Soccer

Chelsea makes profit in wake of CLeague triumph

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LONDON (AP)

Boosted by winning its first Champions League title, Chelsea reported an annual profit on Friday for the first time in the nine-year reign of Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

The English Premier League club announced a profit of 1.4 million pounds ($2.2 million) in the year to June 30, 2012, compared to a 67.7 million pound ($109 million) loss in the previous financial year.

As well as earning about 60 million euros (then $77 million) from its successful Champions League campaign, which ended in a memorable victory over Bayern Munich on penalties in Munich, Chelsea said it also made 28.8 million pounds ($46 million) from dealings in the transfer market.

''We will never forget that night in Munich and now we are celebrating serious progress off the field, too,'' Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said.

Chelsea posted a record turnover of 255.7 million pounds ($407 million), up more than 30 million on 12 months ago, with the club enjoying ''an uplift in revenues from commercial activities including new partners and merchandising.''

It leaves only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich ahead of the European champions in terms of turnover.

Chelsea said the financial results put the club in a strong position to comply with UEFA's new financial fair play regulations, which oblige clubs in European competition to break even.

''Our club philosophy is built on success,'' chief executive Ron Gourlay said. ''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.''

Chelsea allowed big earners Didier Drogba, Jose Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou to leave this summer, while also loaning out Michael Essien to Real Madrid.

With manager Roberto di Matteo keen to invigorate the squad with creative forwards, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses and Marko Marin were all brought in for a combined reported total of 70 million pounds in the offseason. The outlay for these signings was unlikely to have been included in the figures for the last financial year.

Chelsea is second in the Premier League and level on points with Shakhtar Donetsk at the top of its Champions League group, with two matchdays remaining.

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