These results for the year ended 30 June 2022 show that revenue increased to £88.2m (2021: £60.8m) with a corresponding profit before tax of £6.1m (2021: £11.5 loss before tax). The key driver of the revenue growth was the restoration of a more normalised trading environment as we emerged from Covid-19 and were able to operate at full stadium capacity for all but five matches at the beginning of the season, where crowd restrictions remained. This, along with record gains from player trading in the year, £29.0m (2021: £9.4m), ensured the delivery of the reported profit. The contribution of player trading gains, especially in Europa League years, ensures that we maintain a healthy and sustainable financial future. In terms of funding and liquidity, our year end cash, net of bank borrowings, was £30.2m (2021: £16.6m). The increase this year was principally due to the timing of season ticket sales taking place later in the summer of 2021.
The Covid-19 surge over December 2021 to February 2022 was mitigated by the SPFL’s initiative to bring forward the winter break to minimise disruption and protect vital match day ticket income for Scottish football as a whole. As a result, our supporters were able to attend two more matches and we did not suffer any revenue attrition from closed door matches. Consequently, the second half financial performance and the reduction in earnings in this period can be attributed to trading seasonality and the timing of player trading gains that were weighted towards the first half of the financial year.
As reported in my interim statement, we acquired several excellent additions to our player squad over the January transfer window. We thus entered the second half of the financial year 6 points off the top of the Premiership leader board, but with some confidence that we had the Manager and the squad to deliver our key objective of regaining the SPFL cinch Premiership title. We were delighted to win the title in May 2022 to add to the Premier Sports Cup won in December 2021.
An extremely welcome added bonus has been that the winner of the SPFL Premiership gained automatic qualification for the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League. This is the first time the champions of Scotland have achieved this in 12 years, due to an increase in Scotland’s UEFA coefficient. Our Champions League draw has provided us with a suite of exciting ties involving Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and RB Leipzig.
The benefit of automatic qualification has delivered certainty over the season ahead, allowing us to back our Manager and build greater strength into the playing squad. Having signed Jota, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Alexandro Bernabei and Benjamin Siegrist in June 2022, we report a total investment in the player registrations of £38.4m for the financial year. Post year end, we completed the permanent signings of Sead Haksabanovic and Aaron Mooy alongside the temporary transfers of Moritz Jenz and Oliver Abildgaard. We continue to balance the benefits of investing in experienced players alongside younger talent with a view to developing all players’ performances on the pitch and trading when conditions are right. The successful execution of this model is a challenge but is vitally important for clubs such as Celtic.
Our women’s team also went on to add to the SWPL Cup win in December 2021 by winning the Women’s Scottish Cup in May 2022. This cup double represents a remarkable achievement in such a short time and I congratulate Fran Alonso and his team and reaffirm our commitment to the women’s game in Scotland.
The biggest influence on the financial and sporting fortunes of the Club is our ability to participate in European competition. As covered by Michael Nicholson in his report, the Champions League format will change in 2024. This will provide further opportunities and enhanced media rights. Our task is to be prepared to maximise the opportunities that will evolve by remaining financially strong and stable, whilst investing intelligently in the player squad, the football department and the sporting infrastructure and facilities.
We have every confidence in our business model that over the period of my office has demonstrated its robustness, especially in challenging times. In closing, I thank all of my colleagues at Celtic, whose enormous efforts have delivered this pleasing year of transition. I also pay tribute to our remarkable support, who have backed the Manager and the team every step of the way.
Ian P Bankier, Chairman
September 20, 2022
Continued on next page…