Celtic certain for San Siro as profits roll in

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The Independent Online

Celtic's fans and bank manager alike were celebrating last night after the club's Champions League match against Milan in Italy was given the go ahead to be staged at San Siro as originally planned, and Celtic's chief executive, Peter Lawwell, said that half-year profits of £17.94m, announced yesterday, were a sign of good times ahead.

Celtic face Milan at Parkhead next Tuesday in the first leg of their last-16 tie but the venue for the return fixture, on 7 March, had been in doubt because of increased safety regulations after a policeman was killed in rioting at a Serie A match in Sicily on 2 February. But after emergency work to upgrade San Siro, Uefa said yesterday the game will be in Milan.

Bari's Stadio San Nicola, the venue for Italy's Euro 2008 qualifier against Scotland on 28 March, has been declared fit to admit spectators as of Sunday. The ruling was welcomed by Scotland fans, with an estimated 10,000 having made plans to travel to Italy.

The Lokomotiv Moscow striker Garry O'Connor last night issued a public apology for his failure to turn up for Scotland's Euro 2008 qualifier in Ukraine last October. "My only defence is there were extenuating circumstances in my life which I have great difficulty talking about," he said.

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