Football: Chelsea upbeat as they post record Abramovich-era $37.4 million profit

Chelsea squad members train at Cobham in south England Nov 4, 2014. Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said the club would become increasingly self-sufficient after he announced the Premier League leaders had made a profit of £18.4 million (S$37.4 mil
Chelsea squad members train at Cobham in south England Nov 4, 2014. Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said the club would become increasingly self-sufficient after he announced the Premier League leaders had made a profit of £18.4 million (S$37.4 million) for the financial year ending June 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said the club would become increasingly self-sufficient after he announced the Premier League leaders had made a profit of £18.4 million (S$37.4 million) for the financial year ending June 2014.

It was the largest surplus recorded by the west London side since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich became the owner of the Stamford Bridge club 11 years ago.

Turnover increased for the fifth successive year to stand at a record £319.8 million, up from £255.8 million for the previous 12 months.

These latest results meant Chelsea remained within the break-even criteria of European governing body UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations designed to prevent excessive spending by club based solely on the owner's wealth rather than a side's inherent financial resources.

"The club is naturally pleased to record a significant profit for 2013-14," said Buck in a Chelsea statement.

"By reaching the Champions League semi-final and maintaining a challenge in the Premier League until the final week of the season we demonstrated that, while improving our financial figures, we remained competitive in football's toughest club competitions.

"We financed player purchases from sales as the squad for this current season was shaped and our philosophy since Mr Abramovich acquired the club in 2003 has been to build upon success on the pitch.

"That is evident in the partnerships we signed and in our fanbase growth which contributed to the new record turnover figure and the profit made.

"We have done all of this at the same time as creating one of the world's leading football community programmes through the Chelsea Foundation.

"Going forward we have ambitious plans to build a pioneering global commercial programme, partnering with innovative and market-leading organisations from around the world.

"In the era of FFP, we must progress commercially to continue the circle of success to invest in the team and get results."

Chelsea's statement added: "The latest financial results combined with those from the previous two years mean that for the second monitoring period for FFP we will fall comfortably within the limits set by UEFA, who measure expenditure against the income from football-related activities.

"Chelsea also complied with FFP criteria over the first monitoring period."

The Blues are unbeaten so far this season and have a four-point lead over Southampton at the top of the Premier League table.