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Chelsea cite Roman Abramovich government sanctions as factor in UK£121m loss

Impact of former owner's asset freeze and forced sale will continue being felt 'in coming years'.

27 March 2023 PA

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Chelsea’s latest accounts reveal the English soccer giants lost £121 million (US$148.48 million) during the 2021/22 financial year, with the club citing UK government sanctions on former owner Roman Abramovich as a key factor in the results.

The oligarch was sanctioned by British authorities in March last year as the UK sought to freeze the assets of individuals it believed had connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Chelsea were placed under a special licence, restricting their ability to sell tickets, accept event bookings and even sign contracts with players.

The restrictions remained in place until 30th May last year when a new consortium led by US businessman Todd Boehly completed its takeover of the club.

A club statement on 27th March said the impact of the sanctions on Chelsea’s financial results would also be felt ‘in the following years’.

Chelsea said turnover had increased to £481.3 million (US$590.34 million)  from £434.9 million (US$533.43 million) the previous year despite the sanctions. Commercial revenue increased to £177.1 million (US$217.22 million).

The losses were attributed to increased operating expenses including matchday and non-matchday costs.

The financial results do not include Chelsea’s player acquisitions in the summer of 2022 or January this year, with the club reported to have spent around £600 million (US$735.93 million) on new players.

The 2021/22 results show £118 million (US$144.73 million) was invested in the playing squad but a profit of £123 million (US$150.87 million) was made on player sales including Tammy Abraham, Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma.

The club said they continued to comply with Uefa and Premier League financial regulations despite the losses and the impact of the government sanctions.

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