Naughty footballers, financial transparency


After Celtic’s reversal in Astana I pinned the decision to allow Kelvin Wilson to leave after the Elfsborg tie as critical.  It left us playing an unaccustomed central defensive partnership against Shakhter while generating only £2.5m.

Before Saturday’s game with Dundee United Neil Lennon suggested the player and his agent had been “naughty”, which might explain things.

It is not unknown for players to cite that they are “not in the right frame of mind” to compete for the club which pays their wages while there is an alternative deal on the table.  This tactic is a certified banker for the player, who does not need to fail a fitness test, he just needs to look a bit down in the dumps.  It is a shocking state of affairs which can cost their employers dearly.

I’m absolutely delighted to see the emergence of some interest in Celtic’s financial position over the last week.  The club have long term loan agreements, an overdraft facility, and, at any point in time, cash on deposit.  We have preference shares which, as long as the club attains certain financial covenants, will attract a dividend.  At any point in time we also money owe trade creditors, utility companies, other football clubs and HMRC, but as you know, for 126 years Celtic have always paid their bills.

Our NET debt position at on 30 June 2012 was £2.77m.  Since then we have had an excellent financial and footballing year.  In 2005 UK accounting rules changed, re-classifying some equity categories and debt.   In their 2006 financial statement, then chairman, Brian Quinn wrote:

“Under FRS 25 the group’s Preference Shares and Convertible Preferred Ordinary Shares, previously defined as equity, were reclassified as a combination of debt and equity; and non-equity dividends were in essence re-classified as interest.  As a result, net assets were £3.8m lower, net debt £4.7m higher and interest charges £771,000 higher than would have been reported prior to the implementation of FRS 25.”

This was “hidden” away on page one of the accounts.  Further details were published at appropriate places throughout the accounts.  A video presentation was also given to shareholders and the media to explain the situation further.

Perhaps the word “transparency” should be used instead of “hidden” by some.

For further reading on FRS 25 see page 5 of this report.
[calameo code=000390171c1dd95770bec lang=en page=100 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]

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  1. Truth_Beauty_and_Freedom on

    BARCELONA superstar Lionel Messi has declared that Celtic Park has the greatest atmosphere in European football.



    Who am I to argue with that, I couldn’t agree more! :-)



    Yours in Celtic,




  2. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on

    Best regards to















    and their elderly parents who are in poor health.



    Also to everyone else who has similar problems either personally or with close family.

  3. gebhoy, I have no doubt whatever that you are correct. I believe that all SPFL Clubs including Celtic and even though no one on this blog would dare say it, I believe a large number of Celtic supporters also want a team from Ibrox back in the SPFL.


    There is absolutely no doubt if some reincarnation of the Huns are back, Sky will hype it to the Nth degree. There will be huge interest in Scottish Football that year with bigger crowds and better sponsorship etc.


    These years are a novelty and we are enjoying a stress free and Hun free environment but it will not last. Some version of the uglies will return and “the war” will kick off again.

  4. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    In ROBINBHOY’s case it’s his friend Wolfgang,not a parent.



    Apologies for any distress,mate.

  5. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    timaloy29 from last thread – I think corkcelt nailed it.



    I didn’t realise Ozil was so highly regarded at Madrid.



    For me he is playing no better and no worse than he did 3 years ago at Bremen.



    He was a £12 million pound player then but is now valued at £42 m ?






    Hail Hail

  6. Saint Stivs


    14:05 on


    2 September, 2013


    Oscar Knox is my Hero – RWE


    13:53 on


    2 September, 2013



    Bill Shankly’s birthday. A man I would love to have spoken with about football, Scotland, the mines and sundry other stuff.



    “John, you’re immortal now.” Bill to Jock Stein in Lisbon, 1967.






    I watched the “Boot Room” chat show on Sky last night, with Spelling , Yeats , St John, and someone else whos name escapes me.



    Shanklys teams seem to be very much in the mould of the lions, in as much as they genuinely seem to care about each other , and love to recall their great acheivements.



    More than the funny stories, what came across was that Shanks really did build a club, and a great football team.



    One of the stories was that when he died , Busby was truelly grief stricken.



    Shanks was born in 1913.



    I wonder if Jock seen his as a mentor at all, a teacher of some things.



    The programme was very good.



    Ian St John I thought spoke very very well.

  7. It will be very interesting to see if “If these preference shares which, as long as the club attains certain financial covenants, will attract a dividend”.



    I will be disgusted and sickened if any monies leave the club. It will make a mockery of the current strategy of our club.



    What happened to every penny invested in the club will stay in the club, remember its as much our money as its theirs.



    Can anyone explain what these “preference” shares are, and why would anyone take money out of Celtic?



    I cannot believe that this would be the case…




  8. Kelvin Wilson?



    Currently ‘starring’ in the English second tier.



    Virgil will turn out to be twice (at least) the player he was/is/is likely to ever be.



    Imo of course.




  9. Paul67



    I’ve read the article but I am not a lot wiser, more my fault than yours. I am especially interested in:-



    “We have preference shares which, as long as the club attains certain financial covenants, will attract a dividend. ”



    Do we know what these covenants are? Should we know?



    Is it inevitable that we must pay a dividend? I assume it is a deliberate human decision rather than a law of physics that says “dividends attract payouts” like magnets attract metal filings? Are we in the best financial position to be paying out dividends when we cannot get a direct replacement for Gary Hooper?



    Now, remember to keep your answers simple for financial dummies like me.

  10. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    14:10 on 2 September, 2013


    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie 14:06 on 2 September, 2013



    Why panic when there is time for another pint?



    The ole mail train was invented with the likes of you in mind…






    It was,mate. Bloody miracle I get home sometimes.



    Usually compos mentis, joooost seriously disorganised.



    I think a disastrous event including a large taxi fare is the only way to sharpen up my attitude.



    Till then,keep relying on my hardworking Guardian Angels….

  11. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Catching up a bit re the 5-way-fiddle. So if Sevco played Brechin before Rangers share transferred to Sevco, does this mean that the Sevco team that took the field that day were actually “Rangers” players? Hmmmm…..

  12. Corkcelt,



    It will happen, and when another honest mistake is made to give them a match winning penalty to win a game against us i hope we all just say ach well…







  13. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    13:04 on 2 September, 2013



    …well, it’s been successful so far…..some of your comments are “on the hoof” ….LOL

  14. Gebhoy, erm, it would be breaking the law if such dividends were not paid (unless the company goes into financial difficulty). Since Fergus took over Celtic have not paid any optional dividends, this is sure to remain the case for many years to come.



    It is also against the law for us not to pay suppliers, HMRC, or staff.



    “What they are” is an alternative to loan finance.

  15. Truth_Beauty_and_Freedom on

    CorkCelt @14:14



    Sorry CorkCelt, but I do not know even one Celtic Supporter who wants them back in the SPFL. This attitude has nothing to do with football in the sporting sense and everything to do with the mess that accompanies them wherever they go. Scottish Football and Scotland in general will be a much better place when that entity (and whatever revision they are now at) is staked through the heart never to return.



    Yours in Celtic,




  16. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    Blinkin’ flip.



    JUNGLE JIM wisnae kidding earlier about the pace of the modern game!

  17. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    14:12 on 2 September, 2013



    Whatever you do, don’t let the LL know……or Gebhoy / Madmitch etc….LOL

  18. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on




    good to see you back




    all the questions i`d like answered too



    it will make for a fairly unhappy situation if we are only spending half of the transfer fees brought in …to keep within covenants …to generate dividends….particularly if they are substantial

  19. SFTB, if the club becomes insolvent these dividends would not be paid. All dividends paid by Celtic since Fergus took over have been contractually due, not a penny of optional dividends have been paid.

  20. P67



    Do you think there may be any further additions to the squad


    today? One or two free agents have caught my imagination…

  21. When we didnt sign Fletcher there was a lot of noise on here. I made some of it. Like most I was unhappy we didnt deliver during “Willo Flood Window”



    However this time is different.



    I would have liked another striker, and another left back. We are a little short in these positions, and injuries could leave us without the option to play in our preferred style in any given game



    However this time is different.



    Why ?



    Well in “Willo Flood Window” we were in competition with Rangers for the SPL title, and the benefits that flowed from this in terms of CL Group stage entry. We now know the extent of David Murrays cheating , which illegally assisted his club, however many of us believed, and still believe we were a decent striker away from significant financial and sporting reward.



    However this time is different .



    We have the financial reward of CL Group stages already. We will almost certainly win the SPFL title with what we already have. Therefore what justification is there to pay more than we estimate as fair value for any player



    I would suggest no justification. Man City ably demonstrated that having a budget many many times our current budget is no guarantee of anything. They were in last seasons group of death, with Real Madrid , Borussia Dortmund and Ajax



    They didnt win a single game and ended up bottom with only 3 points. Paying over value is only ever justified if the financial and Sporting reward is significant. In “Willo Flood Window” it was , and thats why its viewed , correctly in my view, as a mistake. In this most recent transfer window, I believe the club has traded well, responsibly and appropriately.



    Whether the players turn out to be a bumper crop or not , will play itself out over the next 2 seasons.



    However any anger should be directed at an incompetent and conflicted SFA, who in their own words took a decision to disadvantage all Scottish Clubs by refusing to extend the window. Remember the quote from 2008 when they justified extending the window at that time.


    “It would seem to make sense to assist our clubs and ensure that they are not disadvantaged in any way when trying to sign players prior to the deadline.”



    We have a governing body in Scotland who are utterly incompetent and completely conflicted, and thats the obstacle Celtic and other clubs have to overcome as we aim to progress.



    Ogilvie is an embarassment, and in that sense a fitting successor to Peat. Regan is proving as incompetent as his predecessor “Templar” Smith.



    They are the “Willo Flood Window” of governing bodies, and patently not fit for purpose

  22. PFayr, for clarification – insolvency is the covenant. At this point preference shareholders go behind creditors in the pay-out line.

  23. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Re: the latest run of negative Celtic stories



    These are all late substitutions and desperate attempts at making an impact to appease the peepul and cause the delicate among our own support some anguish.



    The original game plan seemed flawless – a week for the Scottish MSM to exorcise the pain of the last 18 months with an endless supply of snide copy on Celtic’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.



    But wouldn’t you just know it … Celtic ruin their plans. New articles are hastily written and the laptop loyal are inconsolable …



    The thought of Celtic ever having to play Sevco fills me with dread – if only because the Zombies will taunt us with “Ramsdens Cup? You’re having a laugh”.



    These are the days for Celtic fans to rejoice.

  24. @Paul67


    This may all be perfectly transparent but never having run a business, bought shares or learned accounts I have no idea what any of it means.



    Are you saying our debt includes what we owe shareholders (now ~£2.7m) and Celtic pay them dividends rather than interest?



    Or is “the debt” somethign else?



    Sorry I’m not being funny- I just don’t know the lingo.

  25. gerry, it’s all in the accounts. The new accounts will be out shortly, we’ll catch up then, but, from memory:



    The net debt position is £2.77m. We have around £8m cash in hand, so loan balance would be around £11m (£11m – £8m = circa £2.77m)

  26. Good afternoon. Thoughts and prayers offered to the parents of Weefrathetim, Tallybhoy and Starry Plough. Also to Robinbhoy’s friend.



  27. Excited to see the young isreali play in the middle of the park, looks like he could be a bossing midfield type,someone for the rest of the team to take a shape from.



    Any suggestion if him and Pukki will get pitched into action soon?

  28. GEBhoy



    You just demonstrated why this fine site would benefit from an edit and delete function. You just slaughtered something you admit to knowing nothing about.

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