Rugger Guy looks at the Celtic Annual Accounts 2018

I am grateful to Rugger Guy for casting his eye over the Celtic accounts today.

As ever he drills down into the details and unearths the relevant. 


Hello Phil.

You have asked me to provide some further comments on the publication of the full accounts of Celtic PLC “Celtic”.

I wrote some comments a few months ago in which there was a discussion on the trading performance of Celtic.

At the time there was no detailed notes to the numbers, and this is the principal area in which I will provide some commentary but do not wish to go over old ground.

To put things in context first of all,

Turnover was £101.6 m vs £90.6m last year.

Profit before tax was £17.3m vs £6.9m last year

Profit before tax included exceptional charges, largely the write-down in value of players contracts of £4.1m this year which compares with £1.5m last year.

Also the net contribution on player trading was £7.7m this year versus a cost of £5.2m last year.

Post balance sheet events show that Izaguirre, Mulumbu, Arzani and Benkovic required a further commitment of £1.16m.

The sale of Dembélé and Sviatchenko and loan of Miller has yielded receipts of £20.7m.

Contingent transfer fees payable and receivable has shown some changes. Fees payable based on appearances and success achievements is now £2.9m vs £3.2m last year. Conversely receivables based on appearances and success is now £5.1m vs £2.1m last year, in essence, a positive further net cash to Celtic of £2m.

Remuneration of Chief executive. Mr Lawwell received a further long-term performance plan bonus of £1.4m in the year taking his outstanding bonus accrual to £2.3m payable only when  Celtic takes part in the group stages of the champions league. Mr Lawwell’s remuneration excluding the bonus is the same as last year of £1.167m. Total directors’ remuneration is £1.6m, the same as last year.

Audit report. As expected, no qualifications and is clean.

Balance sheet review. Total assets are £150m vs £109.5m last year.

Net working capital which is the difference between current assets and current liabilities has surplus of £12.4m vs £5.4m last year, another healthy position.

Cash flow and balances. In the year there was an increase in cash equivalents of £18.1m, a better indicator of underlying financial strength. This reflects surplus after trading profits, net trading and investment in players. The year cash net of bank borrowings is £36.1m vs £17.9m last year, noting however that the non-qualification to the Champions League will have an adverse effect in the current year.

Intangible assets (Players registrations).This asset reflects the value of player commitments. Last year the asset value was £13.9m. This year the balance is £20.9m. In addition Celtic now have 7 players with book value in excess of £1m. In total this value is £18m. Last year the comparable number of players was 4 and a value of £9.1m.

To summarise on the incremental piece of new material information that has come from the publication of full-year accounts.

Celtic have received a further £19.5m in respect of player trading since the year-end. Celtic have continued to invest further in player additions but note that the failure in qualifying for the Champions League will have an adverse effect. The balance sheet is in rude financial health. With £36m of net cash at June and nearer £50m post the sale of Dembélé, this gives plenty of scope for further investment in the next transfer window.

My entirely unqualified reading of the foregoing is that there is money available for investment in January.

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