By David Owen
January 4 – Massive gains on player transfers helped Chelsea, the West London club controlled by Roman Abramovich, to run up a record profit for the year ending 30 June 2018. The club said that the after-tax figure reached £62 million. This was after a profit on player sales of £113 million.
Diego Costa and Nemanja Matić are among a string of departures whose fees are likely to have made major contributions to the bumper windfall. Chelsea said that the results ensured that the club continued to comply with UEFA’s breakeven criteria under Financial Fair Play.
Further positives in a landmark year for the club off the pitch came as a consequence of the Blues’ return to the Champions League (they lost to Barcelona in the Round of 16) and a new kit deal with Nike.
The Champions League nights helped lift matchday revenues by £8.4 million from 2016-17 levels, in spite of ticket prices remaining frozen, while revenue from commercial activities advanced by £32 million.
All told, turnover exceeded £400 million for the first time, at £443.4 million, ahead 22.7% year-on-year.
Bruce Buck, chairman, said the club had now posted “a series of record-breaking revenue figures”, with the profit margin increasing “in consecutive years”. This had occurred “against a backdrop of varying participation in European football, and different degrees of achievement in the Premier League, which demonstrates we have built a sound business footing to support our on-pitch quest for success”.
The club said its ultimate parent company, Fordstam Limited, reported a consolidated profit of £24.9 million for the year.
The 300 word-plus club statement made no mention of Chelsea’s triumph in lifting the FA Cup for the eighth time. It will be interesting to see if the headline profit triggers renewed speculation about a possible sale of the club.
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