Celtic revealed a pre-tax loss of almost £6m and a decrease in revenue of almost 24% in it’s half-year financial report.
The Glasgow football club’s interim trading update for the six months to 31 December showed revenues of £40.7m – down from £53.3m in 2019 – and a loss before tax of £5.9m, compared to a profit of £24.4m the previous year.
Losses from trading – representing the loss excluding player related gains and charges – amounted to £300,000, compared to a profit of £7.1m in 2019, while net cash stood at £19.7m – down from £32.9m.
Chairman Ian Bankier described keeping head coach Neil Lennon’s squad intact – in a bid to win a 10th successive Scottish Premiership title – and the adverse impact of Covid-19 as “two key factors” in financial performance last year.
Celtic have been knocked out of Europe competition and the Betfred Cup this season, while the league appears unlikely as the team sits 18 points behind rivals Rangers, with a game in hand.
“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,” Bankier stated.
“The two key factors that adversely affected our financial results for the period under review were: firstly, reduced gains from player trading as we sought to keep intact our squad this season; and, secondly, the unforeseen and prolonged value destructive impact of Covid-19.
“Our strategy for season 2020/21 was to invest in the team and to retain our best players, with the objective of delivering the league championship – as a result, gains from player trading were minimal.
“The effects of Covid-19 have persisted longer than many could have envisaged and, as a result, our crucial match day and other income streams derived from our stadium have been reduced to negligible proportions,” he added, noting that these two factors largely explain the reduction in profit before tax.
“No football club is immune from the effects of Covid-19,” Bankier concluded.
The statement explained that not knowing when fans will be allowed back into stadiums means that no outlook guidance on revenue or earnings was possible at this stage.
“Trading seasonality means that financial performance in the second half of the financial year will be lower than the first half owing to lower UEFA income along with less matches played.”