Football: Mourinho exit to hit Chelsea finances

Mourinho (centre) leading team training on Dec 8, 2015.
Mourinho (centre) leading team training on Dec 8, 2015.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (AFP) - Jose Mourinho's departure from Chelsea will have a financial impact on the club even though it is too early in the season to count the costs of a possible relegation, experts said on Friday.

"Of course it will affect the balance sheet," said Giambattista Rossi, an expert at the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre in London.

Mourinho will reportedly get a pay-out of between €13.7 million and €16.5 million euros (S$21 million and S$25 million) - a sum of little significance to Chelsea's billionaire owner, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

But Rossi said any new manager will also need cash on the table to change players and the cost of a planned new 60,000-seat stadium on the club's Stamford Bridge site has to be factored in.

"Every time you change a manager in the UK, you need to give him the power to change the squad," Rossi said.

"Probably in the next years financially they will have some concerns."

The expert said tensions in the dressing room were so bad that Abramovich faced a choice between sacking Mourinho or 11 players.

"The easy decision is to change Mourinho," he said.

"A player like Diego Costa has strong market value. Next year, if Mourinho was still in the club, he would have been sold for nothing," he added.

Chelsea are unlikely to qualify for next season's Champions League, which will also have a significant impact on revenues, said Rossi.

Manchester United's revenues fell by 8.8 per cent - or €52 million - between June 2014 and June 2015 because of their failure to qualify for the competition.

Chelsea, champions in May by an eight-point margin, have been sucked into a potential relegation battle after losing nine of their first 16 games.

Wyn Grant, an expert in football business at Warwick University, central England, said Chelsea's poor performance this season had hit revenues.

"There are financial implications in that corporate sales were dipping. Also a lower place in the table means less revenue," he said.

"Boosting corporate hospitality income is a key part of the club's plans for the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge," he added.

Chelsea last month announced it had made a loss of £23.1 million (S$48 million) last season.

The west London club also announced annual revenues of £314.3 million, marginally down on the 2013-14 high of £319.8 million.

The dip in revenues was attributed to Chelsea's exit in the first knockout round of the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain, following their run to the semi-finals the previous season.

According to the most recent figures compiled by Deloitte, the club generated €85 million in match-day revenue in the 2013-14 season in its current 41,798 capacity stadium.

In comparison, London rivals Arsenal, whose Emirates Stadium holds 60,260, raised €120 million, while Manchester United, who can fit 75,653 people in at Old Trafford, generated €129 million.