• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Chelsea post £90m loss in Todd Boehly’s first year

Todd Boehly-2

Premier League club side Chelsea on Thursday announced a pre-tax loss of £90.1 million ($114.8 million) for the 12-month period ending on June 30, 2023.

This marks the club’s first year under the ownership of U.S. owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital. Despite the losses, Chelsea assures compliance with UEFA and Premier League financial regulations, even amidst increased scrutiny on league profit and sustainability rules.

The financial results represent a reduction in the previous year’s losses of £121.4 million and Chelsea said despite the losses it was still complying with UEFA and Premier League financial regulations.

There has been increased attention on the league profit and sustainability rules, which permit losses of up to £105 million over three years.

Everton was handed a 10-point deduction this season for breaching those financial regulations. That was reduced to six points on appeal but Everton could face further punishment for more breaches.

The Premier League said Nottingham Forest also sustained losses “above the permitted thresholds.” Chelsea’s parent company, Blueco 22 Limited which also owns French team Racing Club Strasbourg, announced a net loss of £653 million for the year in review.

A consortium led by Boehly and Clearlake bought Chelsea after former owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the U.K. government in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since then, Chelsea has embarked on a spectacular spending spree of more than $1 billion on player recruitment.

“The club continues to balance success on the field together with the financial imperatives of complying with UEFA and Premier League financial regulations,” Blueco said in its financial report.

“The club has complied with these financial regulations since their inception in 2012 and expects to do so for the foreseeable future,” it added.

Chelsea’s turnover rose from £481.3 million to £512.5 million.

The loss raises fresh questions about Chelsea’s ability to remain compliant with the Premier League and UEFA’s financial regulations, though the club insist they will do so.

Chelsea’s overall turnover for the year rose to a club-record high of £512.5m, buoyed by commercial revenue increasing to £210.1m and matchday income rising to £76.5m with the club once again being allowed to operate freely after the sanctions imposed by the UK government to force Roman Abramovich to sell in 2022.

Broadcast revenue, however, fell to £225.9m from £235m in 2021-22 despite Chelsea reaching the Champions League quarter-finals last season, due primarily to a significantly lower payment from the club’s 12th-placed finish in the Premier League.

BlueCo 22 Limited, the parent company set up by the ownership group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital after their takeover of Chelsea in May 2022, reported a massive pre-tax loss of £678.2m for the year ending June 30, 2023 “driven by investment in Chelsea men’s and women’s playing squads”.

The number that has more direct implications for Chelsea is £90.1m: that is the pre-tax loss on the club’s accounts for 2022-23, announced on the club’s official channels.

Chelsea have now made huge pre-tax losses in each of the last three years: £156m in 2020/21, £121m in 2021/22 and £90.1m in 2022/23.

Those figures suggest things are moving in the right direction, but the structural challenges that confronted the club’s old ownership — a relatively small, ageing stadium that heavily restricts matchday income and commercial revenue that remains significantly lower than Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham — are going nowhere.

The club generated profits on the disposal of player registrations and fixed assets of £142.2m for the year ending June 30, 2023.

When asked about the club’s financial position, Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino said: “I was told today the club announced (the financial results) but didn’t see, it was only one minute before (the press conference) that I was told about this.

“At the moment I have still not talked to the owners or the sporting directors (about this). I cannot give my opinion, I know nothing because we were busy with training the whole morning.

“For sure today or tomorrow I will have better information and then I can explain in the next press conference what my opinion is and how I see things.”