An announcement has been made by Chelsea that they paid out more than £26m over the sacking of Antonio Conte, a figure revealed in accounts which also show the Stamford Bridge club received an increase in funding of £247m from owner Roman Abramovich during the last financial year.
According to the Guardian.com, Chelsea’s accounts showed they paid a total of £26.6m in compensation and legal costs to Conte and their former manager’s backroom staff.
The Blues, who have made overall losses of £96m and seen their annual wage bill rise by 17% to £285m, fired the Italian and replaced him with Maurizio Sarri in the summer of 2018.
Conte, who has since returned to Italy to manage Inter Milan, spent two fractious years at the Stamford Bridge after joining them in 2016.
While he steered them to the Premier League title in his first season in England, he was fired a year later after the Blues finished fifth and failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Chelsea have now paid more than £90m in compensation to sacked managers since Abramovich took ownership of the club in 2003.
The accounts, published on Tuesday and covering the financial year ending 30 June 2019, read: “Exceptional items in the current year of £26.6million relate to changes in respect of the men’s team management and coaching staff, together with associated legal costs.”
Chelsea, whose turnover increased from £422.6m to £423.6m, cited increased wages and reduced profit on player sales as the principal reason for their £96m loss.
They now have the sixth-highest wage bill in Europe and their accounts also showed that growth in commercial income was offset by a £7m fall in matchday revenue and a £4m fall in broadcasting revenue, which the club attributed to the impact of playing in the Europa League rather than the Champions League.
Chelsea have dismissed the prospect of a sale, however, and can now point to a vast increase in funding from Abramovich.
Frank Lampard side are free to spend this month after their transfer ban was lifted and their manager is thought to have a budget of £150m.