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. The subtext of todays message from Bankier is clear,



    The huns have went all in to stop 10 and we wont match them.



    And, wait for the new CEO.

  2. T7 @ 3.27



    Not-Jacinda is toast — she cares not who she hurts / destroys as long as she keeps in power.


    Consequently she does not want to upset the hornets nest that is the TFOD2 support.


    She has worked out that the GB element of our support will vote Tartan Tory no matter what she does.



    Consequently she is playing to the gallery.


    Giving us a kicking to introduce herself to the anti-Pape wing of the unioist vote.


    She is giving them a choice — a she hopes some will peel away if she shouts at us in plain sight.

  3. Mad Mitch



    Still with the innacurate guesses on occupations?






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



    That’s precisely the question I posed to you.



    If the club had built your reserve stadium, it would have lain empty for the past 12 months and for loneger than 18 months possibly. All costs- no income, as far as I can see but you think you called this right??? How much would we have lost?



    The Academy developments are a red herring. Everyone who suggests shutting down Lennoxtown because we can cherry pick players develped by other academies, just overlook all the flaws.



    1) No control over quality of product (players) being develloped elsewhere



    but more importantly,



    2) No idea on what to do if other clubs shut down their academies for the same reasons we do.




    The problem does not lie in th factory system- that is the easiest bit to get right. It is providing the competitive and deve;opmental playing environment that they cannot get from age 16 or so.



    It’s the reason that Andy Murray went to Spain because he had to be playing and developing against the players he would be facing in future Grand Slams; he could have stayed in Scotland been number 1 here but he would not have broken into the worlds top 200. It’s the reason English players develop better between 16 and 21 than ours do because they are playing at a higher standard. Those in the lower leagues are good enough to break into the soft ability ceiling of first team football and those in Championship and Premeirship clubs are playing Academy football against squads of players selected from all over the world representing the best prospects of their nation.



    Our academy players play with other Scots boys and do not kick on as hty should. A shiny new stadium playing against the same calibre of opposition will do nothing to solve this.

  4. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Back to Basics – Glass half full on 15th February 2021 5:59PM



    The £993k profit on disposal isn’t a distinct, identifiable transaction. Instead it’s an aggregate of the movement involved in the various transfers completed in the period. In this case the movement netted to a credit balance profit. Had it netted to a debit balance it would be described as loss on disposal.



    Each player is carried on the balance sheet through his time with us at a diminishing value. That value is set against a transfer fee when he leaves. My understanding is Paul67 when over this subject at length in the seasons before I was reading the blog – the Amortisation Years.



    A better view for a supporter is on page 9, the Cash Flow Statement. Two thirds down is Investing Activities. For these six months we spent £6.3m in real money adding players and received £14.3m from other clubs, almost all from Arsenal I’d guess.



    By arithmetic, we owe about £6m on the guys we brought in during the summer window.

  5. When you watch the FM question time, whenever she gets asked a question she doesn’t like, her automatic reflex is to undermine the person asking the question, then she goes on to fob them off. Really pathetic. And then gets fed questions by her SNP chums, which of course she would know about in advance. This is the sign of a very weak leader probably intimidated by the hawks in her own party. Anyway, that’s more than enough politics for me for now.

  6. Celtic should ask Govt. why we were mentioned as part of a response to an alleged breach by RFC staff.


    Govt.have done us no favours so nothing to be lost by putting them on the spot.


    We should also.pursue same team myth,only action of this type will get the easily influenced “fans ” back onside.

  7. Continuity myth for dummies.



    Poor facepainter bumped. When you screw thefacepainter it can never ever be 55.


    It will be 1 and a tainted 1 at that.

  8. james forrest



    You alright mate? what was that post about?



    wee bit o respect James




  9. SFTB @ 6.44 and before.



    I have had loads of ideas regarding how to take the club forward.



    Reserve team / Junior stadium — rebuild Helenvale / put money into Crownpoint.


    Fan Zone — temp facility in containers to try stuff out.


    Fan Zone — £10mill permanent build behind the JS Stand.


    Expansion into the US — Youth and senior team.


    Youth team with higher education — play them in the juniors / budget of £1mill pa.


    Ad hoc arrangement with a EPL League 2 side / loans.


    Buy a team in England — just below the Vanarama / Conference Level.


    Links to any country in Asia with green in their flag.


    Aus academy.


    Close the St Ninians link — currently a WAG hatchery / not a football nursery.


    Proper hotel


    Proper tourist offer / museum.


    Upgrade Barrowfield — some plans are out there.


    Link up with Albion Rovers.


    Buy the land in front of the Emirates — zombie development waiting on the council to give them a profit.



    Consequently please make it real if you are going to make comments about my efforts.



    The floor is yours if you want to offer some options.


    Better that than criticise what you don’t understand or what you criticise selectively.

  10. GF … @ 6.54



    So who have we sold to make that revenue?


    Would it include loan fees for all the youth we have scattered to the 4 winds.



    And finally — oh the memories of the Amortisation Wars of 2006 / 7 / 8 / /9 / 10.


    Not so much a war — more a scuffle involving big button calculators.


    P67 never admitted that he was howling at the moon though.

  11. SFTB @ 6.43



    Just what point are you trying to make?



    Are you defending L/town?


    Are you defending AM / Kiltoon’s finest since Fat Pat (RIP)?


    Are you defending Scottish youth in general?


    Are you defending our youths who head overseas?


    Are you defending PL for sitting on his fat erse and letting it happen?


    Are you pushing for change?


    Are you defending the status quo?


    Are you advocating a round-up of all the 18 years old with any promise?



    Regarding a youth policy — what do you want?


    Or are you just having a go at me because you are jealous that I am better looking than you?


    Be honest.

  12. MadMitch,


    Why don’t you apply for the CEOs job at Celtic.Your knowledge of how to run a football club is staggering.Even your knowledge of where the last guy Ballsed



    it up,is quite frankly,astonishing.10 mistakes nailed,just like that.


    No doubt under your guidance we would won more trophies than the meagre haul the last buffoon won.


    We would be coming out of this crisis with more trophies,the 10 already won,and 60 million,banked.


    Where were you when we needed you.

  13. Turkeybhoy


    Yes and if MM doesn`t fancy the job, there are quite a few others on here who are equally well qualified… would seem.


    Cheerio for now



    PS A snowy Istanbul, offered as a contrast to the balmy weather we are suddenly experiencing, featured on the BBC News this evening.

  14. TB @ 7.44



    Sarcasm — you are better than that.


    Not by much admitedly but you are better than low rent sarcasm.

  15. MadMitch,


    Your views on Huns voting SNP are tripe.If Nicola shut Celtic down,she would still receive minimum votes from them.They will never surrender their Butchers Apron.Seems you are the only one in the dark about this.




    I actually like your ideas. If only people on the board would try some out of the box thinking

  17. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    MadMitch on 15th February 2021 7:31PM



    You’ll know money in for transfers isn’t Revenue. It will be almost all KT from Arsenal, there may have been an outstanding instalment due from the Moussa transfer to Lyon. Bits and pieces could be loan fees in our direction but the size of the clubs involved generally makes me think that source is negligible. Amounts still outstanding are represented on Balance Sheet as Trade Debtors.



    Some of those years I worked in the Optical Express Westfield sheds. It was a workmate there who told me about this blog and I read the leaders for a year or two without being aware of the comments option.



    in between times, I started posting comments on the rangerstaxcase blog and picked up the habit here after it went into hibernation. By that time, I’d moved away from work in Cumbernauld. Too much driving.

  18. MadMitch,


    Honestly,I am no better than that.A pyoor sarcastic bassa.Its just with the unadulterated cack you spout,dressed up in your own idea of facts,you become a person of interest,a target.


    I do enjoy Reading your posts though.Now That’s Entertainment.

  19. TURKEYBHOY on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 7:56 PM



    Jimmy Reid was a high profile member of the SNP.



    He was a hun.



    The idea that no huns support the nats is utter nonsense.



    It’s a bit like saying all Celtic fans support the Provos or no Celtic fans are Tories.

  20. While watching the English Premiership, it’s clear that MOST teams play with pace, and plenty of it. The ball is moved from the goalie, to defence and right through the tam to the opposition box.


    Contrast with our Premier league and the difference is stark.


    Celtic particularly tend to dawdle and waddle up to the half way line, pass it around the back 4, then, when someone feels up to it they’ll try a forward pass, which, 9 times out of 10, gets rolled back.


    If we could take a leaf out of the English Prem, it would do no harm to inject the pace oft witnessed in their games. Do that and we’d bamboozle the opposition up here

  21. I gave up 11s when I was forty. Playing on that Astro turf directly across from Mordor, I saw an opening down the right wing. Beat that 1 defender, hit the bye line and deliver the perfect cross. I got the first bit right, I beat the defender at the half way line. Now, make for the bye line.


    Problem was, although my head and body were travelling at a good 15mph, my feet were only doing 10mph.


    It got a good laugh from all and sundry when I did manage to hit the bye line…..with my face.



    I play a lot of golf now

  22. MM,



    At least you are detailing your alternative strategy. Some of your ideas seem quite feasible. Barrowfield rejuvenation has always made sense and any land in front of the Emirates would be a welcome addition to our magnificent Celtic way.



    Thinking outside the box can be very appealing and rewarding. As a side note it also stimulates debate.



    Cheers and HH.

  23. MadMitch



    Consequently please make it real if you are going to make comments about my efforts.



    followed by….



    Just what point are you trying to make?




    It’ the one you keep failing to answer.



    If we built a reserve stadium and it lay empty for 12 to 18 plus months, just how much money would we have lost.



    Final answer???




  24. has anyone thought where the government got the figure of 1750 quid for the 10 day quarantine



    for 175 a night I would be expecting all inclusive plus for my stay



    sounds like wee Nicola shoring up the hotel industry



    Back to Basics – Glass half full on 15th February 2021 5:59PM



    The £993k profit on disposal isn’t a distinct, identifiable transaction. Instead it’s an aggregate of the movement involved in the various transfers completed in the period



    The 993k profit is the total transfer fees received during the period less the total book value of the sold players on the balance sheet at the time of the transfers. Kouassi is the only player I can remember us selling in the summer window. If we signed him for 3 million on a four year contract and he had 6 months left when we sold him for 1.3m that figure looks about right.



    Profit on disposal of assets is always calculated this way and is always a positive figure.

  26. MADMITCH on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 7:31 PM


    GF … @ 6.54



    So who have we sold to make that revenue?



    Kouassi. Genk made his loan deal permanent and paid a transfer fee for him.

  27. garygillespieshamstring on

    In the mid-late 70s, the impression was that the SNP was not supported by many Tims. The leader of the party was an Orangeman.



    Margo McDonald was said to be particularly vociferous about that when she lost the Govan seat to labour after she had one a bye election. She was quoted as saying that the papers put her oot.



    Catholics voting for the SNP in big numbers is a relatively recent phenomenon, as is the shift from the tartan tories to the more left wing point of view the SNP hold at the moment. I believe a conscious effort was made to woo the Catholic vote as they see it as necessary to achieve their aims.



    I don’t believe the SNP are supporters of catholic education but are presenting that view as a matter of political expediency. I think that post independence they will revert to type.

  28. 31003.






    That moment you know yer playing time is up.


    My moment was when i realised i wasn’t even fast enough to hack down the whippersnappers.




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