Celtic announce eight-figure loss in annual financial results as pandemic takes its toll

Celtic have announced a £11.5 million loss for the financial year ending June 30, 2021.

Celtic have pointed to the coronavirus pandemic and lack of player trading as the reason. Picture: SNS
Celtic have pointed to the coronavirus pandemic and lack of player trading as the reason. Picture: SNS

The downturn in finances is largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic with revenue down £9.4 million from £70.2 million the year prior.

There was also the failure, for a third consecutive year, to reach the group stages of the Champions League, while there was also a lack of player sales with the club looking to hold on to their biggest stars as they embarked on a failed ten-in-a-row bid.

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The club should see an improvement next year with fans returning to stadiums following the easing of lockdown restrictions, while the player sales of Kristoffer Ajer, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie will all contribute towards next year’s results.

Despite the loss, chairman Ian Bankier insists they’re on solid financial footing and in a position to invest, which they did this summer with the arrival of several new players along with manager Ange Postecoglou, who was appointed as the permanent successor to Neil Lennon.

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There was also a change at boardroom level with Dominic McKay replacing long-term chief Peter Lawwell as the club’s CEO, only for McKay to depart earlier this month for “personal reasons”. He was replaced by Michael Nicholson, director of legal and football affairs at the club, on a temporary basis.

Bankier said in a statement: "These results for the year ended 30 June 2021 show that revenue fell to £60.8m (2020: £70.2m) and we recorded a loss before tax of £11.5m (2020: £0.1m profit before tax). This was driven by revenue attrition and significantly lower gains on player trading, compared to the prior financial year. In the face of this adverse swing in financial performance, we are satisfied that we took sufficient and appropriate steps to mitigate the losses and control costs in the business. Our year end cash, net of bank borrowings, was £16.6m (2020: £18.2m).”

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He added: “The entire season captured in the year ended 30 June 2021 was characterised by the absence of supporters in football stadiums and the huge disruption to our operations.

"On behalf of the board and everyone at the club, I thank the Celtic support for their backing and understanding last season whilst also sharing their frustration and disappointment. I must also express my gratitude to our sponsors and partners, who were also challenged by the unique circumstances.

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"As we progress through the current season, our objective is to work with the authorities to ensure that we can continue to operate in a safe manner and in a way that facilitates our players being able to give their best and our supporters being able to attend matches at full capacity.

"We look forward to the season ahead with measured confidence in both our footballing prospects and the robustness of our business model. Celtic PLC is directed by a board of individuals with demonstrable experience both of Celtic and wider business, its operations are managed by an executive team of talented specialists led by our chief executive and the executive is supported by a dedicated cast of colleagues who have worked tirelessly for the club over this most difficult financial year. I thank them all for everything that has been achieved. Celtic is in good hands."

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