Why Roman Abramovich and Chelsea will not be able to spend their way out of trouble

 
Joe Hall
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Chelsea v A.F.C. Bournemouth - Premier League
Counting the cost: Chelsea will not be able to simply spend their way to salvation (Source: Getty)

There was a period when Chelsea had an obvious solution to the kind of loss in form which has so blighted them this season - Roman Abramovich's cheque book.

Not so anymore. Chelsea will not be able to simply spend their way to salvation following a catastrophic start to the season which sees them teetering one point above the Premier League relegation zone with an under-performing squad and under-fire manager.

The restrictions imposed by Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) rules, plus the potential loss of Champions League football and a possible hefty severance payment to Jose Mourinho should the club decide to change managers will limit the club's capabilities in forthcoming transfer windows.

Barring a never-before-seen reversal in form between now and the end of the season from both Chelsea and their rivals, or an unlikely Champions League triumph, the Blues will have to front up to the financial cost of a first season without European football in the Abramovich era.

Read more: Chelsea will have to be historically good to make the top four

Not only would Chelsea's absence from Europe's elite effect the prestige of the club and potentially put off recruits, it could strike over £30m from their revenues.

Last season the four Premier League clubs in the competition made an average of £23m from Champions TV and prize money payments, while Chelsea's matchday revenues would take a significant blow with up to six fewer games to host at Stamford Bridge.

Furthermore, the club will also have to prepare for a significant reduction in Premier League prize money if results don't improve - the difference between first place and 16th last season was over £18m.

Uefa's FFP rules, which currently limit clubs to a maximum loss of €30m (£21m) over a rolling three-season term, mean that even a billionaire-bankrolled team like Chelsea will be restricted by such a blow.

Read more: It's not all his fault but Jose must be on borrowed time

A new £40m shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama Tyres will help matters yet the club's £23.1m loss last season, despite Chelsea's assurances the club is still FFP compliant means the club is no position to easily deal with such losses.

Should all this cause Abramovich to lose patience with Mourinho it could cost him between £10m and £40m in severance payments, according to reports, after the Portuguese signed a new four-year deal last summer.

And finally the Russian tycoon has to weigh up the £500m cost of a new 60,000 stadium which, although it will count against their FFP regulations, is not a cheap sum even to a multi-billionaire.

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