London - Premier League club Chelsea have moved into profit for the first time since Russian Roman Abramovich bought the soccer club in 2003, reporting a small surplus after winning the Champions League.
The London club said they had a profit of 1.4 million pounds ($2.2 million) in the financial year to end-June 2012, compared with a loss of 67.7 million pounds a year earlier.
Chelsea said the figures put them in a strong position to comply with Uefa Financial Fair Play rules for the coming seasons which require clubs to curb their losses or risk exclusion from competitions such as the Champions League.
Some commentators had expected clubs funded by wealthy benefactors to be tripped up by the new rules.
Russian oligarch Abramovich has poured hundreds of millions of pounds into Chelsea since he bought the club and was rewarded when they defeated Bayern Munich to win the Champions League in May.
“We had that success on the field this year, as we were the first London team to win the Uefa Champions League, and we enjoyed it off the field as well and this helps us inject financial investment into the team,” Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said in a statement.
“The big challenge is always to have a successful team on the field that wins trophies and to make a profit at the same time.”
Chelsea also won the English FA Cup last May and their successes helped to increase turnover to 255.7 million pounds, which the club said made them the fifth largest club in Europe in terms of revenue.
The figures were also boosted by profits of 28.8 million pounds made on transfer dealings. – Reuters