PETER LAWWELL insists Celtic are in their “strongest-ever” condition to cope if they miss out on the financial windfall of the Champions League.

There was a suggestion from elsewhere the Parkhead club’s dominant position could collapse like “a pack of cards” if their rivals won one league title and made the group stage of Europe’s top competition.

Hoops chief executive Lawwell appraised the double treble winners’ financial health and claimed he was focused on long-term planning.

Around £60million has been banked in the east end of Glasgow over the past two seasons thanks to Brendan Rodgers guiding his team into the group stages.

Asked about the impact of not qualifying,  Lawwell replied: “I don’t think we’ve ever been stronger.

“At the moment, I’m looking at two or three years out and understanding where we can be and where we want to be.

“We’ve got resources that will enable us to have a long runway and enable us to look at any things that don’t go to plan.

“We do plan for the unexpected, so I think we’re very robust. We have good resources and we have pretty ambitious plans in regards to the football team and around Celtic Park.”

TWO OF A KIND…Celtic supremos Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond.

Lawwell also confirmed the club planned to spend around £5million on projects at the stadium, including a new roof for the South Stand, a new lighting system and completing the installation of a new hybrid pitch.

He added: “Those are going to take place over the summer, we continue to invest in the stadium to, hopefully, give our supporters the best matchday experience.

“With regard to the master plan, we are currently assessing options. The master plan includes a hotel, a museum, a new superstore and a new ticket office.

“At the moment we are going out to the market, we’ve had expressions of interest. We are looking at what is best for Celtic, the best structure, then looking at financing. Hopefully, there will be a positive outcome.

“Over and above that, again looking to the future, we are looking at our training facilities at Lennoxtown and Barrowfield, what would fit best for a modern football club developing players.

“We are always looking to the future, we are always looking to develop, to get better. Clearly it’s a question of resources, do you put money into the first team or into infrastructure projects?

“I think that to date we’ve got that balance right and we’ll continue to do that.”

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