6. CELTIC: Mid-year profits reach $36 million

So you think there's no money to be made in soccer?

Scottish champion Celtic announced profits of 17.9 million pounds (almost $36 million) for the first six months of its fiscal year.

Celtic benefited from its participation in the UEFA Champions League, where it has reached next week's round of 16, and long-term sponsorship deals with Nike, T-Mobile and MBNA. The Glasgow club reportedly made almost $4 from foreign tours of the USA, Poland and Japan, where midfield star
Shunsuke Nakamura is hugely popular. Before Nakamura arrived, there were 100,000 TV subscribers for the Scottish Premier League in Japan; now there are 1.2 million.

What makes Celtic's financial picture even more amazing is the the SPL doesn't benefit from a big TV contract like the EPL to the south does. Celtic has received less than $2 million for TV rights for far this season.

Celtic has opened up a big lead on archrival Rangers on the field (19-point advantage) and on the bottom line (Rangers reported a loss of almost $3 million).

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