State of the Club Report, Summer 2022


My friends in Celtic, a year ago I wrote, “Right now our chances of winning the league are probably 30% – held back by so many unknowns.”  The club had gone through a traumatic year in which we lost the league for the first time in a decade.  A new manager and chief executive were in place, our captain retired, while several of our most important players were angling for a move.

Under any normal circumstances, 30% would seem ambitious, circumstances were not normal, however, well not normal for the football industry, anyway.  Despite their year of trauma, Celtic were and are still run on a sustainable model, uniquely so, among clubs competing for the Scottish Premiership title.

A year ago I also wrote, “We can tip the balance in the weeks ahead”, a period which saw Carter-Vickers, Hart and Jota arrive, signings that would prove pivotal in the season’s outcome.  Celtic won the league because they had the sustainable structure enabling it to rebuild quickly.  It is that sustainability that brought Postecoglou, Kyogo and the other transformational figures to Glasgow.

No football club has a God given right to win.  They will certainly not win everything if they are competing against a club perpetually gambling with their own viability.  We lost our way in season 2020-21 and despite everything that went right last season, the title race was close, too close for comfort.

Newco looked dead on their feet (or hunkers, in one case), after they lost 3-0 at Celtic Park in February.  That night we reached the top of the table for the first time in the season and appeared unstoppable.  None of us saw the resilience Newco had to not only hang in there in the league, but cobble together an impressive run to the Europa League Final, and a sobering extra-time win over Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

Despite the title going to Celtic, Newco are entitled to believe they finished the season the stronger; for many reasons, they will be confident for the season ahead.

It has been so long since we reached the Champions League group stage without the difficulties of the qualifying rounds, our biometric systems are probably missing a summer of anxiety.  While everything was going well domestically last season, Europe was a blot on the copybook.  We exited CL qualification cheaply (and before recruitment was effective), suffered a sobering home defeat to German opposition (cough), while finishing third in the Europa League group, before truly humbling home and away losses to Bodo/Glimt.

If you are confident that we are ready for a crack at the Champions League group stage, you are made of sterner stuff than me.  Still, the golden goose resides on the Celtic Way.  Income will be determined by several factors yet to be confirmed, including performance and if another club from Scotland reaches the group stage, but, including gate receipts, I estimate we will earn £40m from the Champions League this season.

The club’s commercial department continue to ‘knock it out the park’ with each new round of deals.  Add in the Ange Homecoming Tour, and we know this season will produce Celtic’s highest ever income.  Income determines long term success in football, it is the climate, whereas results are the weather.

In the same State of the Club article last year, I also wrote, “What happens in [Newco’s} qualification tie against Malmo and if they progress, in the subsequent play-off round, will go a long way to determine how competitive the league race is over the next decade.  It is the sting in the tale of losing such a momentous title.”

You will probably not remember, so it is worth me going over the details of how that tie transpired.  Malmo won the first leg 2-1.  At halftime in the return at Ibrox, they were 1-0 down and had a man sent off.  Despite this, Newco managed to grab defeat from the winner’s podium; they missed out on the Champions League and the income it assured.

Despite this, a new manager and a new approach, allowed them to flourish in the Europa League.  As a consequence, the perceived value of their players increased exponentially.  They sold their best player for £6m and their best prospect for £20m, money that will enable them to recruit better and be stronger next season.

That transfer income and the considerable money earned from Europe last season will make Newco less dependent on shareholder loans.  It will allow the club to submit profitable accounts for the first time ever.  Such is their structural cost overhang, though, it provides only temporary relief.

They also have another crack at Champions League qualification.  If they get there, it is game on.  They are a club that previously always gambled beyond the edge of profitability, I expect them to throw everything at this season, irrespective of the consequences, in the hope of winning the title and through this, reaching the Champions League group stage in 2023.

Celtic will not follow them off the cliff.  We will continue to work on our own plans and in a sustainable manner.  But as you and I know, when you compete against a gambler, anything can happen.

As things stand, I am confident for the season ahead.  We retained all our important players, including those only loan, brought in a left back and a strong and experienced central mid.  I hear very encouraging things about Moritz Jenz, who it is hoped will become a big player for the club.

Crucially, the absence of European qualifiers enabled the squad to undertake more strength and endurance training than they would be able to do if they had competitive games to play.  Think back to all those tired players we watched last season.  A plan to address this has been executed.

So far, I think we have improve more than Newco.  Expectations of winning the title sit at 60%, which still leaves a black 40% waiting ominously.

I seldom look at the CQN reader numbers but at the end of the year I looked back and saw this enormous peak on 10 August, the highest number of 2021.  Curious, I typed “Celtic 10 August 2021” into my search engine.  Nothing.  I varied the search for a few minutes before it dawned.  That was the date Malmo won at Ibrox.

Some people will mock us for this, but you and I know better.  Football in Glasgow is a zero-sum game.  That Malmo win was hugely important in determining the outcome of the Scottish Premiership, season 2021-22.  If you don’t realise this, you have not been paying attention.

If Newco had Champions League income while Celtic were limited to Europa League money, all the parameters change.  This season’s qualification tournament will not be as critical, for Celtic, anyway, but it remains a key determinant in comparative competitiveness.

You are entitled to be proud at the way your club responded to the loss of our first title in a decade.  We have players, a manager, and a commercial operation that we have confidence in.  They cannot win everything and will make mistakes, but what an exciting time to be a Celtic supporter.

Take care and enjoy the season.


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  1. What a difference a year makes. Love that Ange will continue the focus on performance and the Huns will continue to focus on hubris. They’ve won this league already due to their Europa League fortunes and their lack of respect for what we have – a very good team still growing together.



    Despite me bumping my gums on issues around the edges very much looking forward to this season and seeing what Ange 2.0 looks like. Should be a helluva ride.



    HWG 2IAR




  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Oops – silly me! When I saw State of the Club Report I thought the club was Celtic!


    Come on, Paul – the idea that we should be trying to be a bit better than partner club has failed us so often by now it should have been consigned to the great dustbin of bad ideas long ago.


    Constantly looking over the neighbours’ fence to see what’s in their garden? Who cares! Look after your own one!


    Ange gets it – constantly talking about the need for improvement. Can’t guarantee it will win you anything, but at least you won’t be left wondering what might have been.


    If you lose things when you have not been at your best that’s simply inexcusable. Other people at the club might take note. Otherwise clear off and let people with more ambition and vision take over.

  3. It is that sustainability that brought Postecoglou, Kyogo and the other transformational figures to Glasgow.



    Cannot agree with that statement. Delighted to have Ange with us but it was serendipity that brought him to CP.



    Also, agree too much chat about thems in what is a supposed article about state of our club. Jeez. Whilst accepting they are our biggest competitors it gives credence to same club / old firm myth.

  4. Paul 67,



    Great article.



    It is healthy to acknowledge the huns had / have a very resilient team. But we were better.



    Our manager commercial dept and players deserve enormous credit for eclipsing the huns on and off the park.



    Our team / club will be acutely aware that ” complacency never sleeps ”



    HH to all, the journey resumes.



    PS : Is Ajeti really on the move ?

  5. bournesouprecipe on




    Good article



    There’s SP hell and there’s CL hell and with five weeks to go I’ll wait and judge the window, when it has slammed shut.



    17 or so players signed AP in a year, but we still have money in the bank with guaranteed money won in AP’s astonishing first season.



    Far too early for the forensics based on friendlies and testimonials but we look in better shape than a year ago when we needed just warm bodies.



    The Aberdeen opener is ‘computer’ picked don’t remember a Sunday game against the third side at Parkhead. John Barnes’s side did well at Pittodrie but sadly it was a false dawn.



    Before it became clear that Celtic would smash Sevco inside a season and take control of group stage money SMSM was still awash with the ‘CL money stories’. They dissipated and Celtic are cash rich and with the wage bill tweaked don’t rule out a marquee signing.



    OrTwo CSC

  6. Looks like Mikey on his way to Belgium today.



    Good on him. Better choice than the local cloggers of the SPFL.







    Ernie, read on twitter this morning that Felixstowe docks are to go on strike next month. Don’t know how true, but apparently they’re the biggest in the uk handling more containers than anyone else. That must have a big impact if true. HH

  8. Glasstwothirds- if your neighbour’s reckless gardening,planting, sowing neglecting of pernicious weeds that can do serious structural damage or affect your own, better managed and infinitely more beautiful garden, then I reckon we should keep an eye on what they are up to over there.

  9. WEEFRATHETIM on 29TH JULY 2022 12:45 PM





    I was very sorry to read the horrible news about your good lady.


    So sorry also about the sad news about your Pet Cat.



    My sincere condolences.





  10. Gentlemen I am sorry to have to tell you of the death of a long time poster and constant lurker.



    BigYin in Milan sadly passed away last Saturday at his home in Lyon, France.



    He had been ill for some time but never gave up following Celtic.



    Celtic Quick News send our condolences to his family.



    Requiescant in Pace, BigYin.

  11. prestonpans bhoys on




    On your list, I would swap Hibs position for Livingston’s and Motherwell’s for Killie!





    Ive selected my Correct Score Picks using your LINK above. Ive also received the CONFIRMATION Email etc.


    SFTB…HOW do I Pay my £30 ?


    Cheers mate.



  13. Bring it on.



    It won’t be easy but I am so excited about this season. Support and team United can take us to another level.



    Keeping the energy positive and aligned in the ‘hard yards’ will be critical as there will be plenty out there seeking to burst our bubble.



    The acid test domestically will be games such as Ross Co away and Dundee at home, or the 3 Aberdeen games last year, or the Ibrox game in April. Games where we need to overcome adversity. We failed at Hearts and at Livi and Rangers first time round but didn’t second time



    The acid test will be those times when we are up against it. Sticking together as support and team when the ball isn’t rolling for us.



    Buzzing for the season though like I was a kid. Full of hopes and dreams and maybe just maybe we could be an Ajax or Villarreal this year. Who knows with a bit of luck in the draw.

  14. McPhail Bhoy on







    I hope you are correct, to see both Livingston and Kilmarnock relegated would be a great bonus, no more plastic pitches!

  15. Martin42. So sorry to hear of this news. Really sad to hear. A real giant in what he achieved in his life.

  16. Big Jimmy



    By cash in person to CRC at Celtic Park (CQN Corner)


    By bank transfer to


    Account name: Walk With Shay


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    Bank: Bank of Scotland


    Ref: Enter your name or moniker (not CQN predictor, as we cannot identify you!)


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