Copy of 2023-03-26T221438Z_761849787_RC2T10ALWUN6_RTRMADP_3_RELIGION-RAMADAN-BRITAIN-1679988454131
People queue before a pitch side iftar meal at Stamford Bridge stadium, the ground of Chelsea Football Club, during Ramadan in London, Britain. Chelsea will reportedly be forced to sell players this summer to offset their wild spending spree under their new ownership. Image Credit: REUTERS

London: Chelsea had an overall net loss of £121.3 million pounds ($148.65 million) for 2021-22 due to “extraordinary expenses and loss of revenue” after sanctions were imposed on previous owner Roman Abramovich, the Premier League club said. Now the club may have to sell Conor Gallagher, Mason Mount and others as the club tries to meet Financial Fair Play regulations.

Russian owner Abramovich put the club up for sale in early March last year. UK government sanctions on Abramovich had also complicated the sale process.

Chelsea were not allowed to sell tickets, resulting in a loss of revenue, while their operational spend was also curtailed due to government restrictions until the sale was completed at the end of May.

Loss of revenue

“During this period, the club was restricted in a number of areas including, but not limited to, its ability to sell matchday and season tickets, sell merchandise, accept event bookings, as well as sign contracts with players and commercial sponsorship partners, which collectively resulted in extraordinary expenses and loss of revenue,” Chelsea said.

“Furthermore, some of these limitations are also expected to have an impact on the financials in the following years due to the long-term impact from restrictions on entering into new contractual arrangements.” Chelsea said their turnover figure increased to £481.3 million from £434.9 million the previous year mainly due to increased matchday and commercial revenue as fans returned to stadiums after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The club’s commercial revenue also increased to £177.1 million thanks to a net increase in sponsorship revenue from new contracts and existing partner renewals.

Increased expenses

“The higher revenue was offset by increased operating expenses, including matchday and non-matchday costs that resulted from resumed operations and increased staff costs,” the club added.

“The above contributed to the group recording a loss before player impairments and one-off expenses of £26.6 million for the year ended 30 June 2022, and an overall net loss of £121.3 million.

“Despite the loss in the year and the operating challenges due to the sanctions, the club continues to comply with UEFA and Premier League financial regulations.” Chelsea were bought by an investment group led by American businessman Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, who have invested more than £600 million ($645.78 million) in player transfers across two windows.

The club are 10th in the Premier League but also through to the Champions League quarter-finals where they face reigning champions Real Madrid next month.