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FeaturesMelting potChelsea: a history of rib-tickling excuses and risible claims over consistently losing oodles of Abramovich’s money

Chelsea: a history of rib-tickling excuses and risible claims over consistently losing oodles of Abramovich’s money

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By Nick Harris

31 January 2011

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Chelsea have this evening announced their latest massive financial losses, £70.9m for the year to June 2010.

This year’s comical headline on the official announcement was ‘Chelsea becomes cash positive’, above an article about Chelsea’s confidence at meeting Uefa’s financial fair play criteria.

Here is a summary of some previous losses, excuses and projections:

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Jan 2005: Chelsea post losses of £87.8m for 2003-04, Roman Abramovich’s first season in control. Chelsea say they will break even by 2010. Peter Kenyon says: “Two years ago we were seen as streets paved with gold. That is over. Chelsea is now being run properly. The club is being run as a business.” Contemporary report

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Jan 2006: Chelsea post world-record annual losses for any football club in history, anywhere, of £140m for 2004-05. Kenyon claims Chelsea on target to break even in 2009-10. Contemporary report

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Feb 2007: Chelsea post £80m losses for 2005-06. Kenyon says: “”You know what? As chief executive I want to pay [Abramovich] back [his loans] because that would show we are running this club as a real proper sustainable business.” Club will be self-sufficient by 2010, says Kenyon. Contemporary report

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Feb 2008: Chelsea post £74.8m losses for 2006-07. Kenyon says: “Our long-term target of operating profit break even by 2009/10 remains ambitious but we are determined to meet it or get as close as we can.” Contemporary report

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Feb 2009: Chelsea post £66m losses for 2007-08. Kenyon says: “In line with our long-stated business aims, any squad restructuring in the summer will be funded predominantly by sales…” Contemporary report

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December 2009: Chelsea post losses for 2008-09 of £44.4m. They claim Abramovich has wiped the debt although apparently he hasn’t according to the Guardian’s David Conn, in the contemporary report here.

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Jan 2011: Losses of £70.9m announced [for 2009-10]. Chairman Bruce Buck says: ‘That the club was cash generative in the year when we recorded a historic FAPL and FA Cup double is a great encouragement and demonstrates significant progress as regards our financial results.’

Which might mean: ‘We make a lot of money from TV and tickets and stuff (and then we spend even more, loads more).’

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UPDATE ADDED 31 Jan 2012: Chelsea lose £67.7m in 2010-11 financial year. The headline?  ‘Chelsea Announces Record Turnover’

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