Chelsea have usurped Manchester United and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League’s wage bill chart, according to annual figures released on Friday.
The data, published by Companies House, the United Kingdom’s registrar of companies, showed that Chelsea spent more money on player salaries last season than any other team in the English top flight.
They had topped the table prior to the 2011-12 season, when City, who won that year’s title, overtook them.
Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, reported a total wage bill of £215.6 million ($314.3 million, 289.7 million euros), a rise of £25 million.
United’s salary bill was £203 million, City’s £193.5 million and Arsenal’s £192.2 million. Both Manchester clubs reported a fall in overall wages.
Chelsea finished the season as champions, with City second, Arsenal third and United fourth, but they have fallen badly off the pace this term, resulting in the dismissal in December of manager Jose Mourinho.
In November Chelsea announced a net loss of £23.1 million on turnover of £314.4 million, but said that they were still complying with European governing body UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
Their full annual figures reveal that the west London club made a £42 million profit in player trading after selling Romelu Lukaku, Andre Schurrle and Ryan Bertrand. The equivalent figure in 2013-14 was £65 million.
The accounts also reveal that Abramovich injected £46.7 million of funding last season and £57.1 million 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.”