HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!
First thing on the agenda is a thank you to everyone for the kind words about the site. MAHE has worked wonders in getting it up and running,and I know he’s very grateful indeed to some very knowledgeable people for their ongoing expert assistance. Of course,a blog is only as good as its members-that’s you,that is!-so keep contributing whenever you can,please.
Another thing to remember about SENTINELCELTS is that literally ANYONE is welcome to contribute an article. Simply mail it to MAHE at
and the floor will be yours for the day,your name in lights,your opinions up there for all to see. It’s my turn today,so I’m gonna start with,literally,yesterday’s news.
The Glorious Balance Sheet.
Yes,on the back of our Double Treble and second successive sacrifice on the altar of Mammon,aka CL group stages,Iain Bankier waves his paper in the air,declaring GIRUY,ya shower of mineshafting malcontent basturts,which hardly translates as peace in our times.
And I have to congratulate the board for some marvellous figures-honestly! To summarise,
SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS
Winner of the Scottish Domestic “Double Treble” and our seventh consecutive SPFL Premiership title
Qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stages for the second consecutive season
Finished third in the UEFA Champions League group stage, qualifying for the round of 32 of the Europa League
32 home matches (including the Scott Brown Testimonial) played at Celtic Park (2017: 31)
Group revenue increased by 12.1% to £101.6m (2017: £90.6m)
Operating expenses including labour increased by 14.1% to £87.1m (2017: £76.3m)
Gain on sale of player registrations of £16.5m (2017: £2.3m)
Acquisition of player registrations of £16.6m (2017: £13.8m)
Profit before taxation of £17.3m (2017: £6.9m)
Year-end cash net of bank borrowings of £36.1m (2017: £17.9m)
Year-end net cash, net of debt and debt like items, of £27.0m (2017: £13.4m)
Of course,the above doesn’t suggest to me that supporting Brendan in the transfer market was leading us to perdition and financial ruin as we are told was the case in MON days. It looks to me like we have improved our cash in the bank by about £30m in that period-not including the £20m for Moussa.
So why wasn’t our manager’s judgement backed in the transfer window? Why are we going backwards on the pitch even as we are steamrollering everyone else off it? Balance sheets don’t win matches,and they don’t put bums on seats,persuade the fans to purchase the merchandise,get sponsors queuing at the door to be fleeced. You’d think that the board would have learned that a few years ago,but no.
(I’ll leave questions about £9m of unexplained debt-like items or an exorbitant wage bill-how much of that is player salaries,40%? So where’s the rest going-to any poster who has an answer. Cos I don’t)
Well,that all brings me to the next part of this article. Tonight’s match.
Its a curious thing when we are playing a Norwegian side for a third time already this season,we still have more than half of our SPL opponents to face! But Rosenborg it is. A month ago,I’d have been,well,much more confident. But the truth is,we are struggling to score goals,struggling to create chances. Still not settled or reliable at the back. I’ll be happy with a victory and no injuries.
The games are coming thick and fast,and we need to strike up a rhythm,get a settled team,get our mojo back. You all know my opinion of the board,it’s no secret. But our team needs our support.
I wish I was there to supply it,my sisters and my Dad will be the nearest I’ll get tonight. But for those lucky enough to have tickets…
BACK THE TEAM!!!
guest article by majoc
Peter Lawwell’s magnificent custodianship at Celtic will be remembered as long as the contributions of the likes of Fergus & John Keene, Jock Stein……and, Brother Walfrid to boot Sure he has made mistakes, he is human after all – his footballing record is the second-most successful in our history – the financial success he has brought to Celtic FC, is second to none. Quite simply he has made Celtic the most financially successful club in the history of the Scottish game.
“You don’t miss your water till the well runs dry” sang Otis Redding – too true!!!! Those who traduce the reputation of Peter Lawwell are a bunch of “Mr Pitifuls” who deserve no “Respect” and are “Too Hard to Handle”.
I congratulate the board when they deserve it,but I think we are “Chained and Bound” to a risk-averse strategy. And IMO,that risk-averse strategy has come very close to derailing the club entirely.
It’s worth remembering that we are only now liable for tax once more,having offset previous profits against historic losses. If you check back,you’ll find that those historic losses were recorded when the club stopped spending.
Lesson being that if the club aren’t interested in putting a product on the pitch,the fans won’t be slow in voting with their feet.
Good to see you back anyway. Feel free to file your rebuttal in full for tomorrow or Saturday’s edition!
The balance sheet is amazing for those who want it to be amazing, there will be some who just can’t see past it, they will refuse to look at the bigger picture.
I accept that Pedro has done a good job in so many avenues, the sponsorship deals for a scottish club are incredible, for that he should be rightly lauded.
There is a fine balancing act to running a football club when it’s ran by a PLC, the past couple of seasons have been very good on the pitch, but they were a direct result of half empty stadiums, no CL football and a manager who was a puppet, a fine bloke by all accounts but a man with no balls.
The manager before him wasn’t backed, he got us to the last 16 of the CL FFS and they “sold his best players from under him and brought in shite”, his words, they didn’t back him off the pitch either, he walked.
I have that deja vu again that our present manager isn’t getting back as he would wish and he will walk, Brendan has doubled our top line from 50 to 100 mill, no bad for two years, the board should be falling over themselvs to back him so he can make them even more money, yet they don’t seem to be.
There has been a fall out between Brendan and Pedro, over what we can speculate but a betting man would put his money on Brendan not getting who he wanted in, folly from Pedro imo.
What happens next year, our income drops dramaticly so we have to sell to sustain our present wages spend, we then struggle to qualify for the CL, maybes even the EL, all it takes is a bad refereeing decision, a split second lack of concentration, lapses happen more frequently with lesser players, we are back to gambling big time with our future dominance.
Just my humble opinion.
Totally respect your “humble opinion ” – mine too is humble.
We cannot buy ourselves in and out of certain positions like the mega-rich clubs, we will l have more hurdles & variables to overcome and negotiate. This means we will fail on occasions and most probably it will be subjected to the full glare of publicity.
Negotiations will be less predictable than those of the mega-rich and mistakes will not always be preventable – that’s unfortunately where we are.
Unlike two-thirds of those in the English Premier League, all our finance is hard-earned, we don’t get £180m, including parachute payments, for finishing bottom – we get £3m for winning the title.
I sincerely hope that there has been no serious fall-out between Peter & Brendan.
I believe that we are only at the end of the beginning of this phase of domination and that there is more to come with the talent we have in the pipeline.
I get we can’t wave a magic wand and buy success, in a way I’m glad we can’t.
My main gripe is that we don’t strengthen from our position of strength, we have handed the huns a lifeline, the call has gone out, stop the ten at all costs and we have helped them.
Whatever way anyone looks at it it’s financial mismanagement, imo obviously, it’s not a new thing with Celtic, we have been guilty over the years of this, the suits are money men yet they seem to have a major blind spot when it comes to spending a few bob to make us better and stronger, if we couldn’t afford it, fine, but we have so much money we are going to give a fair bit away in tax, that is criminal FFS.
I hope you are correct about us dominating, I just can’t see it myself, we seem to have lost momentum, the huns are getting some, when that happens, you know the rest.
Agreed Exiled Tim. I fear we have blown a golden opportunity and it was all so needless. Our accounts show that we had a net spend of zero for the past year even before we sold Dembele. So you have to wonder what our transfer budget was for the season?
@Gold. What confuses me is that you attribute the last two seasons all to the board’s management? Do you not think it is down to Brendan as opposed to the board? After all, the same board were in place for Deila when we achieved far less and had revenue half of what it is now.
If our success is down to the board, what actions have they taken in the last two years that they did not take under Deila which attributed to our success (aside from hiring Brendan in the first instance- which we hear came about on account of a Sevco director abusing Desmond during the cup semi final)?
To me what we have achieved in the last two years is not because of the board, but in some instances (this season particularly it seems) in spite of it.
Thanks Rolling Stone, good to see new posters.
For all posters on CQN try and denegrate the blog and accuse us of being anti-Celtic, nothing could be further from the truth, I support the football team, I defy any poster on any blog going back years and years, to find a post where I have slagged any of our players or manager, but I will slag the suits of the PLC all day long, the main reason being is they are running a PLC first and foremost, the football team is secondary to them.
A conundrum for them as without a successful team the PLC doesn’t perform as well as it could, their dividend falls and we are back to square one.
Alan Sugar said many years ago, when he became the chairman of Spurs, how he found it ironic that successful businessmen lost their business brains when they crossed the threshold of the boardroom of a football club, I paraphrase, how right he was, we have billionairs on our board yet they can’t see that spending from strength will make us even stronger, we never have and it’s looking like we never will.
If that makes me anti-Celtic, so be it.
I reckon it makes me pro Celtic and those who slag me for it are the real anti Celtic ones, blind faith is just that.
majoc good post, maybe the money is hidden underneath peters driveway, it certainly has not been spent on the team. onto the game tonight not overly confident, but never am lately, would take a 2-0 win right now.hh.
I think there is a failure among certain Celtic fans (and especially those on CQN) to differentiate between the board/executives and the entity that is Celtic. There is a clear dividing line between the club and the manager and the club and an individual player, but when the question of the executives is raised, they are treated as if there are the club.
Recently some have said that no one person is bigger than the club, referring to Dembele given his transfer stance or, in some instances, Rodgers (in reference to his comments in the media). The same is never said of Peter Lawwell.
I think it is for this reason that negative comments against the board or Lawwell are interpreted as attacks on Celtic. I agree with you that it could not be further from the truth and, moreover, they should be more liable to critique as the ordinary supporter can more easily relate to business decisions than they can to a manager’s tactics or how an individual player could improve his game.
Yip I agree 100%.
Doffing the cap was always a hun thing, yet these days it is creeping into the Celtic way of thinking more and more.
It could be down to fear, fear of losing, fear of not having a job, etc, etc, it’s all related imo, the I’m alright Jack attitude is also more and more to the fore these days as well, that saddens me.
I have no answers, I wish I did, I am but a thick exile living in a cave so why would I.
I’m not attributing the last two seasons exclusively to the board – Brendan’s management skills and the performance of the players, have been the major factors on the field – similarly, I don’t blame the board for us missing out on CL qualification in Ronny’s time8. In both years we went into the final match in an eminently winnable position and the players ‘blew it.
This season we should have soundly beaten AEK with the players at our disposal – we were the better side in both matches – but that’s football – look at last night, who would have bet against a comprehensive Man City home win?
At this moment in time we have an exceptional CEO, board and manager at Celtic – of course we must be able to express our views when they get it wrong, but let’s keep any criticism constructive & proportional – I believe they have earned the right for that to be the case.
Hi Rolling Stone . Thanks for stopping by and for your excellent comments. Welcome and Hail Hail
I guess the position I reach is that the board are riding on the coat-tails of Rodgers. They now look as if they are astute and that we are well run, whereas it is down to Rodgers’ excellence. We were in a downwards spiral from Lennon’s last year which culminated in Sevco knocking us out of a cup under Deila.
Disagree about AEK. We played an ageing Lustig who was poor and by contrast their full backs were much better and their centre halves were also more solid than ours; we played Jack Hendry who was let go by League 1 Wigan the year before. We were also supposedly much fitter, having started our league season and played 2 rounds beforehand and they played 1/3 of the first game with 10 men.
We may be a better team but the gap was minimal and it appears that AEK’s game plan was to sit back and hit us on the counter which they executed well.
I can’t call the CEO exceptional; Rodgers is exceptional he has ushered in an unbelievable period of success and he was backed this year with a net transfer spend of zero (before Dembele’s sale). That is not exceptional management by the CEO or board; although it is exceptional behavior, but not in a positive way.
Thanks for the kind words Majoc and everyone.
I believe I will watch the game on replay tonight for my sins .
The figures are impressive no doubt , the few times I watched the team they werent.
Seems nobody knows why we are stockpiling cash , almost half annual turnover .
Well blow me down , businessmen and accountants make money ! Their only problem is how to make it look as if its not a profit making venture .
If its a profit making venture , as PLC’s tend to be , fine . But that would lead to the awkward question being asked of what exactly we are . Cant exactly say look we are just a business now although I believe Res12 will show that once and for all. Maybe its what we need , to be forced to reflect. If people accept its rigged entertainment not sport yet still endorse it that their issue. And I understand its more than the match itself , its an event for some going to the game and a way of life for many . It would be a huge void to fill and looking around at people still very engaged would be hard . Many want sport , and many will look elsewhere . The % will be interesting,,Im thinking a couple percent only.
4.1 for me tonight
awenaw hope so but thought we would beat st mirren by the same score last Friday .hope you are right.hh.
Any win will do for me.
Very lackluster stuff
As I said I will take any kinda win 🙂
Leigh Griffiths is certainly going to make my nightshift tonight a lot easier. Still searching for that mojo though…
A victory and no injuries,said I would settle for that.
I only discovered this blog today. Nice to have more options that CQN. Hail Hail
A win is a win but that was predictably painful. We have likely secured third with the win tonight, but I don’t see us trumping either of the bulls!
hi rolling stone as you say a win is a win but the 2 ghuys who were immense tonight wont be here in the long run.hh.
New Article Posted !
Good post Majoc.
The achievements/numbers are good in the sense that we could all relax and luxuriate in comfort, if the ball didn’t need to keep rolling.
Already that set of achievements are disappearing in the rear view mirror.
The only reality is now and what we consider to be the direction of travel. Opinions on that will vary considerably and a quick squint on CQN points to the majority being happy, if beginning to fret a little.
To my view we are already £40 million behind due to falure of the team to handle AEK. The club, and I include Brendan, failed to do the job required. We knew the challenges we faced and the complexities around players playing World Cup games as we faced qualifiers. We knew we needed cover in key positions and should have reasonably anticipated big money offers for our star players.
So what is happening at the club?
At executive level, the Board will always have an eye on the market. Of course they should. However, it is clear they feel the need to build cash reserves for a rainy day, not to spend or speculate on improving our chances in Europe (Domestic dominanace is assured…for now. Some reserves ok. Why would any football club need to horde £30m … and the rest?
This board translate their natural conservative inclinations into maintaining a thin veneer of a competitive domestic scene, to ensure the bread and butter revenue is maintained. They have manipulated the recent situation with Oldco and Sevco to ensure there remains an Old Firm brand. With a view to the revenue that brings. It’s as clear as day, that the dumbing down of Lenny’s team and appointment of Ronnie reflected their need to keep a lid on our runaway dominance whilst they awaited the slow return (sic) of the challenge from Ibrox.
It is transparent that the appointment of Brendan only happened when Sevco entered the top tier.
Why didn’t we use that 4 season period to really build a team capable of challenging in Europe? Why dumb down?
Why fail to speak out against all the institutional cheating and failue to follow basic fairplay principles. It is not acceptable to claim there is no support within the game for that open stance. When has there ever been support for Celtic within the game, other than by the faithful fans of the club? What the hell is going on that Celtic feel they cannot just call out the cheating? I for one would accept that in lieu of anything actually changing in the game or asterixed trophies. At least I will know my club are not complicit and still stand for some basic values.
The suspicion remains. Celtic board knew Amy sustained challenge by them on the SFA/Oldco/Sevco would have wrecked the domestic model and they feel the need to stay cosy within that model. Content with having ‘turns about’ at success and a share of the financial spoils.
Domestically, there is money to be made and they know it. Always have.
They understand the need to groan for a few years in exchange for the opportunity to get on top and grunt their way to trophies and revenues. It’s a version of the STV wrestling model we all knew was fixed, but accepted as just light entertainment. Sadly, It’s now part of our game and our directors are willing partners.
There is no coherenet plan to be succesful in Europe! A few CL qualifications and that is it. Trouser the dosh and pay tax on the profit”. Tax paid that could have furnished a right back or a CH or a 4th striker … whatever?
There is zero European ambition at Celtic now.
The manager- you have to love Brendan’s love of Celtic. It is tangible. Winning 2 trebles on the bounce is historic and will rightly be remembered. Then again, what was the competition doing? By any measure, outside of domestic performance, the challengers were being ritually humped in the few European ties they played. That is the sad truth. With he size of squad and wage bill ( close to £80m) what can we really expect formwise from his team? Are we seeing it? I don’t think so, and anyone worried about losing Brendan to a top club should relax. One glance at the recent European record will cause any potential suitor to baulk. Why is our team being wiped out at home on Euro nights. The scars from those drubbings will run deep for a long time and it was mainly due to poor tactical decisions by Brendan.
Seriously, qualifying for CL twice in a row is just acceptable performance, it is not exceptional. The achievements of Gordon and Neil in Eurooe surpass anything Brendan has achieved ..to date… as hope remains that Brendan can fix it. Unfortunately, that hope is Diminishing after each outing.
Right now the fitba is dire and has been since last season. One dimentional and tedious. With a few sparks of wonder…
The fans: clearly the overwhelming majority of fans wanted Sevco back in the mix. Any regular trouncing experienced by the hordes that follow whatever team currently plays out of Ibrox is welcome. I freely admit to savouring their pain. Nevertheless, when the headaches wear off, that dull sense of realisation remains. The cheating continues unrestrained. Still the blatant manipulation of fairplay rules and lack of consistency in application of rules and penalties for breaches by Sevco goes on unchallenged.
Still the Celtic fans are turning up at SFA games and poring cash into their coffers. Paying the hand that smites them.
I fear we will only begin to mobilise when Sevco have cheated their way to a trophy at our expense. Then it will all be too late.
Right now it seems nothing will ever happen to punish The cheats. The res12 bhoys are still hopeful, but sesne the general feeling is that the club they love has failed to back them properly.
Words instead of actions.
To focus the attention of other clubs and their fans, I would urge all Celtic fans to consider witholding ticket money for Scottish Cup and League Cup matches…home and away.
I would ask the club to withdraw from those competitions, but accept lucrative sponsorship deals probably prevent that. Sigh!
If Celts reach Hampden – don’t go!
Send out a clear and vital message, we will not accept the cheating!
If after two full seasons change doesn’t come, at least we can look in the mirror, and at our children and grandchildren, and honestly say we tried.
Time for a new article as CQN has imploded.
Things are bad now but they are going to get a whole lot worse.