MAJORITY shareholder Dermot Desmond claims Celtic are the best-performing club on and off the pitch in Britain and predicts a “visionary” future in the international arena.
Desmond this week celebrates 20 years with Celtic after joining forces with Fergus McCann to help rescue the club from going out of business under an intransigent and unpopular board.
Celtic are now arguably in their most stable financial position, and Desmond feels the next 20 years can be even brighter.
Desmond told Celtic TV: “If you look at the financial metrics between Celtic and other clubs in the UK, our performance, the balance-sheet performance and the performance on the field, I think, exceeds any other club, recognising that we are shackled by lack of revenues we have from TV and other comparable income that Premier League and Championship clubs get.
“We have got financial stability, good organisational structures as far as scouting, development squad and coaching go. We have a vision of how we want to keep on improving the playing squad. If you look at the squads, they are getting better and better each year.”
The Irishman also hailed Neil Lennon as a “first-class manager” and Peter Lawwell as a “wonderful chief executive, as good as you will find in any football club in the world”.
When asked for his highlights, Desmond said: “I have too many to mention. I liked the evening we beat Barcelona and I liked when we did the same with Manchester United. I like any moment at Celtic Park when we have had victories, especially over teams that wear blue.
“Seville [the 2003 Uefa Cup final] was a great highlight but I think the highlight of the 20 years I have been involved with Celtic is that it’s an independent club with wonderful supporters and we have a great future.
“I see the club getting stronger on the playing field. I see the club being visionary in developing internationally. And I see the Celtic fans and the club having a partnership that will be a model for all other football clubs.”