Celtic bask in glory as Nakamura strike earns £5m windfall

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The Independent Online

The Celtic chief executive, Peter Lawwell, believes qualification for the Champions' League knockout stages has given the club a "foundation" to strengthen the squad.

The immediate effect has been to boost Celtic's share price by 15 per cent the day after Gordon Strachan's team qualified for the knock-out phase for the first time by defeating Manchester United 1-0 at Celtic Park and, according to a financial expert, the victory could earn them about £5m.

The extra income would come via prize-money, gate receipts, television and sponsorship deals which have sent shares in the Glasgow club to their highest level since March. But Lawwell insists the financial windfall involved in reaching the last 16 can wait while the fans continue to savour the achievement.

Lawwell said: "It is not insignificant moving forward but [the night] was all about the football and giving the fans something they have been waiting for for such a long time. We have had many really close attempts at it and some very sad exits at the very last minute. So the important thing was to give the supporters something they had been waiting for for a while."

He added: "We have stabilised the club to some extent without compromising the quality - we have a very strong and high-quality squad. But Gordon knows what his budgets are and we were hoping to strengthen in January in any case."

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