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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2008, 17:35 GMT
Kenyon bullish on Chelsea future
Peter Kenyon
Kenyon thinks Chelsea will break even by 2009/10
Chief executive Peter Kenyon claims Chelsea are second only to Manchester United in football's financial league.

On Thursday the Premier League club reported record turnover for 2006/07 of 223.3m, placing them behind United (245m) but ahead of Arsenal (200.8m).

"In terms of revenue against that matrix then clearly we are number two behind Manchester United," Kenyon told BBC sports editor Mihir Bose.

"The numbers speak for themselves. All of our metrics are very positive."

In contrast to both United and Arsenal, who posted pre-tax profits of 59.6m and 5.6m respectively, Chelsea are still reporting losses, although reduced by 7% on 2005/06, of 74.8m.

MIHIR BOSE BLOG

And he insists Abramovich, who bought Chelsea in July 2003 and has invested in excess of 500m, will continue to give the west London outfit an advantage over their top-flight rivals.

"Everything we've been doing at Chelsea over the past four-and-a-half years is predicated on the owner being supportive to Chelsea - he clearly has been and he continues to be," said Kenyon, a former chief executive at Manchester United.

"I would suggest there are a lot of football clubs who would like to be in our position in terms of being externally debt-free and that very much gives us a competitive advantage.

"From a business point of view, a football club point of view and a fan point of view that does give us an advantage in the long run."

As Chelsea attempt to fulfil their aim of breaking even by season 2009/10, net player expenditure has dropped from 126.7m in 2004/05 to 11.7m in 2006/07.

Kenyon stopped short of indicating that Chelsea will play a less active role in the transfer marked but admitted there could not be a repeat of the outgoings in the first year of Abramovich's reign.

"We've always said we'll invest in players but the levels of year one were not sustainable," said Kenyon.

John Terry
Chelsea's on-field success is helping reduce their financial losses
"Over the last three years this is another measure that we've achieved - we will spend less than the previous year on net transfers.

"That's not to say that we're not going to bring players in.

"We've spent an awful lot on our academy and one of our longer-term business plans is to ensure we have this mixture of home-grown talent along with buying some of the best footballers from anywhere in the world.

"Our long-term target of operating profit break even by 2009/10 remains ambitious but we are determined to meet it or get as close as we can."

Winning the 2007 FA and Carling Cups, reaching the Champions League semi-finals and finishing second in the Premier League saw Chelsea's income from football activities rise 27% from 130.4m to 165.3m.

And the first year of their contract with sportswear manufacturer Adidas resulted in sponsorship revenues soaring by 89% to 32m from 16.9m.

Chelsea remain some way behind Manchester United when it comes to global support base.

The Old Trafford club estimate they have 135m fans worldwide, which contrasts sharply to Chelsea's 90m "core fans", but Kenyon remains optimistic.

"You would expect that of Manchester United, in terms of their positioning over the past 30, 40, 50 years, their dominance in competitions and winning the Champions League," he said.

"I think we're in a very good position in comparison."



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