Celtic 'share supporters frustrations' over January transfer activity

The Parkhead club have released their interim financial report.

Celtic ‘share supporters frustrations’ over lack of January signings SNS Group

Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell has said that the club share the frustration of fans over the number of signings in the January transfer window.

The Premiership champions bought Nicholas Kuhn from Rapid Vienna and secured striker Adam Idah on loan from Norwich, while midfielder David Turnbull was sold to Cardiff City and Mikey Johnston allowed to leave on loan.

Fans expressed their unhappiness that Brendan Rodgers’ squad was not further strengthened, and pointed to the club’s healthy financial position, saying that the Parkhead leadership and recruitment department hadn’t delivered what was needed.

After publishing their interim results, which showed £67.3m cash in hand, Celtic have spoken about the January window, with chairman Lawwell addressing the issue in his statement accompanying the figures.

Lawwell wrote: “The board recognises the inherent inefficiencies of holding excess cash, and, in conjunction with other cash commitments, the importance of investing in strengthening the team to deliver football success.

“The board shares the frustrations of the supporters regarding the less than anticipated activity in the recent transfer window.”

Lawwell pointed to the new contracts handed to key players as a positive investment in the squad, but also said that the window had shown a drop in activity elsewhere, citing “a lack of available players” as a possible reason for a decline in transfers, and identifying financial fair play rules as another potential factor.

The chairman reiterated the club’s desire to strengthen the squad and team and said that the failure to add more signings last month was “never the intention”.

He added: “Since the opening of the transfer window in June 2023, and up to the end of the winter transfer window which closed on February 1, 2024, we have committed £23.9m in player investment. Within this we renewed and extended the contracts of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liel Abada, Matt O’Riley, Anthony Ralston and Reo Hatate.

“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.”

Celtic reported an 11% increase in revenue to £85.2m in the final six months of 2023 and a pre-tax profit of £30.3m.

The report detailed £12.9m spent on transfers and a £2.6m profit on player trading.

Explaining a drop in drop in cash on hand from £72.3m to £67.3m in the period under review, Celtic said the decrease was due to spending on “the creation of a new training centre at the Barrowfield site, the finalisation of the Lennoxtown developments and future stadium expenditure”. 

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