Celtic plc announced that its group revenue increased 35.8% to £119.9 million in the year to June 30, 2023, and profit before taxation rose to £40.7 million from £6.1 million.
“This represents a record set of financial results for the club due to a combination of factors …” said Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell.
“The £31.7m increase in revenue reflects the participation in the UEFA Champions League in season 2022/23, when compared to the UEFA Europa League in the previous season, resulting in greater ticket and media rights income.
“In addition to this, our tour of Australia and a record year for our retail business were also significant contributors to the increase.
“The £34.6m increase in profit before tax resulted from the significant revenue increase outlined above along with a £14.4m gain on sale of player registrations, predominantly from the sales of Jota, Juranovic and Giakoumakis.
“In addition, we recorded £13.5m of other income that came from a combination of compensation received following the departure of Ange Postecoglou and a business interruption insurance recovery in relation to Covid-19, with the two items mentioned being one off in nature and typically non-recurring.”
Operating expenses including labour increased 4% to £95.4 million, gain on sale of player registrations was £14.4 million (2022: £29m), acquisition of player registrations was £13 million (2022: £38.4m) and year-end cash net of bank borrowings was £72.3 million (2022: £30.2m).
Lawwell added: “Building on the investment in player registrations of £38.4m in the previous financial year ended 30 June 2022, the club made further significant investment in the year by committing an additional £13.0m, taking our total spend to £51.4m over the two financial years to 30 June 2023.
“Since the year end and up to 1st September 2023 we have invested a further £15.0m into player registrations taking our total spend over this period to £66.4m.
“The assembly of a strong squad was a key factor in retaining the SPFL title for the second consecutive year and ultimately securing a domestic Treble.
“The investment will serve us well for the season ahead. Last year’s trophies brought our total Trebles to eight in our history and this landmark represented a new world record and one that all connected with our club should be rightly proud of.
“Securing the SPFL title once again in 2022/23 led to automatic Champions League qualification. Following the draw, we have been matched against Feyenoord, Lazio and Atletico Madrid in what is sure to be an exciting Champions League Group Stage.
“Automatic qualification allowed us to make further football investment with a focus on building greater strength into the playing squad.
“In the summer 2023 transfer window, we have acquired Hyeok-kyu Kwon, Marco Tilio, Hyun-jun Yang, Odin Holm, Maik Nawrocki, Gustaf Lagerbielke, Luis Palma and brought in Paulo Bernardo and Nathaniel Phillips on loan.
“The present squad also gives real potential for development with the average age being 24. We parted company with Aaron Mooy, Carl Starfelt, Albian Ajeti, Ismaila Soro, Osaze Urhoghide, Vasilios Barkas, Conor Hazard and Jota. We wish all our former players the best for the future.
“Our successfully proven strategy has delivered stability and footballing success over many years and remains the same.
“We must balance the signing of players that can be developed and sold when conditions are optimal alongside the need to sign players who are able to make an immediate impact and deliver footballing success.
“The execution of this strategy is increasingly challenging owing to wage and transfer inflation, but this formula has underpinned both our footballing success and financial stability over a number of years now and it is vital that we adhere to it.
“Following on from the League and Scottish Cup double in the prior season, our Women’s team had another strong performance in season 2022/23.
“Following the disappointment of losing the SWPL title by just two points to a last-minute winner on the season’s final day resulting in a second place finish, we went on to retain the Scottish Cup with a victory against Rangers Women at Hampden.
“Whilst finishing second in the league was a disappointment this facilitated access to the Women’s Champions League qualifiers.
“After defeating Brondby in the first qualifying match, our Women’s team then faced a match against Valerenga for progression to the final play-off round prior to the group stages.
“The match ended 2-2 after extra time and was ultimately lost in penalties. Whilst this was hugely disappointing, we take pride in the fact that this is the furthest our Women’s team have progressed in the tournament and they will take much from the experience.
“As we look forward, European club competition continues to develop and further integrate. Relationships between the European Club Association (ECA) along with UEFA and FIFA have never been stronger and ECA membership continues to expand.
“This is a positive development for European football clubs and will strengthen governance and ultimately add value to the European Football landscape.
“Celtic are committed to the ECA and fully endorse its objectives as we move towards the new European Club Competition format from 2024 onwards.
“In my role as Vice Chairman of the ECA, member of the executive committee and board member, I will continue to promote the interests of Celtic, Scottish football and European football as a whole.”