Any endorsement of Ronny Deila’s stewardship was notable by its absence yesterday as Celtic announced half-yearly results that showed an £11.7 million pre-tax profit.
In his statement accompanying figures that were boosted by the £13m sale of Virgil van Dijk to Southampton in August, club chairman Ian Bankier sought to convey a sense of angst over events in the six-month trading period from July.
Bankier opened his address by stating that “On the park, it has been a frustrating season”, and returned to the theme over European performance, which he said had been “the cause of considerable frustration... we were unable to progress beyond the group stages of the Europa League, having not qualified for the group stages of the Champions League”.
Bankier added: “The challenge has been to maintain a settled and winning squad throughout the summer months when the crucial Champions League qualifying matches are played, to manage the player changes during the summer transfer window and then to kick on when the new season begins.”
Revenue, which was up by 0.3 per cent to £31.4m, will dip across the second half of the season, with fewer home games and none in Europe. After posting a near £4m loss last year, the money already banked should allow Celtic to produce a break-even figure for the 2015-16 season.