Celtic Diary Friday February 9: Singing The PLC Symphony
Ooh Ahh Up the shares!
You know, when I was a kid it was the new strips, or the new signings that we looked forward to. Changed days indeed, as the club released the interim accounts yesterday and a gleeful support lapped up the figures, whilst largely ignoring the fact that if you ever needed proof the club is more concerned about being a successful PLC than a successful football club, it was all in the chairmans statement..
Before we look at what he has to say, here are the highlights, picked put for you to enjoy and presented by Archie MacPherson.
• Currently top of the SPFL Premiership
• Winners of the Scottish League Cup for the second season in a row
• 19 home fixtures (2016: 18)
• Successfully qualified for the Group Stages of UEFA Champions League
• Secured European football after Christmas by qualifying for the round of 32 of the Europa League
Not bad, but with the exception of the European football after christmas, not entirely unexpected.
• Revenue increased by 16.8% to £71.5m (2016: £61.2m)
• Profit from trading was £23.7m (2016: £21.4m)
• Profit from transfer of player registrations (shown as profit on disposal of intangible assets) £0.5m (2016: £2.0m)
• Profit before taxation of £19.5m (2016: £18.6m)
• Profit after taxation of £17.4m (2016: £18.6m)
• Period end net cash at bank of £30.9m (2016: £18.6m)
Thirty million quid in the bank.
Bear that in mind as we look at what Bankier said, although fair play to him, this time he didn’t call anyone racist.
I am pleased to report on our interim results for the period ended 31 December 2017. These show revenue of £71.5m (2016: £61.2m) and a profit from trading of £23.7m (2016: £21.4m). Overall this resulted in a profit before taxation of £19.5m (2016: £18.6m) and a period end net cash at bank of £30.9m (2016: £18.6m). The introductory page to these interim results summarises the main highlights.
We are delighted with the sustained period of success on the pitch, as Brendan Rodgers, his backroom team and the players have built on their achievements of last season. They are to be congratulated on qualification for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League for a second successive season, for retaining the League Cup and for the record breaking 69 game domestic unbeaten run. At the time of writing, we sit 8 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership and, as we continue to progress in the Scottish Cup, we retain the prospect of winning an historic back to back domestic treble.
Just going over the highlights at this stage, like they do on Sportscene, little bit of action, then harping on about it.
During the period we secured the permanent registrations of Olivier Ntcham and Kundai Benyu, and the temporary registration of Patrick Roberts. Our profit on disposal of intangible assets of £0.5m (2016: £2.0m) largely reflects the transfer of the registrations of Gary Mackay Steven and Saidy Janko. Subsequently, during the January 2018 transfer window, we have invested further by acquiring the permanent registrations of experienced German Bundesliga defender Marvin Compper, exciting young Scottish talents Lewis Morgan and Jack Hendry and the temporary registrations of sought after midfielder Charly Musonda and goalkeeper Scott Bain.
Note the adjectives in front of the names of the acquisitions. A desperate attempt to justify a lack of investment in the team , or a genuine reflection of the managers wishes ?
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 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.
See the bit in bold-thats the policy right there.
If I’m reading this correctly, there is an acceptance of where we are at, and there’s no sign of any ambition to compete on the bigger stage.
Effectively, he’s telling us that we just became a development club, because thats where the money is in this game.
The Board is also pursuing initiatives to enhance the Club’s assets at Celtic Park, so as to aid our playing competitiveness, as in the case of the recent pitch improvements, and to develop and commercialise the space we occupy, as in the case of our recent planning application for 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.
They have recognised it by hoarding all the money in the bank, in case it rains or something. whereas before we were told we need the champions league money, and the money from players to compete and improve the standard of player, now we are being told we are going to hang on to it in case we don’t get it next year.
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.
Absolutely no mention of the Europa League, and therefore we can conclude the reason we didn’t strengthen the defence with an experienced defender eligible for that tournament is that trophies are just a wee bonus.
All that matters is the money.
No longer shall we sing of deeds of greatness,
No longer are we singing songs of joys.
No longer telling tales of heroic triumph.
For that was when we used to be the Bhoys
Bloody hell, I’ve gone and depressed myself now.
You see, if ever the support wanted to piss off Iain Bankier, an easy way to do it would be to roar the players on to Europa League glory.
That’ll teach him a bit about our club.
To cheer us up, lets look to the future, and proof that there are some people out there who remain positive no matter how deep the poopy kaka is that they are wading through…
Perhaps we could rebel, like some who find some things have been taken a little too far..
Or Andrew MacKinlay, the second member of the SFA heirarchy to quit this week…
Wonder what he saw that made him accept the job at the Golf club….
It’s Friday, and it’s time to applaud the Etims
Knob of the Week
Despite our captain, the legendary Scott Brown, recently achieving sainthood from the Vatican..
one man has perhaps challenged his honesty and integrity, claiming that his booking against Kilmarnock was deliberate in order to make sure he serves his suspension before the upcoming game against “rangers ” .
Craig Levein, the manager of Hearts has gained a bit of a reputation as a miserable bastard, and we can only hope that he’s cheered by being named as this weeks
Knob of the Week
Before I go, there’s a disturbing tale of industrial espionage and copyright theft by the retail arm of a club which recently trumpeted that it had thirty million quid in the bank, which affects the livelihood of a young lady who has worked bloody hard to get her company off the ground.
I’m looking into it, and I hope a quick resolution can be found.