That was the message from club executives yesterday as Celtic issued their interim financial results for the six months to December. These showed turnover increasing by 3.1% to £29.27m, operating expenses increased by 3.3% to £28.39m and a profit before taxation of £180,000.
Ian Bankier, the club chairman, and Peter Lawwell, chief executive, insisted yesterday that the club was in a stable position and had nothing to fear from the financial implosion at Rangers. Both Celtic executives were speaking before news broke of the Ibrox club seeking administration. They were reluctant to comment directly on matters at Rangers but may have their say at a later date.
Lawwell, who has been criticised heavily in previous years over what has been perceived as too cautious a stance on transfers, told Herald Sport he felt no sense of vindication over the wisdom of his strategy. "We have a robust financial model that we will continue to use," he said. "Our horizons are to dominate Scotland and compete successfully in an European context."
Questioned closely on the impact of Rangers' problems on the running of Celtic, Lawwell was not unduly concerned. "We will survive very nicely. We are looking after our own. There will be no material impact on our business going forward."
He would not be drawn into direct comment of affairs at Ibrox. "We have strong views on the situation," he said. "It would be inappropriate to share those today, but we do have strong views. We will share those at the appropriate time."
Bankier, who has taken over as chairman from John Reid, the former Labour Cabinet minister, took a similar view. "Our strategy is unchanged by whatever happens at Rangers. Nothing changes, we continue to scout, we continue to invest in players, we continue to play our game. That is the way forward.
"We will need to wait and see what happens to Rangers and it is only when we know that we can actually make statements about what our position is. We have our views."
But surely Celtic had strategies for whatever came out of the Ibrox crisis? "We have looked at all the scenarios but it is inappropriate to say very much," said Bankier, who is executive chairman of Glenkeir Whiskies and part-owner of the Whisky Shop chain. "But nothing changes here. We will go on. Why wouldn't we?"
Both executives felt it was important for Celtic to continue to "do what is right", with Lawwell adding: "No vindication, no. We would not be looking for anything like that. I feel that over the years football has highs and lows and part of my job is to try to keep an even keel too keep the mid ground, not to get seduced by the highs and not get too depressed by the lows. And do what is right."
Lawwell said Celtic were "stable" off the field and in "decent shape" on it. The club are in the final of the Scottish Communities League Cup, the quarter-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup and lead Rangers by four points in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, with a 10-point deficit to the Ibrox side now more than just a possibility. Yet Lawwell played down those achievements. "We have won nothing yet. We need to win things and that is the next stage," he said.
His strategy, however, has already paid a dividend. Lawwell and Celtic made a decision "about five years ago" to take money from the first-team budget and invest it in scouting and player development. "We have uncovered some very good players at the right value. We are developing players," said Lawwell.
The recruitment process has been extraordinarily successful. The first-team squad is now packed with players that were bought for modest sums in the context of modern football but who can be sold on at a higher price.
"Five years ago we recognised we could not compete at the level of the Hartsons, Suttons etc," said Lawwell of forwards who were signed for sums of around £6m. "We could not do that as a club in Scotland any more because of the inflation in the market in transfer fees and wages. We took a brave decision to take some money from the first-team budget and put into developing our scouting. It was about a longer term payback. We brought in John Park [football development manager] and have invested in people, systems and processes and coverage."
Thus Ki Sung-Yueng came from South Korea, Emilio Izaguirre was brought from Honduras, Gary Hooper from Scunthorpe, Biram Kayal from Israel, Victor Wanyama from Kenya via Belgium, Adam Matthews and Joe Ledley from Wales and others from Scandinavia. Lawwell admitted there was an element of risk in the strategy. "Clearly, there are no guarantees in the market of the €1-2m player. But we are delighted with the product of that strategy."
He has also been pleased with the coming crop of young players that includes James Forrest. He praised Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, for his part in the recruitment process and his inclination to blood players. "You need a manager to buy into the strategy and Neil has," said Lawwell. "The advent of James Forrest is hugely down to Neil, just to mention one example. Neil has grown as a manager with this strategy.
"If you are buying in this market below the £10m player, you need an eye for a player. Ultimately, it is his decision on the players we buy. It is about his judgment."
The process is straightforward. Recommendations from contacts and scouts are made to Park who filters these names. The next stage is that the potential players are scrutinised by Lennon either on trial or on DVD, and he makes the decision whether to pursue a signing. The Celtic manager travels extensively to watch possible signings.
Lawwell is then brought in to broker the financial deal between player and club. It is this role that has brought him criticism from some sections but the chief executive reiterated he had no desire to talk of vindication, restricting himself to the comment that "I feel we are in decent shape".
"We have a very young management team led by Neil that we are absolutely delighted with, how he is developing as a manager," he said.
As recently as October – with draws with Kilmarnock and Hibernian – Celtic were perceived to be in crisis and Lennon's job was thought to be jeopardy. ''We had total belief in him," said Lawwell. "That was the word we used with him at the time. We still do believe in him. The point is even broader. He is an intelligent guy. He gets things intellectually."
The on-field crisis is past for Celtic after 17 consecutive domestic wins. The off-field crisis is the preserve of a club across the Clyde.