Scottish Premier League side Celtic’s early withdrawal from Europe has hindered their off field results, as the announced disappointing interim results for the past 6 months.
The club did rise pre-tax profits by £5.79million, although their bank debt increased by slightly more and now sits at just over £9million.
Celtic sold players in the January window, which will have reduced that figure, despite spending £9million on players in the past 6 months.
“At this time last year we knew we were facing a very difficult season, and so it proved,” Reid told the club’s official website. “In turn, that left a legacy of set-back at the beginning of the current season, in dropping out of European competition entirely at an early stage.
“The cold wind of economic recession, combined with the effects of the even colder Scottish winter and our early exit from Europe are reflected in disappointing underlying trading results for the six months to 31 December 2010.
“But our business model and results are not wholly dependent on non-football segments; just as football labour costs are a substantial part of our cost base, so too has player trading become increasingly important.
“We continually seek to improve and refresh the first-team squad through development of our own young players, and the introduction of new players from elsewhere. This also means moving on players who we consider are underperforming and selling others who are important to us, if the timing and price are right and/or the individual concerned himself wishes to leave the club.
“Nevertheless, our business model has allowed us, even in these difficult economic times, to re-invest in a substantial renewal of our playing staff.
“The board sanctioned the significant amounts that continue to be invested in the strengthening of our football personnel (£9.0m) and in the training academy at Lennoxtown. We remain committed to developing our own home-bred talent.
“Thankfully this policy now appears to be producing the intended objectives; it is encouraging to see the return of attractive, winning football. This is particularly heartening in a squad whose recent performances have increasingly belied a young average age – which augurs well for the longer term.
“Credit must go to our new manager and his team. At the beginning of the season we faced an enormous challenge on the field as well as off. Neil Lennon, his colleagues and the backroom staff have applied themselves with a diligence and talent which is now beginning to show its rewards.
“Our net bank debt at 31 December 2010 increased from £3.13m as at 31 December 2009 to £9.09m, a level that the board considers remains manageable, and still provides some flexibility in respect of future investment. Since 31 December 2010 substantial transfer payments have been received, which has reduced our debt.
“The last six months have clearly been a difficult period in economic terms for us, and many others, but this is nothing compared to the turbulence experienced in the wider arena of Scottish football, and the SFA in particular. I do not intend to rehearse our views on those events once again, but we hope that some good will ultimately come from last autumn’s spectacle, and that the recommendations for reform made by Henry McLeish will be acted upon resolutely.
“Significant elements of these accord with the objectives for which we have long campaigned. We welcome the changes that have already taken place, and look forward to further reforms being implemented.”