By Jonathan Davies
Chelsea Football Club has announced record annual profits for the 2013/14 season.
Despite a lack of silverware last season, the current Premier League leaders reported profits of £18.4m ($29m) and a record turnover of £319.8m.
It is just the second time the London club has made an annual profit since Roman Abramovich bought it in 2003. Chelsea made its first profit under Abramovich in the 2011/12 season with £1.4m.
The club said the latest Premier League TV broadcast rights deal gave a significant boost to revenue, while the club sold a number of players for large amounts this year. Juan Mata was sold to Manchester United for £37.5m and David Luiz moved to Paris Saint-Germain for a reported £40m.
The news is particularly important for the club considering UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules which aims to create a healthier balance between the amount of money clubs spend on transfers and wages, and the amount it gains in revenues.
Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck said: "The club is naturally pleased to record a significant profit for 2013/14. By reaching the Champions League semi-final and maintaining a challenge in the Premier League until the final week of the season we demonstrated that, while improving our financial figures, we remained competitive in football’s toughest club competitions.
"We financed player purchases from sales as the squad for this current season was shaped, and our philosophy since Mr Abramovich acquired the club in 2003 has been to build upon success on the pitch. That is evident in the partnerships we signed and in our fanbase growth which contributed to the new record turnover figure and the profit made. We have done all of this at the same time as creating one of the world’s leading football community programmes through the Chelsea Foundation.
"Going forward, we have ambitious plans to build a pioneering global commercial programme, partnering with innovative and market-leading organisations from around the world. In the era of FFP, we must progress commercially to continue the circle of success to invest in the team and get results."
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