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Chelsea confirm huge financial losses for 2021/22 despite £123.2m player trading profit



(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Chelsea have confirmed huge losses for the 2021/22 financial year, the club has confirmed after publishing their annual accounts.

Following a year which included the £97.5 million signing of Romelu Lukaku and sanctions placed on Chelsea, it saw the club operate under a special licence for a period of around two-and-a-half months.

Chelsea were unable to matchday tickets and merchandise, while also not being able to agree new contracts and deal with players and sponsors.

Club revenue did increase from the 2020/21 year by £46.4 million, but that was largely put down to fans returning following the period of COVID-19 which meant supporters couldn’t attend matches.

Commercial revenue was also up having increased to £177.1 million. Chelsea were able to make a profit of £123.2 million on player sales even though they splashed nearly £100 million on Lukaku.

The departures of the likes of Tammy Abraham, Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma contributed to Chelsea offsetting their financial losses for the 2021/22 year which totalled £121.3 million.

A club statement read: “The results for the year have been impacted by the sanctions placed on the Club’s previous owner on 10 March 2022. As a result of the sanctions, the Club was required to operate within the limitations of a special licence issued by the UK government. These restrictions were in place until the completion of the Club’s sale on 30 May 2022. During this period, the Club was restricted in a number of areas including, but not limited to, its ability to sell matchday and season tickets, sell merchandise, accept event bookings, as well as sign contracts with players and commercial sponsorship partners, which collectively resulted in extraordinary expenses and loss of revenue. Furthermore, some of these limitations are also expected to have an impact on the financials in the following years due to the long-term impact from restrictions on entering into new contractual arrangements. Towards the end of the sanctioned period, the Club was permitted to sell certain matchday tickets, with the Premier League committing to donate all revenue from these sales to charity. The restrictions were lifted following the change in ownership, and all operations have now resumed.

“Despite the restrictions placed on the Club, the turnover figure increased to £481.3 million from £434.9 million the previous year, driven largely by increased matchday and commercial revenue from the return of fans on matchdays. Broadcasting revenue decreased relative to the previous year due to lower UEFA Champions League distributions and the knock-on impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from the 2019/20 season into the 2020/21 financial year. Commercial revenue increased to £177.1 million, as the Club benefited from a net increase in sponsorship revenue from new contracts and existing partner renewals.

“The higher revenue was offset by increased operating expenses, including matchday and non-matchday costs that resulted from resumed operations and increased staff costs. The above contributed to the Group recording a loss before player impairments and one-off expenses of £26.6 million for the year ended 30 June 2022, and an overall net loss of £121.3 million.

“The Club invested £118.0 million in the playing squad during the 2021/22 financial year, including existing player contract renegotiations. In addition, the Club made a profit on player trading of £123.2 million in the year, including the sales of Tammy Abraham to AS Roma, Marc Guehi to Crystal Palace, Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan, and Kurt Zouma to West Ham.

“Despite the loss in the year and the operating challenges due to the sanctions, the Club continues to comply with UEFA and Premier League financial regulations.”