Chelsea reveal £23m compensation bill (not including Scolari)

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The Independent Football

Chelsea have been left counting the cost of recent managerial upheaval after announcing losses of £65.7 million for the last financial year.

In a statement released today the Barclays Premier League club confirmed it had achieved "record group turnover and reduced losses for a third successive season" but revealed £23.1m had been paid in compensation to two first team managers and five coaching staff.

The results for the financial year ending June 30, 2008 include severance payments made to former Blues managers Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant.

The figure does not account for compensation paid to Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was sacked as manager earlier this week.

The loss is lower than last year's figure of £74.8m, which was in turn an improvement on the £80.2m loss announced the previous year.

The club announced record losses of £140m in 2004/2005.

The London club, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, increased group turnover by 11.9% to £213.1m from £190.5m in 2006/07.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said: "There is no doubt that the positive upward trends of turnover and the continued reduction in losses shows that Chelsea is building a strong business base to build on in what will be challenging times.

"This is even more evident given that the results were adversely affected by the exceptional items."

A report today by the BBC claims that Abramovich's investment in the club since 2003 has reached £710m, although Kenyon insists the club still hopes to become "self-sufficient" within the next 18 months.

"We have set ourselves ambitious targets to be EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) neutral on June 30, 2010 and to require zero cash funding from the owner at the beginning of the financial year 2009/2010," Kenyon continued.

"We have consistently advocated the aim of self-sufficiency which has always been supported by the owner. We are hopeful of being close to these targets in the timeframes we have set given the underlying strengths of the business.

"This is the fifth set of financial accounts since the takeover and Chelsea has made huge progress during that period as a football club and a business."

Today's figures also revealed that wages, excluding compensation payments, were up to £148.5m from 132.8m in 2006/7, and that shareholder loans have been reduced to £339.8m while shareholder capital/equity has increased to £369.9m.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: "Following the conversion of half of the interest-free loans into equity there should now be no doubt as to the owner's commitment to the club and the stability of the company's funding structure."