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Torres goes some way to repaying fee

Football News 24/7
According to Chelsea's Chief Executive Ron Gourlay the club are expecting a TV windfall after reaching this season's Champions League final in dramatic fashion.

For those who like a punt, if Betfair's in running odds were a guide - Barcelona traded as low as 1/50 or thereabouts to make the final after taking a 2-1 aggregate lead with Cheslea down to 10 men - Chelsea were as good as out last night. But a Torres leveller which put Chelsea through 3-2 on aggregate sets the Blues up for the biggest television cash pay-out for reaching the final of at least £45 million. It might go some way to repaying his fifty million price tag.

The £45 million represents European football governing body UEFA's payments of TV cash alone and studies have shown the clubs can double that income from ticket sales, sponsorship and merchandise.

Manchester United had previously held the record pay-out of Champions League television cash at £43.5m last season, but this year earned only £28m as a result of failing to qualify for the knockout stages.

English clubs have topped Champions League television payments for several years as a result of the sums paid by commercial broadcasters Sky and ITV.

However, with Chelsea currently outside the top four in the English Premier League they may have to win this season's Champions League final if they are to qualify for next term's tournament.

And with UEFA set to introduce financial fair play rules designed to cap the influence of wealthy owners such as Chelsea's Roman Abramovich and the Blues based at a Stamford Bridge ground that holds less than half of Barcelona's near 100,000-capacity Camp Nou, Gourlay also urged fans to reconsider their opposition to a new stadium.

"To find ourselves in the final has given the club a fabulous lift, and the fans as well," Gourlay told Chelsea's official website.

"Financially, as well, it is a big boost for the club. It helps us continue our investment in the team as we go forward but we still have the challenge of making sure we are in this competition next year, and that is very important."

And he added a significant increase in stadium size, which Chelsea insist cannot be done at their existing west-London home of Stamford Bridge, was part of the process of strengthening the club's finances.

"The way Chelsea has geared ourselves up the last few years puts us in a good position to take the club forward but, at the same time, remaining in the elite teams in the future is a challenge because it is no secret that while we are the fifth or sixth biggest club in Europe from a financial point of view, our stadium is outside the top 30 at this present time," Gourlay said.

"The money generated from matchday through the stadiums is considerable. If we are not able to take the money on matchday then we have to look at other parts of the business to generate the revenues and allow us to continue the circle of success to invest into the team to give the results or entice sponsors to come to the club."

MN

 

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