A disappointing home defeat by Tottenham on Sunday evening left Chelsea eight points adrift of the Champions League qualification places with seven matches to play.
Although there might be the consolation of Europa League football next season, it’s hardly comparable with the glitz, glamour and financial reward that comes with the Champions League.
This would be the second time in three seasons that Chelsea won’t be competing in Europe’s premier club competition. So what could be the financial implication of this situation for Victor Moses and fellow teammates at Chelsea?
Failure to qualify for the Champions League will certainly affect revenue, it will also have a negative effect on the sums generated through Premier League media rights.
The club’s most recent financial figures, covering a 2016-17 campaign when Chelsea did not qualify for the Champions League shows that the club’s revenues rose by £32m, yet that was less than half the increase recorded by Manchester United (£82m), Arsenal (£72m) and Manchester City (£66m), who were competing in the Champions League.
Match-day incomes also fell by 6% to £66m in the 2016/2017 season when there was no Champions League football for Chelsea, although the Europa League awaits, those games will not attract the same glitz, glamour or gates.
A club who made £193m between 2012 and 2017 from playing in Europe will inevitably suffer another downturn.
In October Chelsea’s commercial director, Chris Townsend, targeted doubling revenues to more than £650m over the next seven to 10 years “to be among the top-four or -five clubs in Europe [by revenues], rather than the present eighth position.”.
The aim was to increase the number of sponsors from 12 to between 30 and 35 premium brands, plans considered highly ambitious in a market where clubs such as Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid boast a significant head start.
It would, according to Townsend, “allow Chelsea to invest more in players”. Yet will prospective sponsors find Chelsea as attractive without the Champions League?
At a time when Roman Abramovich is hoping to push through a £1bn redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, a scheme likely to require significant outside investment, the suspicion that Chelsea have regressed into a club who flit in and out of Europe’s elite competition would be damaging.