On the pitch, Chelsea’s hopes of winning an unprecendented 4 trophies in one season stayed alive with Sunday’s 2-0 4th round F.A. Cup Victory over Birmingham. Off the pitch, they’re about to declare staggering losses that highlight their dependence on Roman Abramovich’s billions. From The Scotsman’s Colin Stewart :
With Chelsea reportedly set to announce record pre-tax losses for a British club of £88million, Kenyon told the BBC: “Two years ago we were seen as streets paved with gold – that is over. Chelsea is now being run properly, it is being run as a business.”
The club™s accounts for 2003-04 will be lodged with Companies House today.
They will reportedly show Chelsea – bankrolled by Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich (above) – spent £175million on new players last season, more than doubling their annual payroll to £115million.
With wages said to have accounted for 76 per cent of Chelsea™s total income last year, the club relied on a loan from Abramovich to cover the bill.
Fans fear Chelsea will be in financial ruin should Abramovich leave, but Kenyon has told supporters not to worry.
“Roman is at Chelsea for the long run. He has bought in completely to the vision of making this club one of the biggest and best in Europe,” he said.
“This was not a vanity purchase for the owner. It is a serious investment with a long-term business plan.”
As well as increasing income, Kenyon will set “some aggressive targets” for reducing the club™s payroll.
Manager Jose Mourinho is happy to work with a squad of 24 players and Kenyon admitted: “Our squad was too large and too expensive.”
These comments would seem to dull speculation on whether Liverpool™s influential midfielder Steven Gerrard is ready to join Chelsea in a £30million deal.