Thursday , April 18 2024

Peter Lawwell: Celtic board share fan frustration over January transfers | Football News

Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell insists he and his fellow directors shared fans’ frustrations over the recent transfer window as the club’s interim report revealed they had £67.3m in the bank at the turn of the year.

The cinch Premiership champions bought winger Nicolas Kuhn from Rapid Vienna and signed Adam Idah on loan from Norwich last month while selling David Turnbull and allowing Mikey Johnston to leave on loan.

Lawwell, his son Mark, who is head of recruitment, and the board in general were on the end of vocal barracking from supporters immediately after the window closed and the criticism has intensified after draws with Aberdeen and Kilmarnock allowed Rangers to go top of the table.

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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers reflects on the Scottish Premiership title race with his club now behind Rangers for the first time this season

But former chief executive Lawwell has claimed the market was not favourable in January.

The chairman revealed the cash balance had fallen by £5m and stated that a “significant proportion” of the remainder is committed to work at the Barrowfield and Lennoxtown training grounds plus “future stadium expenditure”.

“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,” he added.

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

Supporters were already unhappy with some of the summer business which saw seven players signed on permanent deals. Only one of them, Luis Palma, started in Saturday’s draw with Kilmarnock and the winger was taken off at half-time.

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Lawwell said: “Since the opening of the transfer window in June 2023, and up to the end of the winter transfer window which closed on 1st February 2024, we have committed £23.9m in player investment.

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January signing Nicolas Kuhn scored a key equaliser for Celtic against Aberdeen

“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.

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Norwich loanee Adam Idah scored twice as Celtic won 2-1 at Hibernian

“It is notable that transfer activity in England was the lowest it has been for over 10 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.”

The report showed that revenue increased by 11 per cent to £85.2m in the final six months of 2023.

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The pre-tax profit was £30.3m of which £2.6m was made from transfer deals. The club spent £12.9m on transfers.

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