Saturday 1 October 2016

Chelsea worried lack of 'relegation clause' could cost them big if Blues go down

Club not protected with reduction in player wages

Tom Sheen

Published 31/12/2015 | 13:12

Chelsea striker Diego Costa
Chelsea striker Diego Costa

The Chelsea hierarchy is concerned that relegation to the Championship could cost the club millions in wages, according to reports.

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The Blues are in a position that has been entirely unfamiliar during Roman Abramovich's 12-year ownership of the club, fighting relegation.

Chelsea are currently 14th in the Premier League with 20 points from 19 games, just three points above the relegation zone.

Because of their prolonged success, their lowest place finish has been sixth in 2011-12, the year they won the Champions League, Chelsea have never included a 'relegation clause' into players' contracts, according to The Times.

It is a measure that has been taken by rivals such as Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, such a clause exists to reduce a players wage if the unthinkable happens and the club are relegated.

The Blues' annual wage is estimated to be around £200m, with Eden Hazard the highest paid on £200,000-a-week.

After announcing a profit of £18.4m in 2014, Chelsea posted losses of £23.1m in June.

With the new massive TV deal kicking in next year, any team relegated this season will likely lose out on about £80m, but the hit would be so much bigger for Chelsea as they command a greater share of television appearances, prize money, Champions League revenue and sponsorship.

Last season Chelsea were paid just shy of £99m by the Premier League in prize and TV money - bottom club Queens Park Rangers were paid £64.8m in comparison.

Top stars would likely seek an exit from Stamford Bridge rather than face playing in the second tier of English football, but the wage bill would be high and departing players would be available for lower than market value.

The threat of relegation was a big part of the Chelsea board's decision to sack Jose Mourinho and replace him with Guus Hiddink just months after the Portuguese led the club to their first title in five years.

(© Independent News Service)

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