Celtic report huge rise in revenue following Champions League return

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi scores at Celtic Park
Barcelona beat Celtic at home and away in a tough section for the Scottish champions

Celtic's return to the Champions League group stages contributed to a revenue increase of 94.7% to £61.2m for the first six months of the financial year.

The interim results to 31 December show pre-tax profit was up to £18.6m from £11.7m in the same period last year.

Chairman Ian Bankier said: "The board is optimistic about our immediate future and firmly supports the self-sustaining model that serves us well."

He stressed that the January-to-June figures will not be as strong.

Having failed to reach the group stage of the Champions League in the previous two seasons, Celtic finished bottom of Group C after two draws with Manchester City and an away draw against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Their run in the competition brought in more revenue in television rights, prize money, tickets sales and hospitality.

Celtic recouped £2m from Stefan Johansen's move to Fulham, while the report reveals £9.5m was spent on summer transfers, with manager Brendan Rodgers bringing in Moussa Dembele, Scott Sinclair, Cristian Gamboa and Dorus de Vries.

The latest figure is higher than group revenue for the whole of last season; £52m.

"Looking forward, and entirely in line with our trading seasonality, we do not expect the same level of financial performance in the second half of 2017," added Bankier.

"In this period, we will play fewer home fixtures and no European games."

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