Chelsea Football Club was on track for record turnover and record profits for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, but thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to settle for ‘just over £ 400million in revenue, down nearly £ 40million (10 percent) from the record numbers of the previous year.
The club have consistently recorded a profit of £ 32.5million, as confirmed by the statement released on Chelsea’s official website today, which attributes that figure to Champions League qualification and player sales. The latter has been the main factor determining Chelsea’s income and profits over the past few seasons, although the Champions League itself was worth around € 50million more than the Europa League.
While Chelsea haven’t had to worry about finances since 2003, it’s great to see the club make a profit after losing over £ 100million the previous year – and without putting anyone on leave during the pandemic! This is only the fifth time in the Abramovich era that we have seen a profit after 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2018, but as this trend shows, we are certainly going in the right direction of self-sufficiency.
Sadly, the immediate future looks a little less rosy, as COVID-19 continues to rage and its impact continues to change the financial and societal landscapes of sport, football, and life in general.
The pandemic has only affected 4 of the 12 months of FY2020. This has already affected half of FY2021, and it looks likely to last for several more months at least – depending on how quickly we can distribute and administer vaccines, and the effectiveness of these for reopening the economy and what that means. a new normal might actually look like.
With the associated declines in match revenue, merchandising and, most importantly, broadcast revenue – the club statement notes that deferred discounts are also due to broadcasters on previously agreed contracts due to the pandemic – fiscal year 2021 could be difficult to navigate. Add to Chelsea’s £ 200million spending frenzy during the summer transfer window, and we could be looking at another big change in profitability in twelve months. (Our new shirt sponsorship won’t have much of an impact there, and the Nike contract remains the same as before.)
Chelsea note that we remain FFP compliant and as we know UEFA has suspended FFP accounting at least this season. So we probably don’t have to worry too much about that, and as we’ve learned from Manchester City, we can just ask Abramovich to sponsor himself with one of his companies anyway if needed.