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Celtic can be the biggest team in world: Peter Lawwell

By Ronnie Esplin

Chief executive Peter Lawwell claims Celtic are potentially the biggest club in the world.

Lawwell made his assertion after contextualising the Hoops' earning potential at the club's packed annual general meeting at Celtic Park yesterday.

He claimed that the 40,000 season tickets sold for this campaign was only bettered in Britain by Manchester United and Arsenal, then told shareholders that winning the Scottish Premiership title brings in £1.8m while claiming that clubs relegated from the English top flight rake in £65m.

Later at a press conference he expanded, claiming that, if the Scottish champions had access to the sort of broadcast monies available to the top clubs in England, Celtic would be peerless.

"I believe that," he said. "If you go back 25-30 years and compare us to Manchester United before the media and TV boom, there probably wasn't much in it.

"I think our story is unique, it is rich - it is the best. We have a potential fan-base of Scots/Irish diaspora around the world to support that and we have fantastic, strong fan-base in Scotland.

"I don't see any barrier if you compare Celtic to Manchester United or Arsenal, the top clubs down there. I don't see any barriers if we were getting the same media values as they are getting."

Meanwhile Ronny Deila plans to build his Celtic team around Scott Brown following the news that his skipper signed a new four-year deal on Thursday night.

The 29-year-old midfielder has committed himself to the Scottish champions until 2018.

Deila, speaking ahead of the visit of Dundee in the Scottish Premiership today, said: "He's the captain and he has a lot of knowledge and skills that we need. We want to build the team around him. He is a leader and he has the values that we want on the pitch."

Brown, suspended for the Dundee game, added: "They offered me the deal and I jumped at the chance, It's a great place and to come her for another four years is great.."

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