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Bankier puts brave face on finances

Celtic count the cost of Covid with £13m revenue drop

Ian Bankier and Peter Lawwell of Celtic

Uncertainty: Ian Bankier (left) with Peter Lawwell (pic: SNS Group)

Celtic have been left counting the cost of the “destructive” pandemic with the club reporting a £13.2 million fall in revenue.

As well as the 16% drop in turnover for the year end 30 June, the Scottish champions saw pre-tax profit slump to just £100,000 compared to £11.3m the previous season.

The club’s latest financial figures showed income was down to £70m, with cash in the bank having fallen by £10m at £18m, despite Kieran Tierney’s record £25m transfer to Arsenal.

Operating expenses dropped 7% to £80.5m, and an unused borrowing facility was increased by £2m to £13m.

Chairman Ian Bankier said: “The overwhelming event in the year under review was the emergence of Covid-19 and the attendant restrictions on social movement and trade.

“This has had an adverse impact on our operations and our balance sheet. We, like many football clubs and indeed many businesses, are still grappling with the challenges the pandemic presents including the near-term uncertainty.

“However, the board continues to monitor the situation closely, taking proactive measures to ensure the club and our colleagues remain safe and is in the best position to allow football to continue.

“Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 has had a material detrimental effect on the financial results and the year ended 30 June saw revenue fall to £70.2m (2019: £83.4m) and profit before tax fall to £0.1m (£11.3m).

The governmental restrictions imposed to protect public health continue to have a negative financial impact on the football industry

– Ian Bankier, Celtic chairman

“This was largely attributable to the value destructive impact of the pandemic across many aspects of our business. Nevertheless, these results are satisfactory in the circumstances at hand. Our year end cash net of bank borrowings was £18.2m (£28.6m).

“Post year end we also took the opportunity to increase our existing revolving credit facility from £2m to £13m to provide a further buffer should it ever be required.”

Mr Bankier added: “The governmental restrictions imposed to protect public health continue to have a negative financial impact on the football industry.

“Our hard work and measured approach to investment in recent years has provided a degree of protection, but given the inherent uncertainty of the current environment, we must proceed and invest with a degree of caution.”

Widely regarded as one of the best financially run clubs in the country, Celtic’s results demonstrate the alarming impact which Covid-19 has had on football clubs in Scotland.

Rival supporters will now be waiting anxiously to hear how the current situation has affected their clubs.

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