Despite record turnover of near $425 million, Chelsea have reported a loss of $81.6 million for the year ending in June 2013, a number sure to raise eyebrows of those conscious of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play guidelines. Club officials, however, pointed out the profit the club made in 2012 helps the team stay within the European governing body’s financial guidelines, steering the Blues clear of possible long-term repercussions on their Champions League eligibility.
According to a statement from Chelsea, the team’s inability to advance past the group stage of the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League played a major part in the club’s financial downturn despite an increase in income.
“[A] 19 percent rise in commercial income from 67 million to 79.6 million pounds is a clear indication Chelsea is moving in the right direction in terms of business growth,” the club said in its Tuesday statement, “as is a turnover figure that increased for a fourth consecutive year despite diminished European competition revenue.”
Financial Fair Play regulations say teams can lose no more than €45 million ($61.9 million) each year, but as club communications head Steve Adkins told Reuters, “complicated accounting rules” mean Chelsea’s “actual loss” was $56.2 million, keeping them within UEFA’s guidelines.
“The latest financial result combined with the previous year’s profit of 1.4 million pounds means for the first monitoring period for FFP regulations – which spans the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons – we will fall comfortably within the break-even criteria set by UEFA,” Chelsea affirmed on their web site.
That Chelsea have been one of the world’s most aggressive spenders highlights how lenient Financial Fair Play’s restrictions are, the Blues able to comply with the guidelines despite missing out on significant Champions League revenues. Few teams, however, are experiencing the same commercial growth as Roman Abramovich’s club, with figures published by Deloitte showing Chelsea have the fifth highest annual revenues in world soccer.
Five MLS teams have made the playoffs, but in the world of probability that number is a lot closer to 10.
Red Bulls, DC, L.A., Vancouver and Dallas are in the postseason, while Toronto, Columbus, New England and Sporting KC are on the verge. Seattle is just behind that group.
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So how about those final two slots?
Montreal: at Colorado, vs. New England, at Toronto
Orlando: vs. NYC, at Philadelphia
New York City: at Orlando, vs. New England
Obviously, the Impact have the wheel here, though a pair of road tests — one across the continent — aren’t easy. If it comes down to a match against their rivals at BMO Field, all bets will be off. NYC can do Montreal a huge favor by getting a result in Orlando, but Jason Kreis’ side need all three points (Well, all six points… and a load of help). No one is playing better than Orlando right now.
San Jose: vs Sporting KC, at Dallas
Portland: at RSL, at LA, vs. Colorado
Houston: vs. Seattle, at Vancouver
Real Salt Lake: vs. Portland, vs. Dallas, at Seattle
Quite literally anything can happen here in terms of these four. Pressure’s surely on Caleb Porter and the Timbers to finally give their supporters a side worth their passion. RSL is the only other side with three matches left, and the two pair up next. Houston has a harrowing pair of matches, one without Cubo Torres, while San Jose also has two tough efforts.
Longtime Serie A goalkeeper and World Cup winner Marco Amelia is giving Chelsea some cover.
The ex-AC Milan man, 33, has also played for Roma and Livorno amongst other stops in Italy, and has been on trial at Stamford Bridge for some time.
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Amelia will backup Asmir Begovic, and give the Blues three keepers in the absence of Thibaut Courtois.
He’s available for Chelsea’s next match, against Aston Villa, and will potentially slide into the No. 2 slot ahead of 21-year-old Jamal Blackman. Whether he’s an upgrade in skill is debatable, but his experience could prove invaluable.