Chelsea Profits From Champions League Win

Chelsea Profits From Champions League Win

Chelsea Football Club has said "on-field success" helped it post its first profit in almost a decade.

The Premier League club reported a profit of £1.4m for the year to the end of June, compared with a loss of £67.7m the previous year. 

It is Chelsea's first profit since Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich bought it in 2003 and poured hundreds of millions of pounds into the club.

Winning the Champions League and FA Cup helped boost its turnover, the club said, making it the fifth largest in Europe in terms of revenue.

Profits of £28.8m made through transfers also boosted its revenue from £222.3m to £255.7m.

Key sales included defender Yuri Zhirkov to a Russian Premier League side for an undisclosed sum and centre-back Alex to Paris Saint-Germain for £4.2m.

"We had that success on the field this year, as we were the first London team to win the Uefa Champions League, and we enjoyed it off the field as well and this helps us inject financial investment into the team," said chief executive Ron Gourlay.

"The big challenge is always to have a successful team on the field that wins trophies and to make a profit at the same time."

The club's chairman added that he would "never forget" the night Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League - which earned it £47.7m in prize money.

"While we draw huge satisfaction from the achievements of the past 12 months we are more than ever focused on continuing the story of on-field success supported by improving financial performance off the pitch," Bruce Buck said.

Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital, said that on the face of it the results appeared to be encouraging news, but there were questions about whether it was sustainable.

"These are all exceptional cases as the club would need to enjoy similar - if not better - success in 2013 to top today's figures," he told Sky News.

"In the transfer market, it would need to continue the current momentum but with Uefa's financial fair play regulation coming into effect - which will see clubs that fail to operate within their financial means banned - Chelsea's balance sheet is likely to be more stretched next year."

He added: "The club is likely to reverse 2012 profits if it fails to follow through with on-pitch success and buying star players in order to keep them in the competition with rivals in the Premier League."