Chelsea have announced a post-tax loss of £145.6 million ($196.4m) for the year ending June 30, 2021.
The figure is in stark contrast to a £36.4m ($49m) profit for the previous year, reflecting the huge financial impact of COVID-19.
In the club’s strategic report, it states the “loss of revenue [was] caused by the majority of 2020-21 matches taking place behind closed doors as well as decreased profit on player sales and increased player amortisation.”
Although the club’s overall turnover increased from £387.8m ($523m) to £416.8m ($562) as a result of more matches being televised, matchday income fell by £46m ($62m) to just £7.2m ($9.7m) due to fans being absent from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea FC PLC is supported by Fordstam Limited, a company owned by Roman Abramovich, and the accounts state “the company is reliant on Fordstam Limited for its continued support” and that will be the case for the “foreseeable future.”
The accounts claim a profit on player trading of £27.9m ($37.6m) — down significantly from £142.6m ($192.3m) a year earlier — citing the departures of winger Victor Moses to Spartak Moscow and midfielder Nathan to Atletico Mineiro in addition to receiving outstanding fees “in relation to a number of previous transfers.”
Since the end of June, Chelsea spent a further £109.7m ($147.9m) on Romelu Lukaku, goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli and the loan of midfielder Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid but reported income of £103.7m ($140m) arising from letting go of 13 players.
The accounts also detail the support Chelsea have provided to the local area since the pandemic began.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone,” continued the strategic report.
“Communities across the world have faced extraordinary challenges and many families have lost loved ones. Both the club and the Chelsea Foundation including the staff, fans and wider community have played an important role in trying to alleviate some of the difficulties faced by particularly vulnerable groups and families who were affected by the pandemic.”
Chelsea state they have helped administer more than 7,000 Pfizer COVID-19 jabs to local residents during a series of pop-up vaccination centres at Stamford Bridge.