- Premier League
Chelsea record first profit of Abramovich era
Chelsea have announced a profit of £1.4 million for the accounting year ending June 2012, the first time a surplus has been achieved since Roman Abramovich took ownership nine years ago.
Russian billionaire Abramovich has plundered a significant portion of his own fortune into the Blues since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2003 and this May finally ended a long wait for continental success when Roberto Di Matteo led Chelsea to Champions League glory.
That triumph, coupled with new sponsorship deals and "significant profits... in the transfer market" has helped the club - usually so used to operating in the red - to a landmark profit.
Di Matteo expressed his delight at the news, saying: "We're in favour of Financial Fair Play. We're doing everything in our power to comply with the new rules, and this is great news for the club.
"For the first time, we've been able to achieve a profit - also thanks to the success on field, but off field as well, with new sponsor deals and also the transfer market.
"Going forward, I think that puts Chelsea Football Club in a strong position to remain competitive at domestic level but also international level.''
Blues chairman Bruce Buck said: "We will never forget that [Champions League final] night in Munich and now we are celebrating serious progress off the field too.
"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.''
Questions have immediately been raised about the claim that a £28.8 million profit has been made in the transfer market despite Chelsea spending around £90 million on the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Gary Cahill - in the period of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 - while the £4.5 million sale of Alex to PSG was the only notable source of transfer income.
There are no doubts, however, about Chelsea's turnover, which increased to a club record £255.7 million - taking the Blues above Arsenal (though the Gunners made £30.6 million profit) into fifth place in football's global money league.
With clubs required to break even under UEFA's new Financial Fair Play regulations from next season, recording a profit is a major step for the Blues, who had posted a loss of £67.7 million for the previous year.