Peter Lawwell addresses Celtic fan frustration over transfer window as club revenue hits £85m

Celtic chairman issues statement as club release interim financial report

Peter Lawwell has insisted the Celtic board share the frustrations of supporters over the lack of January signings after latest figures revealed club revenue has increased to £85million.

An interim financial report released on Friday showed an 11 per cent increase in income for the Parkhead club compared to 2022, with a profit before tax of £30.3million and a hefty but slightly reduced bank balance of £67.3million after spending £12.9m on transfers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In an accompanying statement, Celtic chairman Lawwell revealed the cash balance had fallen by £5million as he pointed to an increase in "football-related investment" with a "significant proportion” of cash committed to work at the Barrowfield and Lennoxtown training grounds plus “future stadium expenditure”. He also addressed the current angst among Celtic fans following a poorly received January transfer window which saw the club spend £3m on winger Nicolas Kuhn and sign striker Adam Idah on loan from Norwich while selling David Turnbull and allowing Mikey Johnston to leave on loan.

Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell during the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock last Saturday. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell during the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock last Saturday. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell during the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock last Saturday. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Lawwell, his son Mark, who is head of recruitment, and the board in general were on the end of vocal barracking from supporters immediately after the window closed and the criticism has intensified after draws with Aberdeen and Kilmarnock allowed Rangers to go top of the table. Manager Brendan Rodgers had admitted ahead of the January window that he wanted to add more quality to his squad but Lawwell insisted there was no lack of willingness to spend money on new players, rather that “identified targets” were not available.

Lawwell stated: “The Board recognises the inherent inefficiencies of holding excess cash, and, in conjunction with other cash commitments, the importance of investing in strengthening the team to deliver football success. The Board shares the frustrations of the supporters regarding the less than anticipated activity in the recent transfer window.”

Supporters were already unhappy with the summer business which saw seven, mainly young and inexperienced, players signed on permanent deals. Only one of them, Luis Palma, started in Saturday’s draw with Kilmarnock and the winger was taken off at half-time.

“Since the opening of the transfer window in June 2023, and up to the end of the winter transfer window which closed on 1st February 2024, we have committed £23.9m in player investment,” Lawwell continued. “Within this we renewed and extended the contracts of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liel Abada, Matt O’Riley, Anthony Ralston and Reo Hatate. The Board’s commitment is to strengthen and improve the playing squad in every transfer window and although resources were available, we were unable to further add to the squad due to the unavailability of identified targets. This was disappointing to us all, and never the intention. The January transfer window is notoriously difficult as clubs are very reluctant to let their best players go at such a crucial time of the season just as we are. Indeed, we resisted strong interest in our players from other clubs.

“It is notable that transfer activity in England was the lowest it has been for over ten years, excluding the impact of Covid-19. A number of reasons have been cited for this including the absence of suitable players and new UEFA regulations which impose spending caps.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.