The bottom line
The financial figures released today by Chelsea FC PLC underline the unprecedented financial power that has catapulted Chelsea to the top of the Premiership.
The announcement of a £140 million pre-tax loss for the 2004-05 season explains why some have called for serious consideration of a soft salary cap to mitigate the excesses of Abramovich's football empire in London.
This massive deficit comes on top of the £88 million pre-tax losses for the 2003-04 season. So, in all, the bottom line of securing the Premiership title for Abramovich's football club is a deficit of approximately £228 million.
Chelsea's players fully deserve their current success. Jose Mourniho deserves quality recognition for his management of the team. And Claudio Ranieri deserves greater-than-at-present recognition for building a nucleus of an excellent team for Mourinho to inherit.
But the announcement of such staggering deficits hopefully becomes the exception and not the rule - and not just for Chelsea, but for all football clubs - in future seasons. This is because fair competition is not achieved by allowing any club to excessively spend at will with no real reference to their actual income.