Chelsea's much vaunted first profit of the Roman Abramovich era from their Champions League-winning year was only achieved as a result of one-off exceptional items, including a £18.4m paper profit on cancelled shares in a digital media joint venture with BSkyB.
Chelsea FC plc on November 9 announced a profit of £1.4 million for the year ended 30th June 2012. It was the first time the club has made a profit since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003. said
Chelsea's chief executive Ron Gourlay said at the time the figures, which compared with a loss of £67.7m the previous season showed the club was on course to comply with Uefa's financial fair play rules.
Full accounts lodged at Companies House on Wednesday revealed that the profit stemmed partly from the cancellation of £15m in shares held by BSkyB in a digital media joint venture that the club took full control of and £3.4m of dividends from those shares.
Another one-off item, £4.7m in cash earmarked for payments to former managers that was clawed back when they found new employment, also boosted income (although it was offset by a one-off £1.8m charge on player registrations). Without these items, a £1.4m profit would have become a £19.9m loss.
While the figures still support the club's case that they are controlling costs and moving towards a sustainable model that would comply with Uefa's rules – wages rose by just £8m to £176m.
Critics will claim it is disingenuous to publish the top-line figures without accompanying accounts. The accounts also show that transfer profits of £28.8m were achieved by the sales of Yury Zhirkov, Slobodan Rajkovic, Alex and Nicolas Anelka.
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