A few weeks ago, Chelsea published their financial accounts for the 2015-16 season. Since our financial expert, Jake is busy being awesome in real life, we let this event pass without too much attention. This was probably an oversight.
Fortunately, there are two wonderful resources to help us catch up, including the video embedded above from the excellent Joe Devine and his team over at uMAXit Football and of course the venerable Swiss Ramble, who broke down the accounts in great detail a couple weeks ago. That should be required reading if you're at all interested in how Chelsea managed to turn a massive £70m loss (£99m if we include the losses taken on the FX markets thanks to Brexit).
The uMAXit video does a great job highlighting the key takeaways from all the numbers and mumbo-jumbo.
Chelsea's £70m loss is the biggest in almost a decade, but it's mostly due to two exceptional expenses: buying out the adidas contract (£67m) and severance payment to Mourinho & Co (£8m). Without those two expenses, the club would've turned a £5m profit, which would've been our third in five seasons (£29m loss on cash hedges due to Brexit aside). The adidas expense should repay itself shortly, too, since our new deal with Nike alone is worth £60m per year (and well over £100m more over the life of the contract when compared with the old adidas deal), and we've also signed up Carabao at £10m per year as the training kit sponsor since these books were finalized.
Both the video and Swiss Ramble touch on Chelsea making up lost revenue (with respect to our bigger rivals) via player sales, a trend that's certainly set to continue this season as well given the already booked £52-60m sale of Oscar to China and the £6-10m sale of Patrick Bamford (who never actually played for Chelsea) to Middlesbrough.
The new stadium will help bridge the revenue gap as well, though that's not for a few more seasons. In the meantime, we should probably expect more commercial sponsorship deals and more player sales, as has been the norm. Books next season, while receiving a generous boost from the new Premier League mega TV deal, will suffer from a lack of European competition this season, but hopefully after that, we'll be back on the right track for profitability. After all, as great it is to have an owner like Abramovich continue pumping money into the club, the ultimate goal has always been and should always be self-sustainability.