Chelsea have overtaken both Manchester clubs in terms of salaries paid to players, according to figures for last season.
The 2014-15 figures, which have been made available on Companies House, show that the champions are the biggest payers in the top flight once more after losing that position to Manchester City in the 2011-12 season.
The club, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, reported a total wage bill for last season rose to £215.6milion, up £25million.
The salary bill for their leading rivals last season saw Manchester United’s at £203million, Manchester City’s at £193.5million and Arsenal paying out £192.2million on wages. Both Manchester clubs reported a drop in overall wages last season.
Chelsea announced in November the club had made a net loss of £23.1million on turnover of £314.3million – down £5.1million – but said they were well within the boundaries for complying with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations.
The full annual figures reveal however that the club made a £42million profit on players trading, through selling Romelu Lukaku, Andre Schurrle and Ryan Bertrand – and despite bringing in Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa. In the 2013-14 season Chelsea made a £65million profit in player trading.
The accounts also show that Abramovich injected funding to Chelsea via the club’s parent company to the tune of £46.7million last season, and £57.1million the previous year. The accounts state: “However…part of the debt has been converted into equity during the year via the allotment of ordinary shares.”