At long last, Celtic published their interim report for the six months up to December 31 last year on Friday afternoon.

Perhaps one of the most eagerly-anticipated documents in recent memory surrounding the club, it was quietly released to the public through the official website, documenting all of the important numbers from the second half of 2023 as a whole. Predictably, a lot of eyes would be on the numbers that Celtic have at their disposal financially, especially given the slight unrest surrounding the team and its supporters at this present moment.

READ MORE: Your Celtic Questions Answered: Should McGregor be dropped?

With all of that being said, what does this new information mean for the club as a whole going forward? Here at The Celtic Way, we break it all down…

The numbers

As expected, Celtic as a whole are in a very strong position financially. Referring to the ‘Key Financial Items’ as listed at the top of the report, the club have managed to increase revenue by 11 per cent to £85.2 million, an increase on last year’s report of £76.5 million in 2022. They also recorded a six-month profit of £32 million, which was also an increase from the £28.1 million figure at the same point the year prior, as well as player registration profits of £2.6 million, an increase of £0.8 million in the process.

Perhaps the biggest number – certainly the one that has got people talking – is that of their money currently in the bank, which is an eye-watering £67.3 million, again an increase on 2022’s number of £59.2 million. Again, not surprising, especially given Peter Lawwell’s comments a few months ago regarding Celtic’s positive financial position during the club’s AGM. An enviable position, but one that many will find as a source of deep frustration, given their on-field struggles presently under Brendan Rodgers in the Premiership.

The club’s original bank total of £72.3 million was reduced to the widely reported figure of £67.3 million mostly in part due to the redevelopment of Barrowfield into a new and updated training complex, as well as developments to both Lennoxtown and Celtic Park in the near future. Understandable and necessary expenditures, for all levels of Celtic’s male and female teams.

READ MORE: Celtic's Rodgers says 'intensity and consistency' are needed

Speaking of on-field matters - for the relevant period that this report covers – the club documented that they committed £23.9 million in player investment. Outwith summer signings, this also accounts for contract extensions for Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liel Abada, Matt O’Riley, Anthony Ralston and Reo Hatate, further cementing their playing assets by doing so.

A lot of numbers, admittedly, but the main conclusion is that Celtic – as a business – are in an extremely healthy place financially. However, there are more comments to unpack - especially from chairman Peter Lawwell – that are already doing the rounds online.

Peter Lawwell’s January comments

Let’s be frank, these remarks were not going to go unnoticed, especially due to the way Celtic’s season is transpiring at present. Located directly underneath the positivity of signing key players to extended terms, Lawwell expressed disappointment at not being able to strengthen the team further. He said: “The Board’s commitment is to strengthen and improve the playing squad in every transfer window and although resources were available, we were unable to further add to the squad due to the unavailability of identified targets. This was disappointing to us all, and never the intention.

“The January transfer window is notoriously difficult as clubs are very reluctant to let their best players go at such a crucial time of the season just as we are. Indeed, we resisted strong interest in our players from other clubs. It is notable that transfer activity in England was the lowest it has been for over ten years, excluding the impact of Covid-19. A number of reasons have been cited for this including the absence of suitable players and new UEFA regulations which impose spending caps.”

A lot to unpack here, but that opening sentence from the former chief executive will do little to dispel the growing unrest emitting from various sectors at present. Although a positive may be drawn by Lawwell and the board’s insistence to back their manager last month, this will ultimately be a consolation in the grand scheme of things as prior expectations were not realised in that period. Those aforementioned ‘resources’ are now out in the public domain, with only one permanent signing in Nicolas Kuhn indicating that hardly any of it was used to bolster Rodgers’ squad.

READ MORE: Celtic's Hart explains timing for retirement announcement

Examples of a lack of business completed south of the border are mentioned, though Celtic only need to look to the other side of Glasgow to discover that other teams strengthened their case, ahead of a crucial run-in presently taking place. Somewhat predictably, the January window ‘difficulty’ klaxon was sounded, even though the club has the money to guarantee such deals happen in this period. Although Lawwell remarks that interest was present in Celtic’s players which had to be refuted, the club keeping their assets beyond January was the bare minimum. A missed opportunity for Celtic to strengthen, one which is clearly outlined by their chairman through his remarks.

Other points of discussion

The chairman also took the time to take stock of Celtic’s progress this season. He expressed his disappointment in the weak defence of the League Cup, as well as addressing the club’s slight improvement in Europe concerning points, not forgetting that their end placing was the same as last campaign – fourth. Acknowledging the 12 games left in the league – as well as the Scottish Cup -  the chairman called both competitions their ‘focus and priority’ from now until the summer.

The redevelopment of Barrowfield as a hub for Celtic’s youth and female teams at the end of the year is a positive, which is reflected in Lawwell’s notes. Sticking with the female side of Celtic’s team, the chairman expressed his best wishes to former manager Fran Alonso, who joined Houston Dash in the NWSL at the end of last year, extending a warm welcome to Elena Sadiku, his replacement.

There was also an acknowledgement of the new European ‘Swiss League’ format, which is due to be implemented starting from next season onwards. Calling it an “…exciting new format to European football”, Lawwell hailed these developments in the continental game, saying that the new system will “…provide stability and certainty for several years for the European football landscape.”


Overall, there were many positives to be found from this interim report, though the timing of these strong financials is not entirely ideal.

READ MORE: Celtic's Tom Rogic settles seven-goal Fir Park thriller

Celtic are in a tremendous place financially, though that was always going to be the case due to previous admissions from those higher up at the club. Secure in terms of their status as a well-run organisation, the problem lies not with making money but spending it effectively.

Yes, there are circumstances which must be accounted for, but these excuses will not be lapped up by the majority of those who are interested. Time will tell if these shortcomings will cost the club on the pitch in the near future…