Celtic blames empty stadiums for poor performance on and off the pitch

Celtic has blamed the absence of fans at matches for the club’s poor performance on the pitch and its swing to a first-half loss.

The Glaswegian club fell to a net loss of £5.1 million in the six months to the end of December compared with a net profit of £19.3 million in the same period a year earlier. The team’s revenue fell 23.7 per cent to £40.7 million.

Revenue from football and stadium operations, which includes ticket sales, fell more than half to £12.6 million as fans remain barred from matches.

Profit from player sales slumped from £23 million to £1 million as football clubs slashed spending on their squads.

“The prolonged summer transfer window, the impact of Covid-19 and, crucially, the loss of our passionate support at matches have undoubtedly had a damaging effect on our performance levels in domestic and European competitions, but we recognise that our performance has not been good enough,” said chairman Ian Bankier.

Like many football clubs, Celtic’s financial year ends in June, following the conclusion of the football season. Celtic’s biggest individual shareholder is Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond, holding nearly 35 per cent of the shares.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2021


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