CELTIC chief executive Peter Lawwell has seen his annual salary break the £1 million mark for the first time.

The 58-year-old who succeeded Ian McLeod as chief executive 14 years ago, has seen his pay package rise by £167,851 in a year to £1.167 million.

The 17 per cent annual increase for the year to June 30, 2017 comes as Mr Lawwell's remuneration became calculated using an Executive Long Term Incentive Plan (ELTIP) which rewards him for company and football performance, including when Celtic qualify for the group stages of the Champions League.

On top of that from July 1, last year, Mr Lawwell, who remains the club's biggest boardroom earner, was entitled to a bonus of up to 20% of basic salary.

Evening Times: Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell faced questions today at the club's AGM. Picture: SNS

The club say that ELTIP was introduced in 2017 with the objective of "retaining and rewarding, through financial incentives, key executives within the company over the medium to long term".

The overall salary costs of Celtic’s board of directors dropped back slightly by nearly four per cent after rising by 20 per cent in the previous year after a statutory ill-health payment of almost £250,000 was made to its outgoing financial chief.

Figures revealed in the Scottish Premiership club’s annual report show boardroom remuneration dropped by £63,528 to stand at £1.571 million for last year.

In 2016, long-serving former financial director Eric Riley had been the biggest gainer in the boardroom, having seen his salary package rise by 63 per cent in a year to £371,634.

Mr Riley, who resigned the post in last December 31, 2015, received a near £240,000 ill health payment on top of his £82,213-a-year salary.

When it was announced in August 2015 that Mr Riley, who had held the position for more than 21 years, was stepping down, the club explained he had been suffering from Parkinson’s and prostate cancer since 2011. He also took a bonus of £34,164, £11,774 in pension contributions and £5,983 benefits in kind in the year to June, 2016.

The club plc’s annual repot which highlights a pre-tax profit of £6.9 million states that its remuneration committee takes account of financial packages with other comparable companies and sectors, particularly large football clubs.

In explaining its boardroom rewards policy, Celtic plc secretary Michael Nicholson said: "The main objective of the company’s remuneration policy remains to attract, retain and motivate experienced and capable individuals who will make a significant contribution to the long term success of the group but, taking account of the marketplace.

"Specific corporate and personal objectives are used for executive directors and certain senior executives. A similar appraisal system is also applied to most regular employees throughout the group."

The Hoops managed a 74 per cent year-on-year increase in group revenue from £52million to £90.6million.

Meanwhile, the total wage bill, including player pay, rose by 41 per cent to £52.2 million.

Season tickets for 2017/18 sold out with over 50,000 snapping after winning the Scottish Premiership title undefeated.