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Oscar’s Shanghai surprise works wonders for Chelsea’s bottom-line

By David Owen

January 3 – It looks like Premier League champions Chelsea have their former Brazilian star Oscar – and by extension China – largely to thank for turning a profit in their latest financial year.

The West London outfit said it recorded an operating loss for the year to 30 June 2017. However, it is reporting an “overall profit” – which it put at £15.3 million – after making “a profit on player trading of £69.2 million”.

The most significant element in this looks to be Oscar’s big-money move to Shanghai in last season’s January transfer window after well over four years in the British capital.

It is fair to say that Insideworldfootball saw this coming, reporting in December 2016 that “the sale of Brazilian midfielders to China is promising to have a transformative effect on the financial performance of a West London club controlled by a Russian businessman”.

That article went on: “If the supposed fee of around £60 million for [Oscar] turns out to be anywhere near accurate once the transfer window opens, the impact on Chelsea’s profit for the year to 30 June 2017 could exceed £50 million. This would just about make up for the unaccustomed absence of a revenue stream from Champions League or Europa League football at Stamford Bridge this season.”

With a new Premier League broadcasting deal in operation, Chelsea’s turnover reached a record in the latest period, advancing to £361.3 million from £329.1 million.

The club’s new partnership with Nike began in July, and this is likely to have a significant impact on the current year’s financial figures, when the Blues have again been back in the Champions League, even if they look destined to lose their domestic title to Manchester City.

Chelsea also disclosed that new stadium planning costs were partly responsible for a £14.2 million consolidated loss at its ultimate parent company, Fordstam Limited.

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