PLC’s Interim Report – Celtic severely affected by Covid-19 impact but club remains solvent

Celtic PLC this morning released their Interim Report showing the half-yearly Results and the impact of the Coronavirus lockdown is there for all to see. However the club remains solvent and has subsequently sold Jeremie Frimpong and agreed a deal for Olivier Ntcham to make his loan deal at Marseille permanent in the summer, if he impresses back home in France. Jack Hendry’s pending summer transfer will also add to the coffers and then there is the matter of the various Celtic Wanataways – players who were kept on this season for the Ten-in-a-Row push but have mostly failed to deliver any sort of consistency in performance resulting in the dreadful season that we’ve had to endure.

These Wantaways will go in the summer, notably two or three seem to have upped their level of performance in recent games as the end of season approaches and the summer window opening is just around the corner. The money from their sale should ensure that Celtic are in a comparatively decent financial position as we emerge from the worst of this pandemic crisis. Others are certain not to be so fortunate and will be wondering how to keep their lights on.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Here is what the club released this morning in their Celtic FC Interim Report, as sent to the London Stock Exchange and posted on

Financial Highlights

Revenue decreased by 23.7% to £40.7m (2019: £53.3m)

Loss from trading was £0.3m (2019: profit of £7.1m)

Profit from transfer of player registrations (shown as profit on disposal of intangible assets) £1.0m (2019: £23.0m)

Loss before taxation of £5.9m (2019: profit of £24.4m)

Acquisition of player registrations of £12.7m (2019: £15.0m)

Period end net cash at bank of £19.7m (2019: £32.9m)

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)


The results for the six months ended 31 December 2020 show revenues of £40.7m (2019: £53.3m) and a loss before taxation of £5.9m (2019: profit of £24.4m). The loss from trading, representing the loss excluding player related gains and charges, amounted to £0.3m (2019: profit of £7.1m). Period end net cash at bank was £19.7m (2019: £32.9m). The introductory page to these interim results summarises the main highlights.

Season 2020/21 started with further significant investment into our playing squad as we prepared for the season ahead, commencing with the Champions League qualification fixtures, featuring challenging single-leg knockout ties as a result of the restricted football environment. We acquired the registrations of Albian Ajeti, Vasilis Barkas and David Turnbull, retained Mohamed Elyounoussi on loan and brought in experienced internationals Shane Duffy and Diego Laxalt on loan. We also retained key players who had contributed so much to the team in previous seasons.

At the time of writing we currently sit second in the league 18 points behind the leaders, having played one game less and with 10 games remaining. 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. Amidst this challenging environment, however, we secured victory in the postponed 2019/20 Scottish Cup Final to deliver an incredible fourth consecutive treble, following on from securing our ninth consecutive league title. The scale of this achievement cannot be underplayed and should be a cause for pride and celebration for years to come.

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. These two factors largely explain the reduction in our profit before tax. No football club is immune from the effects of Covid-19.

Looking forward, the football and financial environment is still volatile and very uncertain because of the ongoing effects of Covid-19. At the time of writing, it is unclear when the 2020/21 Scottish Cup will re-commence following its suspension. Neither are we able to say at this stage when we will be able to welcome our supporters back to Celtic Park, but we continue to work with the football authorities and the Scottish Government with a view to ensuring that fans are able to return to football safely as soon as possible. All of this will continue to affect our financial results, meaning we are unable to offer any outlook guidance on revenue or earnings. 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.

I would like to thank our outgoing Chief Executive Peter Lawwell for his contribution to Celtic over the last 17 years. His role in transforming Celtic into a modern, highly respected European football club cannot be underestimated and has been nothing short of outstanding. It has been a pleasure to serve alongside him and we look forward to welcoming Dominic McKay as our new Chief Executive to continue to grow the Club.

Finally, on behalf of the Board I would like to reiterate to our supporters, shareholders and partners that their support has been crucial over the last 12 months, in what has been one of the most challenging times for the Club. We recognise their support and we thank them for the loyalty they have shown.

Ian P Bankier
15 February 2021

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

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