Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell presided over the club’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.
The Scottish champions are in a healthy financial situation, having recently announced record annual profits of more than £40m.
The Hoops had £72.3m in the bank “net of bank borrowings” on June 30 this year, group revenue was up by more than a third to £120m and the club reported a gain in the transfer market of £14.4m.
Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the main topics which emerged from the meeting at Celtic Park.
On and off-field performances
Lawwell, who returned as chairman at the beginning of the year – after previously being chief executive – was pleased with the financial results. However, amidst general domestic dominance, he also recognised the on-going difficulties Celtic have in Europe. The Hoops sit bottom of their Champions League section with one point from four fixtures including a 6-0 thrashing away to Atletico Madrid, leaving Celtic looking for their first group-stage win since 2017.
Lawwell said: “From a financial perspective it was an exceptional year. A record turnover of £120m, record profit before tax of £41m, a very strong balance sheet and big cash reserves so we have been very satisfied. The fundamentals are very strong.
In Europe, it is getting tougher and tougher. There is a financial gap between ourselves and the major European clubs which is getting bigger. But we don’t give up. We competed well at home against Atletico and Lazio. We just have to be more consistent.”
The Green Brigade
Celtic have been at loggerheads with the fans’ group recently, following a string of disputes and flashpoints and the Green Brigade remain suspended from Celtic Park and are not receiving tickets for away matches. Chief executive Michael Nicholson said: “We all want Celtic Park full of Celtic fans supporting the team and (manager) Brendan (Rodgers).
That has to be done in a safe way. We have had some concerns about safety in that particular section of the stadium and with that particular group for some time and this season those concerns have escalated.
It was not a decision taken lightly but a decision taken for safety.”
Rodgers challenged to keep top players at Celtic
Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers – in his second spell in the Parkhead hot seat – said: “If a player is offered six times more money to go and play elsewhere in a more competitive league or one of the big leagues then that is a challenge for a club like ourselves to keep hold of that player.
“That is something I struggled with in my first time here but experience and perspective helps me in understanding the climate and challenges a club like Celtic has at the top level. But we have to find a way.”
Who brings in the players?
Rodgers denied he has players foisted upon him as he backs his recruitment team which is headed by Peter Lawwell’s son, Mark Lawwell. He said: “I just want to categorically say none of the players who came in have been pushed on to me.
The players have been identified by a fantastic recruitment team. The recruitment team is one of the reasons I came back. I can only vouch for the quality and depth of knowledge that Mark and his team have. We have a profile for each position. They will go out and find that player. I will then decide who comes in – or else it doesn’t work.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country