Chelsea Record $130m Loss Despite Abramovich Input

FIFA Hands Chelsea Two Transfer Windows Ban
(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 24, 2015 Chelsea supporters wave flags before the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge in London on May 24, 2015. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Chelsea made a loss of almost £100 million ($130 million) last year despite owner Roman Abramovich pouring nearly a quarter of a billion pounds into the Premier League club, their figures for 2018/19 released on Tuesday show.

Amongst their expenditure was yet another payout to a sacked manager — this time £26.6 million to Italian Antonio Conte.

The 50-year-old — who is now at Inter Milan — had a year left on his contract when he was fired just a season after guiding them to the Premier League title.

“Exceptional items in the current year of £26.6million relate to changes in respect of the men’s team management and coaching staff, together with associated legal costs,” read Chelsea’s latest set of published accounts, for the year ending June 30, 2019.

The club has spent £90 million in compensation to Conte and his predecessors since Abramovich took over in 2004.

Conte was replaced by compatriot Maurizio Sarri, who left the club for Juventus in the summer of 2019, one year into a three-year contract.

The club also invested £280.6m in their playing squad during 2018-19, with the acquisitions of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Christian Pulisic, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho all included in their latest figures.

In all Abramovich, who has at times been rumoured to be disenchanted and looking to sell, put in £247 million of his own money over the course of the year — ending in June 2019 — with the club still ending £96.6m in the red.

However, their sale of Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard to Real Madrid for 100 million euros last summer should make the next set of accounts happier reading, especially as the outgoings of the club in the most recent close season were zero thanks to a transfer ban.

That has since been lifted allowing manager Frank Lampard to invest in the transfer market in January.

Abramovich Nas No Intention To Sell Chelsea, Says Buck

A file photo of Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich.

 

 

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not interested in “bargain” bids for the Premier League club and remains fully involved at Stamford Bridge, according to chairman Bruce Buck.

The Russian billionaire is not believed to have attended a home match since the spring of 2018, having taken Israeli citizenship after encountering visa renewal issues in Britain.

Plans for a new 60,000-seat stadium were shelved around the same time, but Buck said Abramovich has no intention to offload the club.

“So far as I know, absolutely not. To the contrary — I have never heard a word from Mr Abramovich: ‘Let’s get this ready for a sale,’ or something,” Buck told the Guardian newspaper.

“Because of the political situation, there are people who think they might want to buy Chelsea Football Club at a bargain. We do get inquiries and we really have nothing to say to these people.

“In terms of being involved, in looking at new players, talking about whether to extend players’ contracts, do we buy this player, do we sell this player, (Abramovich) was always intimately involved in that from day one and is just as intimately involved now.

“He talks to Marina (Granovskaia) — the board member who supervises the football operation — several times a day, every day. Marina has been doing that for seven or eight years. That hasn’t let up or changed at all.”

AFP

Chelsea Owner, Abramovich ‘Has Right’ To Israeli Citizenship – Russia

FILE PHOTO Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich

 

Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich, has the right to Israeli citizenship, the Kremlin said Tuesday after the Chelsea football club-owner reportedly travelled to Israel and became a citizen after delays to his British visa application.

“The Kremlin doesn’t think anything about this,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in response to a question on the reported move by Abramovich, a former regional governor seen as being on good terms with President Vladimir Putin.

“An entrepreneur receives Israeli citizenship. So what? It’s his right,” Peskov said of Abramovich, who is Jewish.

Abramovich, who was reportedly in Russia in recent days, flew into Tel Aviv on a private jet and received an Israeli identity card, local Channel 10 television reported.

Spokesmen for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office contacted by AFP did not confirm or deny the report. Abramovich‘s spokesman John Mann refused to comment, saying it was a personal matter.

Israel’s Law of Return gives every Jew, or child or grandchild of a Jew, the right to Israeli citizenship on demand.

Sources in Abramovich‘s entourage told Russian and international media earlier this month that Abramovich‘s British visa had run out and his application for a new one was taking longer than usual.

Abramovich, 51, has a fortune estimated at 9.3 billion pounds ($12.5 billion) by the Sunday Times. He bought Chelsea football club in 2003.

The reports of his visa problems came as British MPs urged the government to clamp down on corrupt Russian money flowing through London. They called for global action to tighten loopholes in existing sanctions targeting oligarchs close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich served as governor of Russia’s remote Chukotka from 2000 to 2008 and pumped in millions of dollars to develop the remote region. Putin repeatedly urged Abramovich to stay on as governor while he was already living between Russia and Britain.

He sold his majority stake in oil major Sibneft to state-controlled Gazprom in 2005 for 13 billion dollars.

AFP

Chelsea Players To Receive £5m Title Bonus

chelseaChelsea players are in line to receive a £5million bonus if they secure the Premier League title tonight against West Brom.

According to The Times reports, Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, agreed to the reward last summer.

The large sum will be divided predominantly among the members of the squad who appeared the most throughout the season.

However, it is reported that 10 percent of the sum is reserved for unused substitutes and squad members, which means the likes of John Terry, Asmir Begovic and Michy Batshuayi, will all be rewarded.

The club Manager, Antonio Conte and his staff will receive a different sum compared to the players.

Chelsea Cruise Past Sunderland As Norwich Stun United

Premier LeagueChelsea’s new interim manager, Guus Hiddink, watched from the stands as his team beat Sunderland 3-1 on Saturday, while Norwich City won at Manchester United.

Appointed hours before kick-off in place of the sacked Jose Mourinho, Hiddink was in the stands at a discontented Stamford Bridge as Chelsea prevailed through goals from Branislav Ivanovic, Pedro Rodriguez and Oscar.

The match unfurled amid tension, as Chelsea’s fans took out their anger over Mourinho’s dismissal on their own players, and there was also a bilious atmosphere at Old Trafford, where Norwich won 2-1.

It was United’s third straight defeat in all competitions, sending them out of the top four, and saw Van Gaal assailed with boos from the home supporters.

A world away from the managerial intrigue, Claudio Ranieri, the former Chelsea manager, saw his Leicester City side win 3-2 at Everton to guarantee that they will top the table on Christmas Day.

Hiddink, 69, has returned to Chelsea in the hope of pulling off a salvage job similar to the one he masterminded in 2009, when he led the club to FA Cup glory after being parachuted in by owner Roman Abramovich.

With first-team coach Steve Holland taking charge of the team, Hiddink sat alongside Abramovich and former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba as the bedraggled champions began life without Mourinho.

Pro-Mourinho banners were visible around the ground — one bearing the message “You let Jose down, you let us down” — and his name was chanted by the home supporters right from kick-off.

Despite the hostility from their own fans, Chelsea made a storming start, Ivanovic heading in Willian’s corner in the fifth minute and Pedro slamming home from Willian’s cross eight minutes later.

Chelsea Appoint Hiddink As Interim Manager

Chelsea Appoint Hiddink As Interim ManagerTwo days after Chelsea sacked Jose Mourinho, the Blues have confirmed that Guus Hiddink will take over as manager until the end of the season.

The 69-year-old also managed the Blues on a temporary basis for the final three months of the 2008-2009 campaign.

The Dutchman left his role as Netherlands Manager during their unsuccessful European qualifying campaign.

Chelsea sacked Mourinho seven months after he led them to the Premier League title.

The 52-year-old Portuguese had been in his second spell at the club as the Blues are currently 16th on the EPL table.

Chelsea finished eight points clear last season and also won the League Cup, but have endured a terrible start to their defence, losing nine of their 16 league games so far.

Abramovich looking to cut losses on Torres

Signed from Liverpool to Chelsea for a whopping £50 million, Spaniard Fernando Torres has always been topical since his arrival at Stamford Bridge making as he has proved to be the player the Blues can rely on.

An arrow head in the Blues team,in terms of formation, Chelsea’s Russian owner is considering to cut his losses on the £50 million man, tagging  Torres with an ultimatum of one more month to prove pundits wrong and deliver like he used to while he was at Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Abramovich is not sleeping with his two eyes as Chelsea moved on another striker to likely replace Torres and  Brazilian striker, Taison was the choice of the Stamford Bridge club,  as reports indicate that he will sign a £10 million deal next week ahead of the opening of the January transfer window.

Taison was at Stamford Bridge to witness the 0-0 bore draw with Fulham.

The 24-year-old, a former Internacional team-mate of Chelsea’s big money summer signing Oscar, was tracked in the summer. His name has come to greater attention this season following his spectacular Marco Van Basten-esque volley for his club Metalist Kharkiv in the Europa League three weeks ago.

Benitez, on a short-term deal until the end of the season, still believes he can help Torres recapture the form he showed under him during his spell at Anfield.

When asked about Torres’ contribution in the back-to-back goalless draws over the past week, Benitez said: “We have had, maybe, five training sessions.

“It’s still too early. But for me we are watching things that are positive.”

Torres is currently on a run of 648 minutes without a Premier League goal, and has managed just one shot on target during Rafa’s first two games in charge.

Russian government dash out cars to Olympic medalists

Besides fame and glory, this year’s Russian Olympic medalists are getting a handsome cash prize and a new luxury car.

The Russian Olympians Foundation, financed by 15 of the nation’s wealthiest businesspeople, presented the Audi sedans to the medalists on Wednesday.

After a closed ceremony in the Kremlin hosted by President Vladimir Putin, the athletes ventured onto the Red Square where 129 black Audis, accompanied by 129 hired drivers were waiting on the cobblestone slope behind St. Basil’s Cathedral.

The Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko mingled with the athletes and their trainers.

Then the cordon was opened and the athletes percolated through the lot, each claiming a car.
Gold medal winners received Audi A8s, which sells for $120,000. Silver medalists got A7s ($75,000), and bronze medalists got A6s ($50,000).

The foundation’s executive director, Alexander Katushev, said the cars were acquired at a ”Significant discount”
He added that elite athletes deserve elite cars.

“A fine athlete in a crappy car is like a beautiful girl who cusses. The exterior doesn’t match the interior, and this won’t do,” he added.

In addition to the cars, the fund is giving cash prizes to the medalists: 4 million rubles ($125,000) for gold, 2.5 million rubles for silver, and 1.7 million rubles for bronze.

According to some of the athletes, getting cars and cash prizes didn’t motivate them to win.

Volleyball player Alexei Obmochayev rifled through his car’s glove compartment. He took out the manual to look up the car’s horsepower.

His teammate, Alexander Volkov, carefully folded his towering, 210-centimeter frame into the back seat of one car. “Plenty of room here,” he said, hunching forward awkwardly.

One by one, the athletes were driven away by the hired drivers, with the exception of several wrestlers, who insisted on getting behind the wheel.

Gymnast Alina Makarenko, 17, will only be sitting shotgun for the foreseeable future — she doesn’t have a driver’s license. Makarenko said her mother would drive the A8 until she received one.

“I think if they had been Russian cars, nobody would have shown up,” said pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, who won bronze after taking home gold in the last two Olympics.

The Russian Olympians Foundation includes Russia’s richest man, Alisher Usmanov, as well as tycoons Roman Abramovich, Viktor Vekselberg and Oleg Deripaska.

The nation finished fourth in the total medals count, with 82, including 24 golds, 26 silvers and 32 bronzes.