Read ‘em and weep, Armageddon-merchants


Commenting on following on from his predecessor Dr John Reid, chairman Ian Bankier, told a Celtic AGM he was not a man to deliver an insightful one-liner but Celtic’s Preliminary Results, released yesterday, are best summarised by the chairman delivering exactly, that, “This year demonstrated above all, the impact that football success brings to Celtic plc in its current shape”.

In short, there is no success, debt reduction, profit increasing, stadium improvement, squad development, retail or PR, without football success, those who suggest otherwise are overlooking the obvious.

These are wonderful financial results, delivered against an uncertain landscape when some, who should have known better, were delivering all kinds of alternative predictions for Celtic’s future, but there are cautionary tales within.

Any single event (in this case Champions League qualification) which can increase turnover by 47.7% is to be welcomed, but this is sport, where qualification cannot be guaranteed, no matter how many resources you commit to getting there.  We don’t have to look far to find the unedifying consequences of clubs who bet the tax money on getting to the Promised Land.  The challenge for Celtic is to fortify football operations every season without gambling recklessly.

In the year to 30 June 2012, when more season tickets were sold and we reached the Europa League group stage, turnover was £51.34m.  This is by no means a worst-case-scenario going forward, but it is a good budget starting point.  With operating expenses, including significant bonus and Champions League costs, coming in at £62.71m last season, our potential loss from failure to reach the Champions League is of the same order as our actual profit last year.  Any individual bad season would not wreck plans.

Like-for-like merchandising sales were up 29% on the previous year.  Celtic put this down to three elements: Champions League participation, improved retail performance, in particular at Glasgow Airport, and 125th Anniversary products.

It is likely that recent changes in the UK sports retail market has had a greater impact in Glasgow than any other UK city.  Sports Direct consumed JJB during the period and are now the overwhelmingly dominant sports retailer in the UK.  The firm’s owner is also one of the largest shareholders in a new Glasgow football team, who’s merchandising Sports Direct now operate.  I’m delighted Sports Direct own other local football brands but Mr Ashley will have discovered that you can’t ride two horses in this town.

In 2011 and 2012, with significant changes in Scottish football up for grabs, we debated the potential impact on our club.  Looking back on subsequent events it is clear to see that the arms race we were embroiled in for around a century was not good for Celtic, not good for any other Scottish club and not good for Scotland as a whole.  Football today is like a breath of fresh air compared to the way things used to be.

Read ‘em and weep, Armageddon-merchants.

1254125 at The Great Scottish Run.

On Sunday 6 October there is a 10k and Half Marathon.  If that is beyond you. There are family events taking place the day before. This is your club, remind the world of what really counts and get involved in 1254125.

The first thing you need to do is sign up for the Great Scottish Run, or here for one of the family events.

Once you’ve done that, you can register for the 1254125 campaign here.

Then you can create a donations page here.  Click Start Fundraising, search for Celtic Charity, setup your My Donate account).

Email me and let me know if you are having trouble signing up or need any more help, celticquicknews@gmail.com.

To read the new issue of CQN Magazine click here (don’t try to read the graphic below).
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  1. Apologies for the rampant recycling.


    However looking for some thoughts on the couple of months he played good football.






    On the PG issue — he was a much better footballer than he was ever given credit for.


    He played his best football when PMcSt was out for a couple of months.



    He started to think and he started passing.


    No pointing and less growling.



    Struggling to remember the exact season.


    VJ had a similar transformation in the old Engilsh First Division.



    Strange, very strange.

  2. Chairbhoy@07:24



    “So don’t know if it’s been mentioned but yet again we have a Celtic player who goes to another Club and can’t make the first team due to fitness levels. It Will be interesting to see Tony Watt’s progress in Belgium.”



    I am not sure if you are implying that Celtic, as a club, are incapable of training players to a required level of fitness?



    Surely, the more reasonable explanation is that these two players (I assume you meant Maloney, in addition to Watt) were shipped out because of known and recognised difficulties in reaching the levels of fitness that the rest of the squad were achieving.



    Our management and supporters knew that Shaun was a talented footballer and dedicated to improving but he could not stay fit enough for long enough, to re-gain match fitness with us. That position continued for some time following his transfer to Wigan. Roberto Martinez did not solve it quickly because he and Wigan knew more about fitness than Celtic do. What happened was that Shaun slowly recovered from his injury, remained fit for a reasonable period, and re-gained the match fitness he had in his early days at Celtic.



    Tony Watt’s training issues seem to be more of the Kris Boyd type than genuine injury. Lifestyle and temperament may be more at fault than muscle or skeletal weakness. It should, therefore, be easier to sort out but it will be sorted out far quicker if Tony Watt recognises it is a problem as the Lierse coach cannot make him have the desire to be professional, any more than Neil Lennon can.



    I do worry about losing Tony Watt to Celtic, not because of Kojo’s risible reasons on the Lierse fans love for him. The wages they pay will not be enough to keep Tony if he recovers form and, if he does not recover form, then they will no longer love him.



    My worry is that Tony blames Celtic for not accommodating his moods and he will agitate to go elsewhere whether his form and fitness improves,stagnates or worsens. That would suggest that Tony has not learned the lesson.



    Celtic shipped him out to give him a new and uncomfortable environment to shock him into more professional behaviour. It will only have worked if Tony Watt buckles down, recognises that Celtic have done him a favour, and he wants to come back here to show us he’s reformed and is now worthy of our team.

  3. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ‘qualification cannot be guaranteed, no matter how many resources you commit to getting there’



    True, but if the financial well being of the Club depends to a major extent on achieving qualification then there is an argument for deploying all available resources to the full.

  4. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Chairbhoy/SFTB- my suspicion is that the training regime Shaun now has suits him better than the regime at Celtic, they may focus on different things.



    At Celtic the problem was not getting him fit, it was keeping him fit, so he may have been ‘over trained’, and therefore more likely to break down again.



    I agree that Tony’s problems are between his ears.

  5. SFTB @ 12.19.



    I think we have issues with fitness.


    Last week showed us blowing oot our erses for the last 15/20 minutes.



    It also generates the 10 minute comedy cuts defending of Saturday.


    Also certain players slimmed down when they were away with their NT’s.



    It is something that needs work.


    We are not good enough to just ignore it.



    Add in all the early season strains and we look poorly conditioned.

  6. DBBIA



    ” ‘qualification cannot be guaranteed, no matter how many resources you commit to getting there’



    True, but if the financial well being of the Club depends to a major extent on achieving qualification then there is an argument for deploying all available resources to the full.”




    It is a difficult logical conundrum in that you are both right. However, the analogy for your scenario might be that you have a better chance of winning Euromillions if you buy two tickets rather than one. However, since you are highly, highly, highly unlikely ever to win Euromillions, the most predictable outcome of your strategy is that you are doubling your expenditure for no discernible return.



    Speculate to Dissipate, I call it.

  7. I always thought that when MON was manager we were miles ahead of Scottish teams in our fitness levels. I think the gap has narrowed but that could be down to other teams improving…

  8. Haamilton Tim is praying for Oscar



    11:28 on 24 September, 2013





    ……………..However, for me he’s the man who frequently has given straight armed, fascist salutes and spoken of his fondness for right wing politics.



    If I could rewrite the history of Celtic (and I know that I can’t) Paolo would be absent from the pages.





    While I share your revulsion at the Fascist displays of Paolo, I have to also remember that he was one of the most entertaining performers at Celtic Park in the last 60 years.


    Nobody ever brought more fun & artistry than the gifted Italian.



    So, in Paolo’s case, I will have to love the sinner while hating the sin.



    Good Luck.

  9. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers forza oscar and mackenzie



    12:20 on 24 September, 2013






    Smashing little evening,bud-cheers!



    Yep, was very pleasant, hopefully any disclosures were accepted…! lol




  10. SFTB @ 12.27



    You spend last years surplus to make qualification more achievable this season.


    NL made a point of qualifying with last seasons squad.


    We were very lucky after the away game.



    How much of the running cost increase was down to CL bonuses?


    Paid to PL and the squad?

  11. just posted this on the other blog.





    12:31 on


    24 September, 2013





    Regarding Di Canio, when he joined Celtic there wasn’t a hint that he was a right wing Racist,That part of his history may have been hidden from us, maybe the time he spent with us, he was conversing with the Govanites and was converted into their type of facism, I don’t know, I’m left, of left wing,and for the life of me I can’t spot left wingers in a crowd, so what chance for me to spot Paulo’s leanings.



    When I was in the Corinthian Club on the night of the Karanski game,about 8 players,past & present came into the bar I was in, and as you do, you have a word with them,Tony Watt was there and the first thing I noticed about him was,He had an attitude problem, a loner, he stood at the bar on his own, never joined the rest of the group when they sat down, as if they didn’t want his company.



    A young player who looked lost in a big mans world. If he want’s to play for Celtic, He’ll have to join in the company and knuckle down, and try and make friends with his team mates, at the very least.

  12. What……..no debt?



    This can’t be right!



    How has this happened?



    We should be told (again) ……………..

  13. DBBIA & MadMitch



    Re Fitness



    DBBIA – If Wigan’s regime was better, the results would have happened quicker. SHaun had a spell of good and consistent fitness early in his Celtic careeer and a horrible period near the end; he was never consistently unfit with us. At Wigan, he has merely reversed that pattern as he was unfit initially and is now fit again. We cannot draw secure conclusions from this.



    MadMitch- Yes we struggled at the end against St. Johnstone as do most CL and Europa League participating teams after a midweek outing.



    Yes,we lost late in Milan just as we did in the game that Varga scored. Just as we did in conceding late in Turin and Munich. You can make a case for this by citing all the times we lost late goals in Europe.



    All you have to do to believe that case is proven is to ignore all the occasions where it was us scoring the late or final goal and ignore whether this was a home or away fixture.




    BTW- who was VJ in your last post?

  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    SFTB – the chances of qualification must be increased if you can field a squad containing proven match winners.



    The ‘wonderful financial reults’ do not include the monies raised by the sales of Wanyama and Hooper, so we jeopardised qualification by selling them when we did.



    By all means sell players, but sell them at a time tha tsuits us and our needs, not those of EPL relegation fodder [sorry Delia]

  15. “Looking back on subsequent events it is clear to see that the arms race we were embroiled in for around a century was not good for Celtic, not good for any other Scottish club and not good for Scotland as a whole. Football today is like a breath of fresh air compared to the way things used to be.”



    Spot on Paul , hopefully now the source of the problem in Scottish football is dead the rest of the teams will take this chance to turn Scottish football into the level playing field we all deserve .

  16. setting free the bears supports Celtic’s best fighter- Wee Oscar Knox….



    Yes but…..



    Now that we are involved in much earlier qualification rounds, we must rethink how we restock.



    Waiting until the end of the summer transfer window may no longer be the best approach. One could argue that, only this week do we have our full squad available – and it is mid-September.



    This is doubly true in cases where we expect key players to leave. I think we may need to re-look at the January window. People say there are no deals to be had there, but maybe we need to forward plan a bit more.



    The test will be when Fraser Forster decides he wants to move south again…….

  17. I find myself in a strange position regarding the accounts. On the one hand I agree that this is a stellar performance from Celtic from a financial perspective and taking the environment into account. Given that we have since taken in over £20M in transfer fees and again qualified for the CL then next year should be even better.



    But there are a few big questions.



    Firstly the perpetual view that not gambling on CL qualification is sensible and that if we do we are risking going down the rangers route.



    There is a balance to be struck – but before the Karagandy result we were, in my opinion, facing the very real prospect of having gambled by not investing suitably in a striker. It may be too much to say that we “got lucky”. But it isnt far from the truth.



    Celtic need to learn to get the balance right between financial performance/earning supporters trust/financial probity and ensuring we maximise the chance of football success. Paul is right it is a sport and things will from time to time go wrong. No one is arguing we shouldnt plan for that day – but above all we should plan to have success.



    One final thing – and thanks to Canamalar we will force some sort of answer from the club. I think Paul is right that we are all learning that life without the dead club is better. I do worry about some of the other scottish clubs but by and large there is no armageddon factor. But if the club agree with that they are not acting like it. Joining in on the victimisation of the support while at the same time remaining silent on the open corruption within Scottish Football is perhaps the biggest question mark hanging over the club right now.



    So well done on the accounts Celtic – it truelly is a superb financial performance – must you do have other questions to answer.

  18. Headlines in Times:’ Lennon will ignore the riches of Sunderland’.



    What crap: He has no chance of getting the job. See the candidates:


    Zola and Euro Cup Winner, De Mateo amongst them

  19. Paul67



    What we appear to have for the forseeable future is a two stage CL qualifying process.



    Stage one is winning the SPFL title. Given the number of games and the attrition rate between our competitors and our resources the risk of not getting through this stage is very low over the next few years.



    That gets us into the knock out qualifying stages (a bit like the play offs) where the risk of failure is a lot higher because



    a) The standard of opposition is unknown but they are also title winners.


    b) this stage comes at a bad time after a 4 week break and players may not be as match fit as opponents.


    c) It is also the major transfer window where we risk losing our best players and not being able to replace them in time for the qualifying matches.



    If I were Celtic I would suggest to the SPFL that we change our football season so that the long break is mid winter from mid Dec to end Feb. Titles are won by Christmas and players traded for start of new season to avoid problems at b and c.



    As an incentive I’d offer a percentage of CL winnings as a further solidarity payment to the SPFL.



    Would other clubs bite our hand off and join in or bite out of spite?

  20. Anyone else think


    Who the hell is VJ






    Considering you went to the bother of reproducing the post


    including a new intro why use initials for an obscure name.

  21. tommytwiststommyturns supporting Wee Oscar on

    P67 – financially, the club is in rude good health, but this comment caught my attention…”The challenge for Celtic is to fortify football operations every season without gambling recklessly.”



    So, going into the Karagandy double-header without a suitable replacement for Hooper was low risk?! We were a couple of minutes away from extra-time at CP, where an SK away goal would have dispatched us into the EL group stages.


    A one-off would be bad enough, but you know that this is not the first summer where we’ve reached the CL by the seat of our pants.



    People argue on here about the abilities of our CEO, but one thing that should not be up for debate is that he has been lucky!




  22. Yorkbhoy



    I seem to recall some scary final minutes in games at parkhead. Also a final game of the season when the team looked dead on their legs and we lost the league.



    Chris Sutton at the corner flag against Aberdeen at home I think playing for time.



    I would say the complete opposite to your comment. Allowing players not to train during the week and then play at the weekend the fitness was at a long time low when he left.



    WGS made a massive difference in our fitness levels.

  23. Keepthehighballslow on



    Can someone put me in touch with a bus that leaves Aberdeen for Euro nights?


    Im up here working but looking to travel down.


    Trains are not suitable as last train leaves Glasgow during the second half.


    Thanks guys.

  24. MadMitch



    “you spend last years surplus to make qualification more achievable this season.


    NL made a point of qualifying with last seasons squad.


    We were very lucky after the away game.



    See my Lottery tickets argument to DBBIA. If your argument is evidence based you could say that our strategy worked this year rather than invoke the unconvincing “attribution to luck” which posters make when the facts don’t fit the favoured argument.



    It’s the same as saying the Willo window cost us the league. Just as daft as saying the Tony Mowbray splurge cost us that league. We have spent little and won leagues and spent big and lost them. We need to retain the ability to spend and tat is not done by spending all you have, whenever you have it. “Events, dear boy, events”, some oul Tory once said.



    If you spend all your surplus earnings on the team, what pays for the rest of the expenditure? Also, why not save some money for when it would be more usefully spent? I assume you have savings and do not advocate spend all you have in your private and business life?



    “How much of the running cost increase was down to CL bonuses?


    Paid to PL and the squad?”



    Don’t know precisely but I suspect that it is huge and that the vast majority of that huge is down to the players. Players have agents that negotiate mutually beneficial bonuses dependent upon titles accrued and progress made. We lost lots of money to bonuses to Larsson, Petrov, Lennon, Sutton, Hartson et al. We can save that money only by being unsuccessful.

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