Interims, execution variables and ‘Let me put this clear’ Sturgeon


Celtic’s interims for the 6 months to 31 December 2020 reveal revenue down 23.7% while operating costs dropped 12% on the corresponding period a year earlier. This resulted in a small operating loss of £278k (2019: £7.061m profit).

The amortisation charge (newbies: it’s how player transfer fees are recorded in accounts) was up marginally to £6.583m (2019: £5.874m), but the biggest change anywhere on the accounts was in player sales: this season at £993k against £23.021m a year earlier.

A drop in revenue of only £12.647m reflects the high level of season ticket sales and long-term commercial deals the club has with its partner organisations. Even if ticket sales soften next season (they may or may not), the most valuable commercial contracts will continue to perform.

The £23m gain on player sales from a year earlier was overwhelmingly made up from the sale of Kieran Tierney to Arsenal. This season, Celtic chose not to transform Odsonne Edouard or several others, into gold, while pursuing a tenth successive title. This plan will not deliver, but even looking back through the prism of these accounts, the alternatives were less attractive. Odsonne and the other principle saleable assets remain under contract at the end of this season and we can expect one or more to leave.

Cash balance on 31 December was £19.7m; down from £32.9m (and helped by money coming in for Tierney) but not for 25 years has it been more important to have money in the bank than now.

My ready reckoner puts the operating loss for the entire season at close to £23m. This level of losses (close to where Newco are in normal times) is not sustainable, but I am not going to extrapolate as this season has too many unique factors.

The January sale of Jeremie Frimpong (£11m minus Man City cut) will begin to offset our losses but after amortisation and other non-operating expenses are taken into account, I still expect a comprehensive loss for the year in excess of £20m.

Cash balance will be nearly wiped in the months ahead, but notes with the interims forecast we will remain in the black, a surprise for me. Working on the very strong assumption that Odsonne will not extend his contract, his likely sale in the summer will hopefully generating substantial working capital.

When football clubs start getting things wrong they have a tendency to compound their problems with dangerous over-corrections. David Murray is the morality tale for this after reacting to Rangers run of successive titles stopping at 9, with a recruitment drive that saw annual losses of £35m and a regard for tax affairs that ultimately led to liquidation.

The appetite for corrections, both from the outgoing chief exec Peter Lawwell, and the incoming Dominic McKay, will be significant. Neither will want another season like this. There are many ways of getting it wrong; getting it right will take the judgement of Solomon across the handover period.

Although the finances have taken a hit, we have strong fundamentals to work with: impressive commercial contracts, a huge fan base, a reliable credit history and stable ownership. Everything else is just about execution variables.

Red card.

When Boli Bolingoli broke lockdown rules in August, Nicola Sturgeon postponed Celtic’s (and Aberdeen’s!) forthcoming games. She laid it on the line for football, “Let me put this as clearly as I can in language that the football world will understand: consider today to be the yellow card.  The next time it will be the red card, because you will leave us with absolutely no choice.”

Since then she declined to comment when Newco players broke the same rules, although permitted her PR to issue a statement congratulating the club on a swift response (no swifter than Celtic’s). She subsequently grabbed the limelight and used innuendo to grandstand against Celtic when her Government had already approved the club’s plans.

“Let me put this as clearly as I can”, Nicola Sturgeon has no intention of treating Celtic and Newco equally. She will keep her red card in her pocket in reaction to Newco’s latest infringement, like the Ayrshire official she is.

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  1. Our £80,000 per annum Chairman had this to say in his statement:



    “Yous plebs know nothing about runnin’ a big business! Noo away an’ play wi’ the traffic while us yins who ken dae whit we know is best fur yous!”



    or words to that effect.



    Hail! Hail!

  2. Seems a Tim delivery driver delivered a takeaway to Bassey’s house, then foned the cops..😅

  3. Gene- yes,Arsenal season tickets are extortionate, but I think the £1.5m extra,is from hospitality, food and drink kiosks,and merchandise.

  4. DANSO_1888 on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 4:10 PM



    If it’s true that they’re looking for a DoF then it’s not unreasonable to suggest that the new DoF will have some input into who will be our manager next season.



    With that being the case, no announcement will be made until then.



    I’m pretty sure Neil Lennon won’t be manager next season but that announcement can’t be made until we’ve appointed a DoF at the very earliest.

  5. garygillespieshamstring on

    Would be typical of this season if the FM issued the red card due to sevco players’ behaviour and football was stopped and the title handed to the huns.

  6. MadMitch



    “Tough ask but very achievable if you have some vision and a plan.”





    What would our debt figures look like today if we had followed your one and only concrete suggestion from your vision and built a reserve stadium to lie empty during this Covid Period?



    I believe you described that strategy as a “no brainer” which, admittedly, may be a double meaning phrase.

  7. Timmy 7



    You were very quick to defend the FM against today’s accusations with a lot of assertions, but precious little evidence, that the acusations were patently false.



    Gene asked you a specific question as to why she is acting in these ways yet there has been subsequent silence from you.



    I’d prefer to hear some reasoning from you rather than an unevidenced statement.



    Please do not use straw man refutations.



    Nobody is accusing her of being pro-protestant


    No-one is accusing her of being pro-Sevco


    No-one is acusing her of being anti-Celtic



    Yet she has reacted with a hugely different style to Bolongoli & Dubai on one hand, and Arfield’s Party and Bassey/Patterson & co on the other.



    Care to offer a reason as to why?

  8. GGH – I had the same thought, Nippy Sweetie blames Celtic…and The O&& F&&&…………….stops the league and the title is handed to the huns, ….she’s nhappy, thems are happy………..


    and scoddland is happy enough………..




    I’m an independent-minded Tim, but an SNP Scotland would be a colder (big) hoose for Tims.

  9. You gotta love this site at times, and no-one should claim the host doesn’t know his stuff.



    The club is in freefal, the board has adopted a policy of “Crisis? What Crisis?” and some folk want to focus on nothing more than whether the First Minister gave Sevco a hard time today.



    Frankly, I couldn’t give a fuck.



    I care what happens inside our own walls, and in case people missed it we’re a disaster area.



    Moderators, do your worst.

  10. Adi Dassler



    “Inderpendence doesn’t mean you have to vote SNP to run the country. Wake up & stop sniffing the white stuff & think rationally.”





    Honest- it was a pure Scottish mixture of porridge, cranacham and white pudding.



    Thinking rationally, I believe voting SNP will be the only way to win Independence (the recent Judean People’s front split (Scotia Future) will wither and die after it merely splits the vote)



    If “Independence” is ever won then the “Boys wot won it” will be in power for at least 20 years after, unless the economy tanks very quickly and by even more than I would foresee.



    Caveat: The Salmond/Sturgeon legal battle might make the split happen sooner and we could have 2 new Nationalist Parties- the Scottish National Sex Pest Party and the Scottish National Let’s not Annoy Rangers Party.

  11. James Forrest



    Really abusing the privilege today.



    You ban people from your own site (and i agree with your decisions there) but you can’t be bothered to observe one of the few rules that this site applies.



    Not only failing to observe it but coming on deliberately to do so and drawing attention to it by goading moderators of all people.



    Honestly, James, a wee bit of emotional control would go a long way.



    P.S. Calling out our enemies, as was done here,a nd is done by yourself too, does not prevent or even inhibit anyone from having a go at any target within the Celtic family.



    You can do it. I can do it and all posters on here can do it.



    We may have different targets but we have that freedom to express. Use it wisely!

  12. JAMES FORREST on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 4:54 PM



    That should be ‘Master James Forrest’ surely, he’s got top be about 10 or 12 coming on with stuff like that.

  13. FM



    “I don’t care if it’s Celtic, Rangers, or any other club it’s not on, so please stop breaking the rules.”



    so there you have it, please therangers, behave yourselves – even handed my bahooki.

  14. garygillespieshamstring on




    Agree with your last point as well.



    I didn’t vote for an independent Scotland for that very reason. I didn’t vote no because I am a unionist, I just don’t think our interests would be well served in an independent Scotland under the SNP.


    Not for me unless the plan includes removal of the royal family and declaration of a republic.


    Not the banana type we live in at present under the SNP.



    JF : plenty of kicking of Celtic and the plc on this site , which is fair enough.


    However if we choose to comment on the contrasting attitude of government to Celtic and the huns, it is our right to do so if we wish, as long as it is within Paul’s rules.

  15. James Orrest……………




    Leave out the “Fs” matey, eh……………..



    It’s poor enough you wipe your eet on This Dear Green Place but while here in our company would you mind following the one rule that most stick to?




  16. Phil has posted a forensic article about the “No 55 lie” but Doncaster but his cohorts in the SPFL and SFA need to be held to account for the contrived malfeasance regarding the demise of *Rangers FC and the continuity narrative that has still not been challenged by Celtic board – sorry but a feeble Rory Bremner AGM quip by PL simply won’t suffice !




  17. Interesting bit in Blojo’s press conference there,a journalist said if we keep vaccinating at the current rate,Groups 1-9 will be done by the end of March,not May which is the quoted target.

  18. Bada


    Didn’t see the press conference but I’d imagine it’s a concern over supply of the vaccine.

  19. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Posted much earlier on the second topic of Paul’s leader (indicative perhaps of where my priorities lie).



    Going back to the first topic – the interims – two things spring to mind.



    “There are many ways of getting it wrong; getting it right will take the judgement of Solomon across the handover period”



    Don’t quite agree Pablo.



    Insert “completely” before right and I would.



    Getting it mostly right or right enough is an easier intellectual ask of the CEOs?



    Second – can anyone on here recall who we sold between 30 June and 31 December to generate £993k of player sale income?



    Hail Hail



    Keep The Faith

  20. Gene- I think there is a slowdown of supply for a week, but that was expected, but a hack said going by current levels, Cohorts 1-9 could be vaccinated by end of March, not May as predicted,nobody disputed his point.

  21. JAMES FORREST on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 4:54 PM








    ‘The club is in freefal,’








    No it isn’t.



    It’s in deliberate, controlled and managed decline.

  22. TT @ 3.55



    Airports are not business — they are rentier capitalism of the most basic kind.


    Scalpers / shysters / rent seekers — you pass go you pay £200 / week’s posh car parking.



    We did not win the EC by being a selling club.


    If that is your ambition — then you are welcome to it but why stop there?


    Surely firing Pl would have save us a few bob?



    Even although you highlight capitalism at its worst — you have a point.


    Airports maximise their income streams — we don’t.



    Build the brand / build the club / buil;d the football team — simples.

  23. Well if Sturgeon and Celtic don’t do anything about some Sevco breaking COVID Rules ,then a lot of our fans will not back any off them Independance and Ticket Renewals,

  24. SFTB @ 4.44



    I take it retirement is not being kind to you.


    Missing the cut and thrust of discussing the finer points of schooling with 3rd years?



    Compare and contrast …



    Lennoxtown Training ground — cost centre / earned us nothing in 14 years.


    White elephant at best — huge missed opportunity at worst.


    That is our reality — money wasted on a property punt by those in the know.



    Upgrade to Barrowfields including a reserve ground for 2 /4 / 6K crowds.


    Covered full size pitch plus the pitches already there.



    Same cost but this time it earns us money — who called it right?



    We waste money paying our exec levels top dollar.


    But the great unwashed on here would rather cheapshot those putting forward ideas.



    Interesting !?!



    Any thoughts on the magical £60K figure that seems to pop up whenever a player moves in or out of CP?

  25. TIMMY7_NOTED on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 3:27 PM


    ‘Yet another unionist blog backed up by a lot of nonsense about the FM supporting the huns. Are you lot for real? The most pro union, pro tory football club in the country and the FM is supporting them to the deficit of all others? Really?’







    Yes. Really.



    Sturgeon realises she is going to be forced to hold a referendum sooner or later, assuming she remains as party leader.



    The nats lost the last referendum. If they have any hope of winning the next one they have to win over people who voted no last time. So they will be concentrating their efforts, not on those who already support them, like yourself, but on people who aren’t already nats. People who would have voted no or abstained last time. People like the huns. Not the hard core, dyed in the wool loyalist, OO member huns, but the softer ones, like the Jimmy Reid types. Hence the emollient attitude she has displayed towards the huns in contrast to her comments about Celtic.

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