The winds of change are blowing at Chelsea with pace, but do the accounts add up?

 

One of the country's leading analysts of Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations admits to being "puzzled" as to how Chelsea have managed to make a profit for the 12 months ending last June.

The club surprised financial experts by declaring they had made £1.4million after suffering average annual losses of almost £80m during Roman Abramovich's previous eight years as owner. That news was rushed out three months earlier than usual, accounts having not yet been filed at Companies House, which makes them unavailable for public scrutiny. Ed Thompson, who works in banking and runs a website devoted to FFP (financialfairplay.co.uk), had predicted a loss of £40m in his own detailed analysis last month. He now admits to underestimating the income from winning the Champions' League and FA Cup, plus increased commercial activity, but does not understand the club's claims of a transfer profit of £28m. "Logic suggests that the figures Chelsea released could only be achieved if wages and amortisation were pretty-much flat," he says. "So how have they done it? I think it is very telling that we only have a press release.

"We need the full picture. I don't want to sound like some crazy chap with a conspiracy theory but I think we may find out more about the figures in due course. Simply put, I am surprised that the club have seemingly kept expenses flat when logic suggests the player acquisitions and win bonuses would have increased outgoings. We need to see the full accounts to understand how they have managed to achieve this." The club point out that transfer fees are frequently payable over the course of a contract and not upfront, whereas income like the reported £17m for Yuri Zhirkov can be counted in full.

Little, if any, of the £32m paid for Eden Hazard, signed in early June, would have been included, and none of the £25m for Oscar.

The figures released do, however, confirm that Abramovich has converted another £166.6m owed to him into shares in the club, having previously done the same thing three years ago to the tune of £709.9m. That enables Chelsea to claim they are effectively "debt-free".

Nor do the accounts include recent lucrative sponsorship deals with Gazprom, Audi and Delta Airlines, which will go into next year's figures. Gazprom, the Russian energy firm to whom Abramovich sold his Sibneft shares in 2005 for £7.4billion, signed a three-year deal with Chelsea in July for an undisclosed sum.

Under the new FFP system, which is being monitored by Uefa for the first time this season, clubs are allowed losses of up to £36m over three seasons.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before