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Chelsea Posts Annual Loss of 49.4 Million Pounds; Revenue Rises

Premier League soccer team Chelsea had a loss of 49.4 million pounds ($81.7 million) in the 2012-13 fiscal year after income was held back by elimination from the Champions League in the group stage.

The London-based team, which had won the elite European competition in 2012, still had record revenue of 255.8 million pounds for the year to June 30, 2013, during which it won the second-tier Europa League.

“Although the Europa League was won, a reduction in income from that success compared with winning the Champions League in 2012 contributed to a loss for the financial year of 49.4 million pounds,” Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, said in a Dec. 31 statement.

Sales were boosted by a 19 percent increase in commercial income to 79.6 million pounds. The previous year’s profit of 1.4 million pounds came after a “significant’’ player trading surplus and an exceptional profit on the cancellation of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc shares in its digital media operation, factors absent from the latest year, Chelsea said.

The club said the 2012-13 results, when combined with those from the previous year, will enable the club to satisfy European soccer body UEFA’s “financial fair play’’ rules, which are aimed at making clubs live within their means.

Chelsea, which won 3-0 at Southampton yesterday, is third in the league, two points adrift of Arsenal and one behind Manchester City.

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