Celtic move ahead of Rangers in financial stakes

Celtic have slashed their net debt from £15.0m to £6.8m in 2007 while Rangers have dropped out of the top 20 richest clubs.

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Celtic's have made a £10.1m pre-tax profit for the last six months of 2007 which sees them into 17th place in Deloitte's annual rich list. However, Celtic made a profit of almost £18m over the same period in 2006 and Chief Executive Peter Lawwell attributes the fall to having to share the Champions League pot with Rangers.

"The effect of having two Scottish participants in the Champions League makes a difference of over £2.5m to our bottom line," said Lawwell.

"We see ourselves as a Champions League club. We must be in the competition every year. That way we're getting short-term revenues, but equally as important, we're getting the club the longer-term exposure around the world that comes with it."

"They're exceptional figures for a Scottish club, everyone is delighted," added Lawwell.

Rangers, meanwhile, were among three British clubs - Manchester City and West Ham - who dropped out the list which was headed up by Real Madrid.

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