Celts under less pressure to sell

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has declared the club will be under less pressure to sell players next summer after recording a pre-tax profit of almost £10 million (€11.8m).

Celtic’s annual figures show a 48% jump in group revenue to £75.8m (€90.1m), boosted by their run to the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Scottish champions announced a profit before tax of £9.7m (€11.5m) in the year to the end of June 2013, a performance that wiped out their bank debt and left them with £3.7m (€4.4m) cash in the bank.

The figures do not take into account the subsequent sales of Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson, which brought in around £20m (€23.7m), but do encompass the purchases of Virgil van Dijk and Amido Balde earlier in the summer.

Lawwell said: “It shows the importance of Champions League football for the club and also we have made some money from the sale of players.

“About six or seven years ago we set off on a strategy where we built Lennoxtown centre of excellence to find players; invested a lot in recruitment and scouting; bring players in, develop them and sell them on; create Champions League players and a Champions League team. And we are beginning to see green shoots of that. We are in a good place.

“We have a good financial foundation and stability to see us forward in terms of the challenges that will no doubt face us in Scottish football. It gives us confidence to go forward. Our mature revenue streams are under pressure in terms of tickets and such like. A main part of the financial model now is selling players.

“This summer we have sold players and it helps make up for lost revenues elsewhere.

“Because of what we have achieved, we are under far less pressure to sell players, particularly if we get in the Champions League next season again. What we have achieved gives us more financial certainty.”

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