Chelsea's losses slow as sponsorship income rises

Chelsea FC, which reported record losses for a football team the past two years, said its deficit narrowed in fiscal 2006 as owner Roman Abramovich spent less on players and sponsorship income lifted revenue. The London team, which won the English Premier League for the second straight season in May, had a pretax loss of £80.2 million ($156.5 million) in the 12 months to June 30 compared with £140.4 million a year earlier. Sales rose 2.3 percent to £150 million, including the first year of a £10 million/year shirt-sponsorship contract with Samsung. "These figures demonstrate that the business is moving in the right direction with increases and growth in all the major income streams," Chief Executive Peter Kenyon said in a statement on the club's website. "With increasing sponsorship income, television revenue, and ongoing success on the field, these positive trends are projected to continue."