Financial boost for Roman’s Blues
Chelsea’s financial losses have been reduced for a fourth
consecutive year to £44.4million for 2009 on a group turnover
Roman Abramovich has all but wiped out Chelsea’s
£340million debt, according to financial figures released by
the Premier League leaders on Wednesday.
The 2009 results revealed losses down to £44.4million, a
compensation payment of £12.6million to Luiz Felipe Scolari
and three of his staff – and also Abramovich repeating his actions
of last year when debts were reduced by half.
Abramovich was widely reported to be owed the money as an
interest-free loan, which have now been turned into shares.
A statement from Chelsea read: “Following previous
conversions of half of the debt, the remainder of the interest-free
loans from the parent company, whose ultimate controlling party is
Roman Abramovich, have been converted into equity making the group
effectively debt free.”
Chelsea insist the move “demonstrates the continuing
commitment from the shareholder to the group” but it would also
remove any fears of a meltdown if Abramovich ever decided to walk
away from football.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: “The club’s debt load has
been reduced almost to nil in order to provide more long-term
stability for the club.
“The reduction will also enable the club to comply with any
regulations on debt levels which are being discussed by the
The Russian has bankrolled Chelsea since 2003 and former
chief executive Peter Kenyon previously spoke of the club breaking
even by 2010. The losses announced by the club are down from
£65.7million last year but show the club still to be reliant
on their owner.
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said: “It is still our
aim to be self-sufficient and we will achieve this by increasing
our revenues as we continue to leverage off our brand.
“We are reducing our costs by controlling expenses, including
salaries and wages.”