Club seeking to exploit potential
Cash-rich Celtic looks to off-field growth
Investment continues in the playing squad (photo: SNS Group)
Celtic Football Club has built up its cash reserves and is looking at a number of off-field developments to maximise its earnings potential.
After reporting a rise in pre-tax profits and income for the half year, chairman Ian Bankier said club is seeking to develop and commercialise “the space we occupy”, such as a hotel, retail store and museum.
“The Board’s investment policy, nonetheless, recognises the uncertainty inherent in football, and our long held strategy of operating a self-sustaining financial model,” he said.
Figures for the half year ended 31 December 2017 reveal the club has £30.9 million in the bank (2016: £18.6m) as a result of domestic and European progress.
It reported revenue of £71.5m (2016: £61.2m) and a profit from trading of £23.7m (2016: £21.4m). This resulted in profit before taxation of £19.5m (2016: £18.6m) and a period end net cash at bank of £30.9m (2016: £18.6m).
There was a profit on disposal of intangible assets of £0.5m (2016: £2.0m) largely the transfer of the registrations of Gary Mackay Steven and Saidy Janko. Subsequently, during the January 2018 transfer window, the company acquired the permanent registrations of German Bundesliga defender Marvin Compper, young Scottish talents Lewis Morgan and Jack Hendry and the temporary registrations of midfielder Charly Musonda and goalkeeper Scott Bain.
Mr Bankier said: “The board is committed to a course of investment in the playing squad so as to be as competitive as we can be within the structure of Scottish football and on the European stage.
“With our full support and encouragement, Brendan [Rodgers, coach] seeks to enhance the squad by the careful acquisition of quality players and the development of existing players and young talent coming up from our Youth Academy.
“Youth Academy graduates James Forrest, Kieran Tierney, Michael Johnston, Callum McGregor, Calvin Miller and Anthony Ralston have all contributed to the first team this year. Furthermore, we were delighted to agree an extended contract with Kieran Tierney, who has captained Celtic and his country during the season.
“Looking forward, and entirely in line with our trading seasonality, we do not expect the same level of financial performance in the second half of the year. In this period we will play fewer home fixtures and revenue from European competition will be lower.
“Our key objectives for the remainder of the year are to win the SPFL Premiership, secure the Scottish Cup and build towards the European qualifiers in the summer.
“The club will also continue to look at ways in which to develop Celtic Park and the surrounding area to create a destination and match day experience that all Celtic fans can be proud of.”