Blues play down financial fears
The Premier League champions have played down fears their record-breaking double swoop for Fernando Torres and David Luiz would hinder the club in the eyes of UEFA. Chelsea reined in their spending after it was made clear clubs could be banned from the Champions League if they fail to break even over a three-year period once the new measures come into full force. But it seemed as if they had performed a dramatic U-turn on that policy on Monday night by splashing £75million on Torres and Luiz. The double signing also came on the day they announced total losses of £70.9million for the year ending 30 June 2010, up £26.5million on the previous year. Chelsea had reduced their losses significantly between 2007 and 2009 and Monday's figures, coupled with the signings of Torres and Luiz, understandably rang alarm bells. However, it is understood that while the Blues acknowledge the money spent would make meeting Financial Fair Play targets more difficult, they remain confident of doing so. Indeed, the club feel they are currently on course to more than halve their losses in the next financial year, which is significant considering they are allowed to overspend by 45 million euros (£37.4million) per season until 2015-16, provided that is cancelled out by an equity injection from the owner. That will drop to 30million euros for the following three years, then £15million, before finally reaching zero. The sharp increase in losses for 2009-10 appears to be largely down to a lack of player sales during that period. The previous year saw the likes of Wayne Bridge, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Steve Sidwell and Tal Ben Haim depart for around £30million, while very little in the way of transfer fees arrived at Stamford Bridge last season. It is unclear whether the fees and wage savings provided when Ricardo Carvalho, Michael Ballack, Deco, Juliano Belletti and Joe Cole left last summer will offset the money spent on Yuri Zhirkov, Ramires and Yossi Benayoun when this season's figures are announced. But the club have also reduced their player bonus scheme, renewed their kit and sponsorship deal with adidas, which is understood to be worth up to £30million a year, and signed a contract with Singha Beer that is bringing in double the previous deal with Heineken. Increased revenue from Champions League and Barclays Premier League television rights, plus a first increase in ticket prices for five years, are set to play a part, while losses will be reduced further if the club complete the sale of the naming rights to Stamford Bridge, which could net them £10million per year. Because the transfer fees for Torres and Luiz are spread over their five-and-a-half-year contracts in terms of the club's financial figures, the £75million spent will not come in one big hit.