CELTIC almost doubled their income in the latter half of last year – mainly due to Brendan Rodgers ending the club’s three-year exile from the Champions League group stage.

Interim accounts for the six-month period to December 31, 2016, showed revenue had risen 94 per cent on the corresponding period in 2015 from £31.4million to £61.2m.

Profits from operations reached £21.4m – up £19.8m on the figure of £1.6m in 2015 – although profit on player transfers fell from £12.6m to £2m.

The Hoops ended the year with a pre-tax profit of £18.6m and £18.6m in the bank – increases of £11.7m and £7.7m respectively on their position 12 months previously.

But, after two years in the Europa League, it’s the £29.8m uplift in revenue that emphasises the importance of having defeated Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the final Champions League qualifier before this season’s group stages.

Chairman Ian Benkier said: “Within the period reported, we have achieved our key objective of qualification for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League and we have won the League Cup.

“We also currently sit 27 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, whilst we continue to progress in the Scottish Cup with the prospect of winning our first domestic treble since 2001.

“The team also reached two major landmarks during the first half of this season. First, by securing our 100th trophy with our League Cup victory; and, second, by surpassing the 26-game domestic unbeaten record set by the Lisbon Lions in the 1966-67 season.

“We are clearly delighted with the progress to date and look forward to building on it.”

The fact Celtic progressed no further than the Champions League group stage, however, means revenue will inevitably drop off in the first half of this year.

Bankier added: “The Board is optimistic about our immediate future and firmly supports the self-sustaining financial model that has served us well.

“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 2017.

“In this period we will play fewer home fixtures and no European games.

‘Our objective for the remainder of the year is to win the SPFL Premiership, secure the Scottish Cup and build towards the European qualifiers in the summer.’


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