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. GF … @ 8.04’ish



    My loose phrasing — profit not revenue.


    The £993K figure relates to profit in that time period from the disposal of intangible assets.



    Consequently any idea who it was?


    It would relate to an evennt in that 6 months not PL tick book of previous deals.




    The SNP have successfully adopted the Chameleon approach. Looking right in the Scottish Highlands and looking left in the central belt and Dundee.

  3. C40M @ recently



    EK — how could we forget about him.


    Has all the hallmarks of another PL inspired agent friendly transfer.


    Every time I looked the amount we paid for him went up.



    One fine game plus flung under the Hertz bus by BR.


    For the record I thought he had promise but it wasn’t to be.

  4. My 5’s finale took place on an astro-turf pitch in north London.



    I started to connect with a perfectly paced one-two thanks to a pass from another ex-pat Bankie two years and four stone better off than me……


    ……..I never made it, in my head I did……….


    ……but the reality hit hard as my other Bankie buddie dissolved in laughter on the sidelines……….I was goosed.



    Still miss the camaraderie.

  5. SFTB @ 8.30



    If we had built a reserve stadium — how much money would we have lost due to CoViD19?



    Good question — easily answered.



    We would have lost the same amount of money that we have lost by building L/town and not using Barrowfield — next to nothing.



    We would have paid the £3mill / £5mill in cash and just got on with it.


    Plus you would be ignoring the cash it would have brought in in earlier years.



    My guess would be £1mill pa after matchday costs.



    So now that is settled what about your ideas?




    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





    The “hospitality” industry has been well fed over lockdown.The Hilton in west regent st was stuffed full of refugees.that was the hotel several months ago the chap lashed out and killed 3.They will get a good room rate and a possible refurb at end of day.



    The homeless in glasgow vanished at lockdown1 too.just shows you what can happen



    ps the 1750 figure can have the addition of 100+ getting a test on checking in and 100+ for a test on leaving.nice little earner for the private test industry.


    Testing for travel is not covered by NHS so private testing it is.



    Soz for the tangent but plenty makin money


    hope your good






    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.












    ‘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.’








    Catholics started voting for the SNP when O’Brien got into bed with Salmond.



    The SNP don’t have a left wing point of view. They have a populist point of view, with one goal in mind, independence. Their flagship policies (tuition fees, prescription charges etc) are designed to benefit the middle class, rather than the poorest, who miss out as a result (the money has to come from somewhere).

  8. GREENPINATA on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 8:54 PM






    The SNP have successfully adopted the Chameleon approach. Looking right in the Scottish Highlands and looking left in the central belt and Dundee





    that the schizophrenia that is politics GP


    all are the same


    all parties


    more fool you if you think Nicola,Tory or Thatcher are principled.Theyd all chuck it


    and sell their mammy given half a chance.:-)


    hope yir good mate



  9. GGH @ 8.44



    The Young team / GB / trendy Chapel vote moving over to the Tartan Tories has been the big political change in my adult life.



    I have memories of the “Sorry No Papes” vibe of Oct 1974 that swept old Kiltoon.


    Too young to have adult conversations about it but is was all the talk of the primary school steamie …


    The Primary vs St Pats — they were very vocal so heaven help us what the parents thought.



    Not sure if it was caused by the bold DC being the new Lab candidate which might have generated a local hotspot. However he managed prevail by putting a big Mason on his RHS / the priest in attendance and a fire and brimstone CoS minister giving it old time religion to the max highlighting how nationalism through the ages had always ended badly.



    Seems so long ago now.



    10 years later I caused commotion in a car going to the egg chasing by criticising DC as a bit of an attention seeker / media hound — little did I know that the two in the back were teachers who knew him.



    Those were the days — Scumberned’s 4ths.



    The captian / LH prop was a Trump prototype.


    TH prop was a card carrying Communist from the shipyards.


    The centres were 35 plus — Fast frank and Fumbler Gilles — one of those names was ironic.



    Those were the days.

  10. AN TEARMANN on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 9:16 PM



    I’m not knocking their policy. It seems to be a winning logical formula.



    I’m good, hope you are too.



    Cheers and HH.

  11. Toaty trumper @ 9.16



    You still haven’t told us how you vote / what your political viewpoints are?


    I wonder why not — are they a little bit too raw for the likes of us?

  12. EL @ 9.10



    KO’B getting into bed with Salmond — well he had to get lucky sometime.



    My thoughts are it started earlier — 1992 / Motherwell Bishop got very friendly with the Tories.


    Suggestions were that the Church hierarchy got jealous that their flock were more into politics than religion and they got jealous.

  13. Not quite sure if I can claim copyright on the term ‘Old Firm R Us’. Maybe,


    But one thing is for sure, that phrase is right on the money


    ‘And you take that to the bank’




  14. AT- the hotel where the police incident was The Park Inn,on West George St, it was part of the Radisson Group, but was sold a few weeks ago, hope you and yours are well. HH

  15. MadMitch



    Not quite settled.



    “We would have lost the same amount of money that we have lost by building L/town and not using Barrowfield — next to nothing.”



    Since your scenario involved mothballing a perfectly usable and recently developed facility in Lennoxtown, you would have to add those costs into your calculation. After all you proposed that,when we had Lennoxtown, not before.



    As for my ideas on money making- not particularly my area of expertise but I reserve the right to express scepticism about Money making ideas when I can spot flaws that they don’t seem to have considered. Somebody should have tol Clive Lewis that the Sinclair C5 was a pathetic idea- likewise John De Lorean in NI,



    I do have ideas on youth development and I gave them. We need to have our 16 to 21 group playing in more competitive and testing environments- Either in a more elite age group setting Europe wide or playing adult football at a lower level. Playing a teamof 18 year olds in Scottish League Two is not quite gonna make it as they would get physically bullied. You would need to leaven that group with 3 or 4 journeymen fringe players or past-it veterans, like Scott Brown, whenever he gets there.



    We are not alone in failing to bleed young players into the first team set up. Last year Arsenal tried it with 6 or 7 young players and the results suffered. Maitland Niles is now at West Brom, Willock out on loan to Newcastle, Gyendozi’s in Berlin, Saliba’s away to Nice. Reiss Nelson got two appearances this season after having 17 the year before. Even talented foreign youngsters like Martinelli have had drastically reduced pitch time. Only Sakho, Nketiah and Smith Rowe are getting regular look ins and they may suffer the same 2nd season fall out that happened with <aitland-Niles et al.



    Arsenal, blooding the youngsters finished only 8th. This season they have reduced the number of raw youngsters but are still languishing in 10th. Talented squad but definitely not punching its weight.



    Getting young players into the first team is as much of an art as a science. Alex Ferguson did it really well in a different era but its hard to break into a team and squad packed with internationals. Our young players have to get by loads of international players. We have 2 senior goalie internationalists, Duffy, Ajer, Taylor, Bitton, Elhamed and Laxalt are all senior internationalist defenders . Brown, McGregor Turnbull, Rogic, Elyounoussi, Christie and Forrest are all midfield internationalists, Griff and Ajeti are both international strikers. Most of the rest of the squad are u-21 caps, two of them for a very strong French set up on Jullien and Edouard.



    The best of our young players who broke through got a timely chance to develop elsewhere (McGregor and Ajer). Only Tierney and Forrest were sufficiently good to break through directly.



    These guys need tested more on the football pitch not provided with more fancy surroundings.

  16. For my firther edumacation, how could an Orangeman , who swears an oath to defenc Queen and the Union, be a nationalist ?



  17. MADMITCH on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 6:10 PM



    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.



    *you are missing the point here, you said on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 3:06 PM


    “Our normal business is the staging of football matches. That should pay for itself and leave a surplus for investing / growth. We should not have to rely on selling players to balance the books.”



    And my response was along the lines that the airports main revenue source was not enough to maintain a level of service required for an international facility.



    As I’ve said many many times we have sold players to maintain our role as a major club.



    The airport I worked in was a 24/7 operation, not all terminals I hasten to add, but for the most part the one that handled the Caribbean and International flights was.



    When a vendor is contracted to operate there they must be able to staff their area whenever flights are operating. They are also required to pay a Percentage of Gross Revenue (PGR) which must be signed off by a CPA. After a couple of years they are often given the option of the PGR or a Minimum Annual Guarantee (MAG).



    Most of their employees BTW are immigrants and on a minimum wage with zero hour contracts.



    I started off as Traffic and Transportation Manager; it was an operational role which required a lot of hours depending on weather and/or other concerns. As I often say now I was well paid but they got their pound of flesh from me and no I don’t have a heated driveway, just a snowblower and couple of big shovels.



    I was then promoted to a Marketing role again with Transportation and Parking in my remit. This was a dream job as you don’t have to recruit businesses as they are bursting a gut to get a licence, its money for old rope.



    Incidentally both the airports and airlines are hurting badly right now and letting staff go left, right and centre. The traditional March Break which is a gold mine for this industry as families escape tae the sunnier climes has been rescheduled for April and even then that’s debatable, COVID has hit hard here.



    We don’t have that luxury in fitba grounds in the country. With the parks being used once a fortnight or so for about 10 months a year there are not that many companies rushing to get the contracts. So we have to find other means to raise money, i.e. advertising and player sales.

  18. prestonpans bhoys on

    SAINT STIVS on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 9:42 PM



    That’s exactly what was in my heed too😵😱

  19. SFTB @ 9.37



    The Sinclair C5 — now there was an idea that had legs but was half cooked.


    Consequently I would stick to what you know / think you know and leave Big Auto innovation to others.



    Two routes were available to CS and he missed both of them:



    1) Mobility scooters — he was ahead of the game but got all trendy middle class with the layout and the trike layout.



    2) BEV vehicles — four wheels and better batteries would have got him started.



    His biggest issue was that he big on ideas but crap at detailed design and development.


    Bit of a Klondyker — not good at the hard slog.

  20. Having been out past the airport today, I was intrigued to see an EasyJet taking off.



    My initial thought, is who is going anywhere, and why are they going,



    so i checked the arrivals and departures.



    2 to/from Londonium, 4 to/from the scottish isles.

  21. Stivs and Pans……………..



    I figured he was just a common or garden variety Hun………………

  22. TT @ 9.44



    Working for a load of thick colonials with too much snow and polar bears must be a tough gig but don’t let your local issues infect a discussion about the club.



    If we have to sell players to keep the club afloat then we have the balance wrong.


    We are wasting money and we are a poorer club for it.



    Regarding airports — they are nothing like football clubs.


    You are selling your product on the cheap to your commercial clients while you scalp your retail customers.



    You doff your caps to power and trample over those with little choice.


    Consequently I have no time for your hackneyed and low rent arguments.

  23. MM



    you should write a couple of them there Help Books, suggested titles



    * How I became a self made Billionaire



    * How you can run your business better using all my ideas.



    you would be on a winner.

  24. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Celtic40me on 15th February 2021 8:37PM



    Those numbers work in theory to get the idea across but I don’t believe the club would account for Eboue’s movement twice. He’s included as one of four registrations permanently disposed within the financial year to June ’20; KT, Lewis Morgan, Eboue Kouassi, Scott Sinclair (Source just for Ernie, p14 Annual Report 2020).

  25. Mad man.



    Clive Sinclair.



    He had an idea that didn’t solve embdy’s problems.



    Ergo, a duff idea.

  26. JACKIEMAC on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 9:54 PM


    Anybody know what Mulholland Drive is about?


    Director was David Lynch (same director of Twin Peaks). A ‘surrealist neo-noir mystery film’ so make of it what you will…

  27. Just logged in to Madmitchquicknews.


    Something interesting over Govan way we shouldn’t be looking into?




    I cant think of who else it could have been. The accounting principle still applies however the amount was arrived at – profit from disposal of assets in the income statement is always a positive figure arrived at from the amount realized from the sale less the book value of the assets.



    We’ve sold someone since the 30 June for more than a million

  29. prestonpans bhoys on

    SFA and the government are taking their time over this hun covid indiscretions, wonder why😕😯

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