Blues-print for financial fair play

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Old 10-Oct-2011
Blues-print for financial fair play

London: Chelsea are drawing up a blueprint to meet the strict Uefa rules on spending through cutting their dependence on owner Roman Abramovich.

The club reported a 70 million (Dh400.05 million) loss last year and chairman Bruce Buck admits they face a tough period trying to meet Financial Fair Play rules that could see teams thrown out of the Champions League from 2014.

"Even before [financial fair play] we were of the view we couldn't rely on Abramovich for ever," Buck said.

"We had to figure out a way over the medium term to stand on our own two feet. Maybe financial fair play is making us do that a little bit quicker. An academy costs maybe 5 million a year to run, so if you can get maybe one player every year or 18 months into the first team, look at the transfer fees you've saved. The economics are pretty clear. Implementing it is much more difficult."

Chelsea are also trying to increase sponsorship. An office has already been opened in Singapore to exploit the Asian market and Buck added: "We have to up our sponsorship income. We have to reduce our transfer fees, reduce our payroll and up our match-day revenues if we can. Naming rights could also be important."

Some Chelsea fans have been threatening a boycott of the next Champions League game against Genk on October 19 because of ticket prices but Buck urges caution.

"We're comfortable that [Stamford Bridge] is going to be full," he said. "The manager, Andre Villas-Boas, looks on it as a big match and will want the fans to come and support the club.

"JT [John Terry] and all the other players recognise it's an important match and are asking fans to support them.

"I understand supporters saying they would prefer lower prices but we try to spread the balance; I think we've got it about right, but I do understand that some people would disagree."

Meanwhile, former Manchester United and Scotland footballer Gordon McQueen has been diagnosed with throat cancer. The towering defender, 59, played for United between 1978 and 1985, winning the FA Cup in 1983. The news comes just weeks after his close friend and former team mate Bryan Robson announced he had recovered from the same condition.

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