Chelsea‘s debt to owner Roman Abramovich Roman has passed the £1.5billion mark after the Russian injected further cash into the club last season.
As reported by The Times, annual accounts for Fordstam Ltd, Chelsea’s parent company, showed that the 55-year-old loaned the club £19.9m last season – taking the total debt to £1.514billion.
The latest cash injection has helped the club overtake Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool in terms of their wage bill – despite recording a £155.9m loss last season.
Chelsea’s wage bill rose by 17.5 per cent to £333m, with their Champions League triumph playing a part due to bonus payments issued out to players.
The Blues also spent big at the start of the last season, forking out £222m on the likes of Kai Havertz (£71m), Timo Werner (£48m), Ben Chilwell (£45m), Hakim Ziyech (£36m) and Edouard Mendy (£22m).
In comparison, Manchester United’s wages rose to £322.6m last season, while Liverpool’s salaries totalled £326m in 2019-20.
Only Manchester City, who had a wage bill of £351m in the 2019-20 season, have had to pay a higher wage bill.
Fordstam’s accounts state: ‘Funding is provided by the ultimate controlling party, Mr R Abramovich . . . The balance outstanding on all related-party loans at 30 June 2021 was £1,514.4 million.’
The loans are said to be expected to be repaid to Camberley International Investments Ltd, which is believed to be controlled by Abramovich.
However, as the loans are from the owner himself, Chelsea are effectively debt free as Abramovich would have to repay himself from the proceeds if he were to sell the club.
The Blues should make a healthy profit on player sales for this season with the Fordstam accounts revealing that three players were signed in the summer for an initial outlay of £109.7m and 13 players were sold for £103.7m.
The likes of Tammy Abraham (£34m), Kurt Zouma (£29.8m) and Fikayo Tomori (£25m) all left the club in the summer.
However the spending figure will be spread over several years by a process known as amortisation to show a player trading profit in the accounts.
Abramovich has not been seen much at Chelsea over recent years after he experienced visa issues back in 2018.
He attended his first game at Stamford Bridge in three years back in November.
The Chelsea boss’ visit to London represented a further underlining of his commitment to the club along with his cash injection last season.
Abramovich’s visa issues led to a planned rebuild of Stamford Bridge being shelved, but the Blues have undergone a significant transformation of the playing squad in the last 18 months.