For all the years the club was referred to as “Chel$ki,” for all the whinging about transfer expenditures, excessive losses, plastic fans, and a style of play that wasn’t nearly as glorious as the club’s trophy cabinet, is Chelsea Football Club finally transforming into the club Roman Abramovich always wanted?
Not only does his club have one of the most exciting forward attacking lines in European football at the moment, but it appears that, after years of excessive losses, Chelsea are profitable and ready to face the challenges offered by Financial Fair Play.
The Premier League club announced a profit of £1.4 million in the year to June 30, 2012, compared to a £67.7m loss in the previous financial year.
As well as earning about £47.9m from its successful Champions League campaign, which ended in a memorable victory over Bayern Munich on penalties in Munich, Chelsea said it also made £28.8m from dealings in the transfer market.
Not that Chelsea should be a model financial example for fans of any European club—hope for a big-spending benefactor with excessively deep pockets to drive transfer and wage inflation, post normally-unsustainable losses, and pray that nothing goes wrong. But neither is Arsenal’s current approach—relying on young charges under the paternalistic leadership of Wenger to overcome a lack of major transfer spending in order to please financial stakeholders with profits and dividends—really great either.
But it must be trying for Arenal fans, who long clung to their balance sheets to demonstrate their moral authority in the face of Chelsea’s rise under Abramovich in the 2003-2005 period, see their West London rivals finally in the black on the back of a solid decade of increasing their commercial revenues on the back of domestic titles and now a European Cup.