Chelsea are eighth in the latest Deloitte Football Money League, climbing one spot from last year despite a 9% fall in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Roman Abramovich’s team are the highest-rated London side in the report, with Liverpool and both Manchester clubs above them. Tottenham Hotspur are in ninth, Arsenal are 11th, with Crystal Palace 25th and West Ham United in 26th.
The club’s overall revenue fell by £40.3million to £411.9million but they were helped by a return to the Champions League, where they lost in the round of 16 to eventual winners Bayern Munich.
Deloitte said that 44% of their 2020 revenue arrived from broadcasting deals, with 43% commercial related and 13% from matchday income. The latter category fell by 18% due to the absence of supporters since early March.
While Chelsea saw their commercial income reduced by 6%, the agreement with telecommunications company Three to become shirt sponsors for three seasons helped to compensate.
“The club also tested the market for short-term partnership opportunities,” the report added. “Duracell was the first brand signed up with the launch of a one-match digital campaign for its mobile device Power Bank charger, devised to coincide with Amazon Prime’s Premier League debut.
“Through access to the club’s players and distribution channels, this new marketing model could provide an attractive proposition to new brands as well as assisting the club with monetising its digital assets.”
Chelsea made £192million from transfers in 2020 thanks to the deals for Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard but they spent more than £200million in the latest window.
Across Europe’s top 20 clubs, Deloitte estimated a €1.1billion (£980million) decrease in revenue to €8.2billion (€7.3billion), with broadcast revenue falling by close to a quarter and matchday revenue by 17%. Commercial revenue increased by a combined €105million (£93million).