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Lawwell: Plan is to keep establishing Celtic as a Champions League club

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell says it is vital from a financial viewpoint to continue qualifying for the Champions League.

This week, the Hoops released their figures in a financial report that sees them sitting with just under £4million in the bank with the annual turnover increased by close to 50%.

For these numbers to keep growing without Old Firm rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premier League, Lawwell has highlighted the importance of continually competing in Europe's premier club competition.

"We still have to win the league and then qualify for the Champions League, which isn't easy, especially with three qualifiers. What we said at the time is we have our own strategy and it is not dependent on any other club," he said.

"Part of that strategy is trying to qualify for the Champions League and making player sales that give you an income that makes up for the lost income of not having Rangers and the financial position Scottish football finds itself in.

"There is no Rangers in the top flight so we have to supplement those revenue streams by player sales and getting to the Champions League. The model has changed."

He added: "We have been able to maintain Celtic as a Champions League club over a period when we were not in the Champions League for three years. So we've been able to demonstrate that. That has been our job, to keep us up there.

"If we realise we are not a Champions League club but a Europa League club that is a step back. When you do step back it is extremely difficult to get back to Champions League level.

"We have been able to maintain that with three years out. But obviously we would prefer to be in it every year."

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