The challenge has been to maintain a settled and winning squad throughout the summer months when the crucial Champions League qualifying matches are played, to manage the player changes during the summer transfer window and then to kick on when the new season begins.

“Each season we meet this challenge within the financial constraints of where we sit in Scottish football, for to do otherwise would be reckless.

“The Board considers that our self-sustaining model allows the club to look to the future with reasonable optimism.”

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