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. MADMITCH on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 9:53 PM



    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.



    *bit racist there. BTW there have only been 2 non-RC Prone Ministers over here since 1968, how many RC Prime Ministers in the UK period.

  2. Why no furore………?



    No urgency?



    No outrage……………………..






    Och Aye The No…..!

  3. BB @ 9.57



    He hit both posts and the crossbar and the ball still went out for a throw in.



    Mobility scooters were there for the taking but he decided that it was all too difficult.

  4. Off topic here but just noticed klippety’s team are down to 6th place 2 behind the much maligned Davie Moyes and 6 our former manager who he replaced and with 42 points still to play for he’s thrown the proverbial towel in.

  5. TT @ 10.04



    Racist — are you surrounded by colonials?


    Are you surrounded by people who are a bit thick / poorly educated?


    If you disagree I only have two words for you — Rob Ford.


    Makes BoJo look like a saint.



    And failing that — Progressive Conservatives — just how stupid is that?



    As for your other point it is politics before religion for me.

  6. !!BADA BING!! on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 9:36 PM



    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



    i stand well corrected my friend,you are correct its the Radisson group and not the Hilton.🖒


    jeez they are a global i think the original ethos of the big hospitality players gettin a cut stands in my earlier post.


    Cheers BB and same to yourself.keep the news comiñg





  7. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    GuyFawkes – I here you but …



    £993k profit on player trading in six months?



    We bought Barkas, Ajeti & Turnbull and signed on loan Laxalt, Duffy & Elyanoussi.



    Plus second instalments on Bolingoli, Taylor and whoever from last season.



    We sold Frimpong and Elhamed after December.



    So, how was this offset in full with almost £1m to spare?



    Tierney instalments only?



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  8. MADMITCH on 15TH FEBRUARY 2021 10:21 PM



    TT @ 10.04 Racist — are you surrounded by colonials?



    *naw and I’ve never worked with them



    Are you surrounded by people who are a bit thick / poorly educated?



    *naw most had at a minimum MBAs, in fact one was half way through his PhD when he quit and came here, he was from the middle east and studying in Norway, the most racist country he had ever lived in.



    If you disagree I only have two words for you — Rob Ford.



    *a balloon who only won the election because a right wing Croat gave him her delegates, he’ll be gone in 18 months.



    Canada is a very Liberal county in life and politics, we are quite happy tae keep the border closed for now.

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


    Anybody know what Mulholland Drive is about?




    I have the dvd gave it to an ole workmate,the ungrateful bass came in the next morn calling me a weirdo .



    I couldn’t argue with him :O)

  10. TT @ 10.28



    Sorry I gave you the wrong Ford — Doug Ford / Rob Ford — two fat blooters.



    I have outlaws who live in Canada and they do present some challenges.


    Slightly more worldly wise than Americans but tight as a drum as it pains them that they are not as rich and those south of the border.



    As for the liberal / happy claapy / relaxed and civilised vibe — the tourist board does a great job in pushing the Not America angle.



    As noted above you have more than your share of right wing zoomers and parochial / small town attitudes but it is the holier than thou attitude that gets me — the rural racism / the up country backwoods attitudes / the Quebec exceptionalism of driving pick ups while speaking French / the oil boom environmental degradation / the crying shame of the state of the tribal reservations / the conveyor belt of young poor women who disappear and no-one cares / the kid on progressive vibe of JT.



    No sorry — Canada is many things but a liberal / progressive / forward looking paradise?



    Get real.

  11. BB @ 10.29



    I fear you have read too much AR.


    The market knows nothing — it has to be told.


    If you have no story to tell then the issue is with you.

  12. BIg BooK oF kOvID :-)



    Accooonting while staunin in yir Ys :-)



    Sumz on a widbine packet.







  13. Toaty Trumper @ your bedtime



    Get back under that bridge.


    You are just annoyed that you believe in nothing and it pains you.

  14. GuyFawkes



    Kouassi joined Genk permanently in the Summer transfer window which opened after 1 July.



    His wouldn’t have been included in previous accounts

  15. Mad man…..









    Lame at best.



    But, keep goin’……….

  16. Your


    a benchmark in error :-)



    but even you’ll get a hug next time Celtic are open for a game




  17. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Back to Basics – Glass half full on 15th February 2021 10:25PM



    Celtic40me on 15th February 2021 10:48PM



    I have no problem with you sticking to your guns. We don’t have sufficient information on player contracts to colour in the outline. We lose out on stiffs in the squad every season.



    Clubs can agree deals anytime. Celtic cutting Eboue out 30th June, him signing for Genk 1st July makes sense to me. Maybe the Euro bombed or we won a round of pass the parcel with our American kids. Who knows? Not supporters.




    Clubs can agree deals anytime but the transaction can’t be booked until the transfer of the registration takes place which in the case of this summer in Belgium would have to have been after 7 July.

  19. Tweet


    See new Tweets




    Chris McLaughlin




    First Minister when asked about alleged breaches of Covid rules my Rangers players. “I feel it’s taking me all my power not to stand here and use expletives when I get asked about football.”

  20. Huns voting for SNP?



    Always remember growing up in Govan (not Ibrox) there a painted sign about 2 feet high.



    “HOME RULE IS ROME RULE” think this was in Plantation or Kinning Park.



    MM @ 10:41



    Now understand why you have to initialize everbody’s name because when you use full names you don’t know who your talking about ;-)))

  21. Good morning cqn from a wet and windy Garngad



    To say I was surprised by Sturgeons response to the question on sevco yesterday is an understatement.


    We only look for some kind of parity but the more things change the more they stay the same.



    Our custodians should have a list of grievances the length of Succiehall street they could cite but still they remain silent instead they choose to talk about finances.



    They are only interested in our hard earned cash, reminds me of the Kelly’s and Whites.



    Shame on everyone of them.



    D :)

  22. The message from the klan board to the great leader was simple.


    Keep your nose out of our business!.


    Anyone surprised? .


    Celtic really need to get out of this corrupt little shithole.




  23. Wee Nippy



    When it’s us it’s CELTIC writ large



    when it’s the huns it’s………………….. FOOTBALLERS




  24. Marspapa


    I bag the penalty spot .



    Would CP be suitable ?



    If venuses are needed , I would guess the Emirates Arena would offer more inside space.

  25. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    HOT SMOKED on 16TH FEBRUARY 2021 10:00 AM




    `Venuses` sounds like Gollum ( Not Wee Wullie) !













    PS – point re: inside space is good one – Emirates looks like a good venue. Rate of vaccinations seems to be good at the moment – ‘new’ rate will slow down in next week due to second doses being due for folks vaccinated a couple of months ago. Rate limiting factor is availability of vaccine supply, and availability of trained clinical staff to administer. I think mostly OK for space.

  26. FESS19 on 16TH FEBRUARY 2021 4:14 AM


    Huns voting for SNP?







    Always remember growing up in Govan (not Ibrox) there a painted sign about 2 feet high.







    Jimmy Reid grew up in Govan.



    He was a hun. Never hid it.



    He was also a high profile member of the SNP and supporter of independence.



    Just sayin’.

  27. MARSPAPA on 16TH FEBRUARY 2021 9:56 AM


    Why has Celtic park not been utilised to do vaccinations’








    Maybe the barriers are still up.

  28. BGFC


    Thanks for the info.


    Off out now to see if I can still ride a bike.


    Cheerio for now.





    Is that the same Jimmy Reid who was presented as a rampant Communist in the Upper Clyde Shipbuilding days?

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