Chelsea announce £74M loss

Chelsea's aim of breaking even as a business by 2010 looked more remote than ever today after the club announced it made a loss of £74 million in the financial year to the end of June 2007.

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Although the accounts show the club reduced their losses from £80.2m in 2005/2006 - thanks mainly to reduced spending on new players - chief executive Peter Kenyon admitted the target of balancing the books in the next two years looked "ambitious".

The latest loss, while some way short of the record £140m announced by Chelsea in 2004/2005, takes owner Roman Abramovich's total investment in the club to an eye-watering £578m since he bought the club in a £140m deal in 2003.

But Chelsea reiterated the Russian billionaire's long term commitment to the club and added they were still working on ways to expand their 42,000 capacity Stamford Bridge home to help them compete with Manchester United and Arsenal.

"These figures demonstrate that Chelsea are growing in strength as a business and as a club," said Kenyon. "We have expanded globally as a club, we have reduced our salaries as a percentage of turnover, we have continued to be successful on the field, we have increased sponsorship revenue and we continue to invest in our academy and reduce reliance on transfers.

"With the company also being debt free and our ownership clearly demonstrating continuing commitment to the long term, I am very confident about the future on a football and business level."

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