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Peter Lawwell's Celtic address in full as significant 'cash reserves' kept aside as long term Champions League contingency plan

Peter Lawwell has declared the Champions League a major factor in Celtic's strong set of financial results for the year ending June 30th 2023.

A £119.9m revenue figure is a rise of 35 per cent from the previous year alongside a record-breaking profit of £40.7m. The Hoops won a Treble last season and return to the top table of European football, where they competed with Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and RB Leipzig. This year's campaign in Group E begins against Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Tuesday before tests against Atletico Madrid and Lazio.

Speaking in a lengthy address to Celtic supporters via the club website, Lawwell insisted a return to the Champions League under Ange Postecoglou was a huge factor, as he also assessed the state of play surrounding Brendan Rodgers' current crop after a summer of shopping, and the club as a whole. He said: "I open by welcoming back Brendan Rodgers to the club following his successful spell as manager between May 2016 and February 2019. Following the departure of Ange Postecoglou, we assessed the market and concluded that Brendan was both the natural choice and the overwhelmingly best candidate to succeed Ange and take Celtic forward. We thank Ange for all he achieved at the club and wish him all the best for the future and look forward to working with Brendan once again to deliver success for Celtic.

"My own appointment took effect from January 1 st following the retirement of Ian Bankier. I take this opportunity to reiterate the club’s appreciation to Ian for his distinguished service in the role. The results for the year ended 30 June 2023 show an increase in revenue to £119.9m (2022: £88.2m) with a corresponding profit before tax of £40.7m (2022: £6.1m profit before tax). This