If recent media reports are to be believed, Roman Abramovich has never been less interested in Chelsea than he is now. He can’t work in the UK, he doesn’t go to games, he canceled the new stadium project, he’s looking to sell.
If recent words from Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck are to be believed, Roman Abramovich has never been more interested in Chelsea than he is now. He has a phone, he’s in daily contact, he’s delighted at the Academy prospering, he’s committed more than ever.
The truth, as usual, probably lies somewhere in-between.
But here’s one good sign that lends Buck’s version a bit more credence. Roman Abramovich sunk a quarter billion pounds into the club during the 2018-19 fiscal year, fueling the second-biggest expenditure of the Roman Era as the club swung to a £100m+ loss, the biggest since 2004-05, which included a club-record purchase (£80m for Kepa Arrizabalaga) and a club-record payoff (£26.6m to Conte & Co). If that’s Roman disinterested, then keep on not caring, bossman!
Those numbers come from Chelsea’s annual financial results, which were released last week. While we wait for the inimitable Swiss Ramble to do a deep dive once the full accounts are available, we can rest easy in the knowledge that Chelsea did show club-record turnover numbers of nearly £450m, and that despite the loss, we remain FFP compliant. Or so we claim. We certainly could use a break from having to deal with football governing bodies for while.
On the slightly less upbeat side of the ledger, the triple-digit loss also highlights the (£40-50m) importance of making the Champions League proper each and every season. After all, Chelsea earned less for winning the Europa League last season than for getting knocked out in the Champions League Round of 16 the season before, or, for that matter, reaching the Champions League Round of 16 this season.
Should Lampard manage to guide Chelsea to a top-four finish while overseeing a homegrown youth revolution, we just might one day even fulfill Abramovich’s long-standing dream of Chelsea self-sustainability, even! Fortunately, until then, the owner seems more than willing to keep loaning himself millions upon millions to spend on his little hobby in the SW6.
The difference in earnings between the Champions League and Europa League is evident in England with those in Europe’s leading tournament receiving a good €50m more: #LFC €111m, #THFC €102m, #MUFC €93m and #MCFC €93m compared to #CFC €46m and #AFC €39m. pic.twitter.com/Rb5SgscB5V— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) December 23, 2019