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Board disappointed at Champions League exit

Celtic slump to a loss as price of European failure

CelticCeltic paid the price of failure in Europe as it plunged to a near-£4 million loss in the last year. Income from transfer fees was a third of the previous season.

A loss before taxation of £3.95m in the year to the end of June compares to a profit of £11.17m in the previous year.

Chairman Iain Bankier admitted the board was “very disappointed” not to reach the group stages of the Champions League which would have secured further revenue.

He said: “Having regard to the environment in which we continue to operate, the board’s belief in a self- sustaining financial model has not waivered.  We believe that there is no other sensible way to operate.  The model is designed to protect the Club from the inherent unpredictability of football.”

Group revenue slumped by 21.1% to £51.08m while the gain on the sale of players fell from £17.5m in 2014 to £6.77m. At the year end the club had £4.72m cash in the bank (2014: £3.83m). 

Mr Bankier said:The lower contribution from the disposal of player registrations was as a result of the board deciding to retain certain registrations to aid and enhance value for the football operations.

The board remains committed to ensuring that the medium and long-term future of the club, and the company, is secured.  Having regard to the environment in which we continue to operate, the board’s belief in a self- sustaining financial model has not waivered.  We believe that there is no other sensible way to operate.  The model is designed to protect the Club from the inherent unpredictability of football.

“Although the board is very disappointed not to have secured qualification for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League for season 2015/16, that failure does not put at risk the continued operation of the club.  We are confident that our model provides a platform for improved financial performance in the year to 30 June 2016.

“The club’s strength and stability off the pitch allows us to give full support to the Football Manager in securing his transfer targets, whilst at the same time continuing to invest in the Youth Academy that will develop our young players for the first team.  Disappointed at the outcome of the Champions League qualifier, we look forward with optimism to the season ahead.  We wholeheartedly support Ronny Deila and his support staff as they strive to make Celtic stronger on the pitch.”

Chief executive Peter Lawwell, said:  “The year to 30 June 2015 was a period of transition for Celtic. Ronny Deila’s first season as manager had successes, with Celtic winning the double of the Scottish Premiership and League Cup and progressing to the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League, as well as disappointments, most notably in failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages and losing in the semi final of the Scottish Cup.

“Off the pitch, it was also a challenging year.  Our decision not to transfer certain players registration during the period, together with failure to progress in the UEFA Champions League, have had a significant impact on revenues and profits. 

“Our core strategy remains focussed on a football operation with a self sustaining financial model and relies upon: the youth academy; player development; player recruitment; management of the player pool; and sports science and performance analysis, to deliver long term sustainable football success.

“The board reviews our strategy on an ongoing basis and, having regard to the environment in which we play, considers that it will continue to deliver stability, growth and success for Celtic.  Notwithstanding the decline in revenues and profits, at the end of the financial year our cash at bank position had increased slightly to £4.72m (2013: £3.83m).  This is essential given the challenges of operating in the Scottish football environment and our fluctuating cash requirements during the year to come.  Celtic has strong foundations upon which to build.

“During the year we were delighted to see the continued emergence of first team players from the Academy squads, like Callum McGregor, Eoghan O’Connell, Liam Henderson and Kieran Tierney, which is vital to the future success of the Club. 

“The redevelopment of Celtic Park and surrounding areas was completed in time for the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.  I am sure that all Celtic supporters shared my pride as Celtic and our great stadium were broadcast around the world.   We are continuing to build on that exposure and the addition of the new Paradise wrap around Celtic Park over the summer has raised the stadium to a new level, creating a truly iconic structure.”

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