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31 Aug, 2020 11:52

'The Bank of Roman': Chelsea look SAFE from breach of money rules despite HUGE spending – as Abramovich coughs up $329mn in a YEAR

'The Bank of Roman': Chelsea look SAFE from breach of money rules despite HUGE spending – as Abramovich coughs up $329mn in a YEAR

Financial experts have revealed the astonishing figures behind Marina Granovskaia's transfer moves and Roman Abramovich's investment at Chelsea, adding that they expect the English Premier League mega spenders to meet the rules.

Chelsea are said to have spent a total of almost $300 million last season, splashing out massive sums on midfielders Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech, striker Timo Werner and defender Ben Chilwell after spending less than $53 million on transfers during the previous campaign.

Those figures might make fans of Abramovich's enterprise feel nervous about the future and the prospects of meeting Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules imposed by governing body UEFA around spending – until the owner's vast wealth and the huge profit they have made on players such as Eden Hazard is taken into account.

Even without the add-ons as part of the deal that took Player of the Season Hazard to La Liga giants Real Madrid last summer, Chelsea made around $131 million from the transfer, creating a profit of around $227 alongside the departure of Spain striker Alvaro Morata to Atletico Madrid.

Despite a cost increase of more than $47 million through transfers, that vast profit and a saving of more than $77 million through the release of stars including winger Willian will allow Chelsea to stay within the rules, according to football finances oracle the Swiss Ramble.

The figures demonstrate just how important Russian-Canadian Director Marina Granovskaia, the key figure in Chelsea's transfer dealings, is to the club.

Chelsea are "far more reliant" on player sales than other English clubs, the analysis showed, offloading talent to the tune of around $522 million over the last six years.

Granovskaia has raked in almost three times more than rivals Manchester City have managed from selling players, and more than five times as much as Manchester United.

That money has been vital given the eye-watering operating loss of almost $650 million made by the Blues during the same period, reduced by player sales to a pre-tax deficit of around $142 million.

A significant fall in those sales this season almost made the outlook "all go pear-shaped", the report revealed, as Chelsea went around $133 million above the FFP limit of $35 million.

Adjustments to financial reporting requirements made in the wake of the pandemic, though, mean that the next monitoring period will only cover 2018 and 2019 and will reduce some of the restrictions, leaving the club with a relatively insignificant FFP deficit of less than $6 million.

They are therefore almost certain to fall well within the regulations, although the expert scrutiny highlighted the lifeline that billionaire Abramovich continues to provide more than 17 years after buying Chelsea.

"Back in the real world, someone will still have to pay the bill," it said. "Fortunately for Chelsea, they can call on the 'Bank of Roman.'

"Their owner has pumped in £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) since his arrival, including a chunky £247 million ($324 million) in 2019.

"Chelsea will consider this money well spent if it drives a challenge for the Premier League title – or even if it cements their spot in the top four."

Coach and club legend Frank Lampard, who Abramovich appointed last summer, played his part by confirming an extra windfall of more than $40 million with a win on the final day of last season.

Premier League clubs have to finish at least fourth to earn a lucrative place in the Champions League, which the analysis described as a "differentiator" between the elite.

The "fancy footwork" in the club accounts also concluded that Granovskaia could further improve the numbers by moving fringe players on, naming the likes of England midfielder Ross Barkley and Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi among the stars who could make way.

Chelsea have until October 5 to complete their market manoeuvres, having seen the transfer window extended as a result of the pandemic.

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