Chelsea aiming to 'break even' in two years

February 22, 2008

Chelsea have admitted they face an uphill task to break even in two years' time but are refusing to revise their 'ambitious' target.

The Blues released their financial results yesterday, which revealed a record group turnover but also a loss of £74.8million for the year before June 2007.

That number is a slight improvement on the previous year, although it is not as significant as the reduction announced 12 months ago.

In the 2004-05 season, Chelsea's loss was £140million. It was then slashed to £80.2million but it has gone down by just seven per cent this time.

Chelsea have previously set a target of breaking even by 2009-10 and becoming a 'self-sustaining' club.

Chief executive Peter Kenyon said: 'Our long-term target of operating profit break even by 2009-10 remains ambitious but we are determined to meet it or get as close as we can.

'In the meantime, we have made good on our pledges of last year, hitting all of our aims.

'We have expanded globally as a club, we have reduced our salaries as percentage of turnover, we have continued to be successful on the field, we have increased sponsorship revenue and we continue to invest in our academy and reduce our reliance on transfers.'

Chelsea's group turnover was up 25% to £190.5million from £152.8million, a record for the club. There were also increases in sponsorship revenues and football activities.

'These figures once again demonstrate that Chelsea is growing in strength as a business and as a club,' Kenyon added.

'I am delighted there has been such large increases in the major income streams. This has all been underpinned by our fundamental aim, success on the field, and this season we are looking to build on that again.'

Meanwhile, Kenyon denied claims Chelsea and other Barclays Premier League clubs were beating a hasty retreat over plans to extend the season to 39 games.

The Football Association yesterday rejected the proposal as 'unsustainable' in its current form, the latest blow to Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore's hopes of seeing matches held overseas.

Kenyon insisted he was not surprised by the polarised response to the plans.

'We weren't surprised, we've not changed our position,' he said on ChelseaTV.

'The reality of this is that we got presented with this proposal at our last shareholders meeting.

'The decision that was taken then was, `let's evaluate it further'. But there were what we call several big hurdles.

'This is an extra game, not one of the 38. What is the impact of playing one team three times, rather than this perfect competition playing home and away?

'Last, but not least, was the whole political governing body issue of, `what's their view on it, will they sanction it?'

'Those are all real, real issues.'

Kenyon insists there is much yet to be discussed.

He added: 'What we charged Richard and his team to do was, `to go and explore it and when you've got to the next stages come back and tell us what it is'.

'I think that's where we are. I don't think that aspect has changed.

'I think he's scheduled to have a meeting with Sepp Blatter and I think that's a critical one.

'In the next week, two weeks, we'll get much better feedback as to whether this can or can't happen.'