Dr Dan: Celtic could 'quite comfortably' spend £32.5m in January
Celtic could spend £32.5million in January “quite comfortably” and still comply with financial fair play – thought that would be a major gamble.
So says finance guru and new Football Insider columnist Doctor Dan Plumley, speaking exclusively about the Hoops’ prospects in the transfer market.
Celtic endured a trophyless season for the first time in 11 years in 2020-21, with tangible consequences for the balance sheet.
They also failed to qualify for the lucrative Champions League group stages for the fifth year running.
At the club’s AGM on 17 November, Ange Postecoglou revealed the board’s approach to recruitment: “If the right person exists to bring in, we’ll do it.”
And Sheffield Hallam University’s Plumley explained that the manager could, in theory, splash out £32.5m on new recruits to aid their fight for Champions League football.
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“I’ve crunched the numbers on this to give some context,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.
“This is based on Uefa’s FFP model. FFP has been paused and there is a review in the works. But at the moment, you can lose £30m over a three-year period.
“If you look at the pre-pandemic era in 2017 to 2019, they made small profits of approximately £7m, £15m, £9m. That totals £31m profit.
“They had a combined loss of £13m in 2020 and 2021. We need to average that out because of Uefa relaxing FFP and rolling two years into one.
“So that’s an average loss of £6.5m over those two seasons.
“Then if we look at the three-year cumulative numbers, we have an approximate profit of £2.5m.
“That is the figure which you can then offset against the £30m Uefa acceptable loss limit.
“There are other exemptions in terms of FFP, but let’s avoid them to simplify the argument a little. They could spend £32.5m quite comfortably.
“The problem with that is that you can overstretch to reach the Champions League group stage.
“So they have got flex within FFP but the gamble is overstretching. That is the gamble the boardroom, I imagine, will be looking at.”