Chelsea’s wage bill for last season increased by £25m, or 13%, to £215.6m, putting it ahead of Manchester United’s at £203m, Manchester City’s at £193.5m and Arsenal at £192.2m. Both Manchester clubs reported a drop in overall wages last season.
This helped push operating expenses at Chelsea to £378 million, resulting in a group operating loss of £63.7 million.
I say unsustainable as the Blues revenue last season was £314.3m, meaning that their wage bill was 68.6% of revenue. It should be closer to 50%.
But the Blues were able to pay such high wages last season for two reasons. One was the £42m profit the club made on player trading, through selling Romelu Lukaku, André Schürrle and Ryan Bertrand and despite bringing in Cesc Fàbregas and Diego Costa.
Chelsea have done a brilliant job in this area in recent years. In the 2013-14 season Chelsea made a £65m profit in player trading. But how many years can this continue?
The second reason was that Roman Abramovich continues to injected funding into the club, He put it in £46.7m last season, and £57.1m the previous year. Great to see that he is still as involved and interested in the club. But without those profits from selling players and the deep pockets of Abramovich, Chelsea put up a £100m+ loss at fail miserably at Financial Fair Play.