Celtic chairman Ian Bankier has highlighted their 'core strength' player trading model as a key factor in keeping their losses during Covid at a minimum.

The Hoops lost £11.5m in their latest accounts but have highlighted much improved conditions for the years ahead with fans returning and the sale of two key stars.

Odsonne Edouard and Kris Ajer both moved to the Premier League this summer for a combined fee of around £30m to Crystal Palace and Brentford respectively.

And Bankier claims the funds generated have been invested back into Ange Postecoglou's first team.

He said: "The persisting trading restrictions from Covid-19 translated into lost earnings and, taking account of the seasonality in our trading, this was the key factor in the widening of our losses in the second half of the financial year. 

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"Conditions have improved markedly since the year end and we were delighted to welcome our fans back in July 2021.

"Our strategy of balancing player development and player trading is fundamental to our self-sustaining business model.

"In particular, the disposal of the registrations of Odsonne Edouard and Kristopher Ajer demonstrates our core strength of being able to transform young talented players into seasoned professional footballers.

"In turn, we invest the proceeds of these transactions back into the first team squad to enable us to continue to develop our squad and to challenge for future honours.

"The entire season captured in the year ended 30 June 2021 was characterised by the absence of supporters in football stadiums and the huge disruption to our operations.

"On behalf of the board and everyone at the club, I thank the Celtic support for their backing and understanding last season whilst also sharing their frustration and disappointment.

"I must also express my gratitude to our sponsors and partners, who were also challenged by the unique circumstances.

"We look forward to the season ahead with measured confidence in both our footballing prospects and the robustness of our business model.

"Celtic PLC is directed by a board of individuals with demonstrable experience both of Celtic and wider business, its operations are managed by an executive team of talented specialists led by our chief executive and the executive is supported by a dedicated cast of colleagues who have worked tirelessly for the Club over this most difficult financial year.

"I thank them all for everything that has been achieved. Celtic is in good hands."