Chelsea: we are 'strong' despite £70m losses in Double season

Club heavily in the red last year but happy to press on with planned multimillion outlay on striker Torres

Chelsea yesterday announced huge losses of £70.9m despite winning the Double last season, on the same day they agreed to break the British transfer record with the £48m capture of Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.

The massive loss comes after slightly better figures for 2009, when the deficit was £44.4m, and follows years in which the club had run up enormous debts. In 2008, Chelsea showed a loss of £65.7m and in 2007 the figure was £74.8m in the red.

The results make a mockery of the claim by former chief executive Peter Kenyon that Chelsea would break even by 2010. It does at least fall way short of their record loss – £141m in 2004-05, the end of the first full year following the takeover by Roman Abramovich. Last season, Manchester City recorded a loss of £121m in the first full year of ownership by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

The latest financial results show just how much Chelsea continue to rely on the financial largesse of owner Abramovich, and that was before yesterday's intended expenditure on the capture of Torres.

The club, however, contend they are on course to meet the Uefa Financial Fair Play rules which come into effect in 2013 and insist that all clubs must be solvent before they are permitted to enter European competitions such as the Champions League.

Chelsea will clearly have to lean heavily on the breathing space afforded them in the Uefa rules. The exceptions are that benefactors such as Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour are able to contribute up to £38m a season up to June 2015, and £25.5m a season from then until June 2018.

In a statement, a Chelsea spokesman said: "The club believes it is now well positioned to meet Uefa's financial fair play rules."

Chelsea blame the huge loss on the amortisation of player transfer fees, which means how much a player's worth decreases over the length of his contract. They say the improved figures for 2009 contained the sales of Wayne Bridge, Steven Sidwell, Glen Johnson and Tal Ben Haim, plus the £12m pay-off to former manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and his assistants.

Chelsea's chairman, Bruce Buck, described the results as "significant progress", and cited what the club termed a "net cash inflow of £3.8m" as evidence. Buck said: "That the club was cash generative in the year when we recorded a historic Premier League and FA Cup Double is a great encouragement and demonstrates significant progress as regards our financial results."

The chief executive, Ron Gourlay, added: "We are moving in the right direction, especially when viewed against the difficult macroeconomic environment. The club is in a strong position to meet the challenges of Uefa financial fair play initiatives which will be relevant to the financial statements to be released in early 2013."

Chelsea predict the figures for this current season to be much better, despite yesterday's lavish spending in the transfer window, thanks to increased ticket prices, improved sponsorship deals with Adidas and Singha Beer, and the £25m reduction in the wage bill following the release of five senior players last summer.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A daily miscellany of general election facts, figures, trivia and traditions
voicesThere's still time for someone to do something to make us care
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, goes back to his family's Sicilian roots in the first 'Godfather' film
film
News
news
News
Kim Kardashian speaks on the Today show about her step-father's transition
PEOPLE
Sport
Wenger and Mourinho square-up to each other earlier this season
sportAll the action from today's Premier League, including Everton vs Man Utd and Chelsea vs Arsenal
News
Tepper had a stunningly successful career as a songwriter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Len Blavatnik
music
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions