Chelsea announce record loss

Premiership leaders Chelsea will cut back on their big spending over the next 18 months after the Londoners announced record losses of £88-million.

Peter Kenyon, the Stamford Bridge chief executive, stressed that Chelsea’s five-year vision under the chairmanship of Roman Abramovich has allowed for heavy initial spending but added cut-backs will be required.

“Clearly by not buying as many players, that has a significant impact,” Kenyon told the BBC. “I think if you look at the trend in 2003/04, we spent a massive £175-million; in 2004/05 we spent £88-million; and in 2005/06 it’ll be considerably less.”

Chelsea are expected to confirm that for the year to June 30 2004—Abramovich’s first year at the helm—they made losses of £88-million.

The figure easily beats the previous highest loss posted by a British club—the £49,5-million announced by Leeds in 2003.

But Kenyon maintains that behind the heavy spending on players, there is a prudent approach that will reap long-term success and ensure stability for Chelsea.

He vowed the current owners will eventually be seen as responsible guardians for the club, who set the team off on the road to success.

“I think that’s where we’ve been responsible, looking at the long-term view on Chelsea,” said Kenyon.

“Chelsea will be around long after myself and Mr Abramovich are not here, so it’s our job not to just look after Chelsea this year but to ensure Chelsea’s in good shape for years to come.

“And there’s no better way of doing that than ensuring the long-term viability of the club to make sure that even if it’s not making massive profits, it’s not losing lots of money.”—Sapa-AFP

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