Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Loss likely despite Euro run

Chelsea are expected to have made financial losses this season

Chelsea's income from their Europa League run will barely make a dent in their expected losses for the season despite making the final.

The Stamford Bridge club made a profit last season for the first time in the Roman Abramovich era, helped by their Champions League triumph, but that is not likely to be the case for the current year even if they beat Benfica in Amsterdam.

Income from the Europa League is small compared to the riches that are handed over to Champions League-winning clubs and Chelsea also splashed out heavily on transfers last summer. Instead, what is likely to reduce the level of Chelsea's losses are the new sponsorship deals signed last year, including one with Russian energy giant Gazprom worth a reported £18 million a season.

Last season, Chelsea received £51.7m from their Champions League exploits but income from UEFA for their European campaigns this term is expected to be around £36m, a drop of £16m.

The exit from the Champions League before the knockout phase was costly - income from the group was £29.5m - with only around £6m to come from the Europa League.

The prize for winning the Europa League is 5million euros (£4.25m) while half that amount goes to the runner-up, plus some bonuses and TV market-share money from the earlier knock-out rounds.

In their annual figures for 2011/12, Chelsea recorded a £1.8m profit but that was helped both by the Champions League final income and a £28.8m profit on transfers.

Last summer Chelsea spent £32m on Eden Hazard and £25m on Oscar, both of which fees will be taken in to account for the current financial year, plus the drop in income from European football. It means that Abramovich's club are looking at significant losses again, though perhaps not on the scale of the £67.7m and £70.9m they reported in 2011 and 2010 respectively.

That loss would not necessarily make the club in breach of UEFA's financial fair play rules, which says clubs may lose no more than £36m over the three seasons up to 2014-15.

There are a number of ways of writing off losses, including any investments in stadia or training facilities, and last year's profit will also have helped enormously. In their annual report in November, Chelsea said they believe the club is in a "strong position" to meet the FFP rules.

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