Chelsea chief Ron Gourlay admits European success was key to recording a financial profit this year.
Gourlay admitted that Chelsea, who last week announced a £1.4million profit, would have been facing another major loss had they not won the Champions League.
He said: "You don't budget to win the Champions League every year and we were looking down the barrel of the Europa League.
"We don't ever want to find ourselves in that situation again. The financial difference between the two competitions is vast.
"It would have put a lot more pressure on the commercial side of the business.
"You could still be successful in the Premier League but the monies that come from the Europa League are nowhere near."
Gourlay said without the cash from the Champions League the club would have found it much harder to start to comply with UEFA's financial fair play rules.
He added: "We'd have still got reasonably close to achieving our goal but we'd have fallen short."