European failure causes Celtic revenue decline

Celtic CEO Peter Lawell (right) and Chairman Ian Bankier. Picture: Robert Perry
Celtic CEO Peter Lawell (right) and Chairman Ian Bankier. Picture: Robert Perry
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CELTIC have revealed a 30 per cent decrease in revenue and a reduction on profit before taxation of more than £14million, due in part to failing to qualify for the Champions League.

The club released the interim report for the six months to 31 December 2014 and, among key figures for the Scottish Premiership leaders, revenue decreased by 30.1 per cent to £31.3m, from £44.8m the previous year.

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Profit from trading of £3.2m is in contrast to £10.5m in 2013, while profit before tax is £6.6m – from £21.3m – with the club having £5.3m cash in the bank, down from £5.7m.

Celtic failed in two attempts to reach the Champions League earlier in the season, but have battled through to the last 32 of the Europa League, where they play Italian side Inter Milan later this month. Dropping down to European football’s second-tier club competition has influenced the financial results, according to chairman Ian Bankier.

He told club’s official website: “A key factor influencing these results is the participation in the Uefa Europa League, as opposed to the Uefa Champions League.

“This trading performance, together with a lower gain on disposal of player registrations of £7.1m from £16.5m in 2013, are the main causes of the reduction in profit before taxation for the half year to £6.6m from £21.3m last year.

“Given the difficult economic climate, it is pleasing that our business model allows us to report net cash of £5.3m as at 31 December 2014, compared to £5.7m in 2013, especially given the capital investment in projects, including the Celtic Way.

“Each season, our priorities are to win the SPFL Premiership and to qualify for the group stages of the Uefa Champions League. The strategy is to achieve this with prudent investment in the playing squad and by the continued creation of value through development of players.”

Bankier expects the second half of the year to be even tougher financially for the Glasgow club, who, in addition to continued participation in the Europa League, still harbour hopes of the domestic treble.

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