Celtic Plc Results show £60.8m turnover and a £11.5m loss during lockdown season

Celtic Plc this morning released the annual results for the year ended 30 June 2021, and of course this period covers the Coronavirus lockdown period. Celtic went into this challenging year in very good shape financially, unlike our near neighbours down river, and so were much better placed to deal with the inevitable impact of the lockdown and a season when supporters were absent from the games.

Here’s the summary of the numbers which show that Celtic made a loss of £11.5m in that period, yet incredibly still managed to achieve a revenue of £60.8m largely due to the incredible support from the Celtic season ticket holders who supported the club brilliantly during one of the most difficult years -on and off the park – for our football club.

And it should be noted that the decision to retain the Want Away stars such as Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer, Ryan Christie and Olivier Ntcham for one season longer than these players wanted to remain at the club, meant that the income from player sales was significantly reduced and with one additional player sale, Celtic could have recorded a profit.

  • Group revenue decreased by 13.4% to £60.8m (2020: £70.2m)

  • Operating expenses including labour decreased by 7.6% to £74.4m (2020: £80.5m)

  • Gain on sale of player registrations of £9.4m (2020: £24.2m)

  • Acquisition of player registrations of £13.5m (2020: £20.7m)

  • Loss before taxation of £11.5m (2020: Profit £0.1m)

  • Year-end cash net of bank borrowings of £16.6m (2020: £18.2m)

As is the usual situation when these Results are formally released by Celtic Plc, the Chairman Ian Bankier provides a Statement and this is published below. It is also available on the official Celtic website.

Celtic Chairman Ian Bankier with former CEO Peter Lawwell. Photo Andrew Milligan


These results for the year ended 30 June 2021 show that revenue fell to £60.8m (2020: £70.2m) and we recorded a loss before tax of £11.5m (2020: £0.1m profit before tax). This was driven by revenue attrition and significantly lower gains on player trading, compared to the prior financial year. In the face of this adverse swing in financial performance, we are satisfied that we took sufficient and appropriate steps to mitigate the losses and control costs in the business. Our year end cash, net of bank borrowings, was £16.6m (2020: £18.2m). This gave us a base to invest in the summer transfer window as discussed further below.

The persisting trading restrictions from Covid-19 translated into lost earnings and, taking account of the seasonality in our trading, this was the key factor in the widening of our losses in the second half of the financial year. Conditions have improved markedly since the year end and we were delighted to welcome our fans back in July 2021. Although our stadium has been operating at near full capacity, recently announced Scottish Government restrictions on large venues will be a further challenge. Whilst we look forward with optimism to a more normal operating environment, we are mindful of the inherent risk of the pandemic continuing to affect public health.

Ange Postecoglou was appointed Celtic manager. Photo Jeff Holmes

The Board was delighted to welcome new manager Ange Postecoglou to the Club in June 2021. Ange is a modern, progressive coach with exciting, attacking football as his philosophy. He has received a host of prestigious coaching accolades, including being named as Australia’s PFA Manager of the decade in 2015. He has been well received by the media and our supporters.

Over the transfer window, post year end, we successfully accomplished a major overhaul of our playing squad. At the season end, we returned a number of loan players that had amplified our squad. Then we invested significant sums in the registrations of Liam Shaw, Osaze Urhoghide, Liel Abada, Carl Starflet, Kyogo Furuhashi, James McCarthy, Joe Hart, Josip Juranovic, Liam Scales, Georgios Giakoumakis plus the loan signings of Filipe Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers. And we  achieved good value from the transfer out of a number of players, notably, Kristoffer Ajer, Odsonne Eduard and Ryan Christie, who have moved on to other opportunities.

Our strategy of balancing player development and player trading is fundamental to our self-sustaining business model. In particular, the disposal of the registrations of Odsonne Edouard and Kristopher Ajer demonstrates our core strength of being able to transform young talented players into seasoned professional footballers. In turn, we invest the proceeds of these transactions back into the first team squad to enable us to continue to develop our squad and to challenge for future honours.

Bankier and McKay in the Director’s Box. Photo Jeff Holmes

Dominic McKay, who was appointed CEO on 1st July 2021 chose to step down on 10 September for personal reasons. I thank Dom for his contribution over the summer and everyone at Celtic wishes him well for the future. Michael Nicholson, Director of Legal and Football Affairs, has been appointed to the Board as acting Chief Executive Officer. Michael carries the confidence of the Board, he is experienced in Celtic, highly regarded in football circles and is a most effective leader of our executive team.

The entire season captured in the year ended 30 June 2021 was characterised by the absence of supporters in football stadiums and the huge disruption to our operations. On behalf of the Board and everyone at the Club, I thank the Celtic support for their backing and understanding last season whilst also sharing their frustration and disappointment. I must also express my gratitude to our sponsors and partners, who were also challenged by the unique circumstances. As we  progress through the current season, our objective is to work with the authorities to ensure that we can continue to operate in a safe manner and in a way that facilitates our players being able to give their best and our supporters being able to attend matches at full capacity.

We look forward to the season ahead with measured confidence in both our footballing prospects and the robustness of our business model. Celtic PLC is directed by a Board of individuals with demonstrable experience both of Celtic and wider business, its operations are managed by an executive team of talented specialists led by our Chief Executive and the executive is supported by a dedicated cast of colleagues who have worked tirelessly for the Club over this most difficult financial year. I thank them all for everything that has been achieved. Celtic is in good hands.

Ian P.Bankier
September 20, 2021

You can download the full report via the official Celtic FC Website HERE.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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