The Blues will lose out on two N’Golo Kantes worth of money after missing out on European football for the first time in almost fifteen years.
Chelsea’s tenth-place finish in the Premier League last year not only cost them the chance to face Europe’s best clubs in the Champions League, but also a massive £65 million qualification bonus.
The 2015-16 season threw up some major surprises, with Manchester United only managing to qualify for the Europa League as reigning champions Leicester City joined Tottenham in breaking into the top four.
Chelsea, of course, missed out on Europe entirely – and for the first time since owner Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003.
The £65m that the Blues would have received for qualifying would have covered the cost of last season’s midfield gem N’Golo Kante twice over, with the Frenchman having moved to Stamford Bridge over the summer in a £32m deal.
The arrival of Antonio Conte, however, appears to have set the Londoners back on track, with Chelsea now sitting in fourth place after a run of four straight domestic victories.
Chelsea earned over £50m per year across the last five seasons in the Champions League – more than any other English side – but Manchester City are likely to overtake them after a failure to qualify for the 2016-17 term.
Meanwhile, concerns over the club’s long-term finances aren’t in question, with a record breaking kit deal with Nike – in which they will receive £60m per season for the next 15 years – recently being announced. The London side will also benefit from the record breaking £5.1 billion Premier League television deal which was announced in February.
Abramovich has set Conte the target of ensuring Champions League qualification this season as his minimum expectation of the new manager.