Celtic released our interim report for the period ending 31st December 2016 today and the biggest news is that we have made a trading profit of £21.4 million, up from £1.6 million in 2015. Thank goodness for the Champions League! The club's revenue is at £61.2 million, well up from the £31.4 million in 2015. The club also has £18.6 million in the bank, compared to £11.7 million in 2015.
Chairman Ian Bankier also used the report to laud Brendan Rodgers, who 'achieved our key objective' of qualifying for the Champions League, which as already stated has made a huge difference to the club financially, showing how important it is that we keep qualifying for it every year. He also lauded our quite frankly ludicrous run of domestic results so far this season.
Onto transfers, and we invested £9.5 million - compared to £6.1 million in 2015 - on transfers in 2016, that extra amount perhaps paying for the quality of player that got us through to the Champions League. We received £2 million on transfers, largely from the Stefan Johansen to Fulham transfer, compared to the £12.6 million received in 2015, the big difference being that as we qualified for the Champions League we didn't need to sell off one of our best players.
Interestingly, Bankier stated that Brendan Rodgers' stated objective is to develop all our players into Champions League players, a good bit of forward planning for once. The board is also in support of the club's 'self sustaining financial model' - in other words the strategy of buying players for a pittance and flogging them for loads of money will continue. Bankier also stated that revenue will fall in the first part of 2017 due to no European football and fewer home games.
Bankier also used the report to praise the safe standing environment at Celtic Park and the money raised by the Celtic FC Foundation, and there is going to be a series of 'exciting events' to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions. All in all, the report shows how hugely important Champions League football is to the club, for once we didn't have to sell any of our better players to make up the financial short fall. Of course, in an ideal world we'd sell players for huge amounts of money AND qualify for the Champions League, which could well happen this summer.
You can read the report here: