Celtic see profits dip as Rangers take share of European limelight

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The Independent Football

Celtic's chief executive Peter Lawwell remains determined to see the club develop their global profile – and knows that the key is the Champions League.

Yesterday Lawwell hailed Celtic's financialperformance for the second half of last year as "outstanding", as the club posted pre-tax profits of £10.07m – a fall from the figure of £17.94m for the corresponding period in 2006.

Celtic have attributed the dip in profits to fewer home games being played, compared to the second six months of 2006, and to Rangers' presence in the Champions League group stages, which meant that Scotland's windfall was shared.

Celtic face Barcelona on Wednesday at Parkhead, and Lawwell said: "The benefit of the Champions League is clear in terms of short-term revenue, but as important is the long-term profile and exposure of Celtic that it gives."

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has no new injury problems ahead of today's visit of Hearts. However, teenage full-back Paul Caddis will not play following the death of his grandmother, while defender John Kennedy's knee injury continues to keep him out.

Rangers are boosted by the return of Jean-Claude Darcheville for their game against Kilmarnock. The striker missed the midweek Uefa Cup tie against Panathinaikos because he is serving a three-match European ban.

Steven Whittaker is still out with a hamstring strain, while Kevin Thomson is making progress following a hernia operation.

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