Chelsea "cash positive" despite huge loss

LONDON - Chelsea said they were in a strong position to meet UEFA's new financial rules on Monday despite announcing an overall loss of 70.9 million pounds in the year ending June 30, 2010.

The West London club, who won the league and FA Cup double last season, said they had become "cash positive" for the first time since Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic bought it in 2003 and turned them into title winners on the back of a raft of big-money transfers.

The club's latest figures, disclosed on the day Chelsea were poised to break the British transfer record to sign Liverpool's Spanish striker Fernando Torres, showed a positive cash flow of 3.8 million pounds compared to a net outflow of 16.9 million in the previous year when they also posted an operating loss of around 72 million pounds.

"The reduction in operating losses and increased sales in 2009/10 shows that we are moving in the right direction especially when viewed against the difficult macro-economic environment," chief executive Ron Gourlay told the club's website.

"The club is in a strong position to meet the challenges of UEFA 'financial fair play' initiatives which will be relevant to the financial statements to be released in early 2013."

Chelsea's turnover rose 2.5 million pounds to 205.8 million pounds "despite the economic situation" the club added.

UEFA's new financial "fair play" rules are designed to stop clubs spending more than their income.