By David Owen
January 4 – Chelsea may be having an up and down time on the pitch at present. But the West London club have achieved something that few of their Premier League opponents will manage, by reporting a reasonable profit for the covid-blighted 2019-20 season.
The feat is not unexpected, at least by us – see http://www.insideworldfootball.com/2020/01/03/hazardous-business-chelsea-singing-financial-blues-rebound-next-year/ – for one thing, the club was unable to sign new players during the summer 2019 transfer window. But in a period for which rivals Manchester United, Spurs and Everton have already posted aggregate losses of nearly £230 million, it is not to be sniffed at.
The Blues used a New Year’s Eve statement on the club website to announce a profit of £32.5 million for the year to end-June 2020. This was in spite of an 8.8% decline in group turnover, from £446.7 million to £407.4 million.
This £39.3 million reduction was relatively evenly spread among the three main business activities. Broadcasting revenue was said to be down by £17.6 million, with match-day and commercial income down by £12.2 million and £9.5 million respectively.
According to the statement, “without the covid-19 pandemic and the consequent suspension of normal football activity in March, club projections show a record profit and record turnover would have been achieved”.
While the 2018-19 pre-tax loss weighed in at £101.8 million, the club reported a record after-tax profit of £62 million for the year to end-June 2018.
Few other details were given, and while the club did attribute its profit in part to “profits made on a number of player sales”, it was not stated explicitly whether these included the big money transfer of one-time star player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. Most of the Belgian playmaker’s reported €100 million fee will have gone straight to the London club’s bottom-line.
More detail regarding transfers and other matters should emerge when the accounts reach Companies House.
Bruce Buck, chairman, claimed the club was “in a good position to continue to grow when football is able to operate as it did previously”.
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