Chelsea’s 3-1 home defeat by Tottenham on Sunday left the Blues eight points adrift of the Champions League qualification places with seven matches to play.
Chelsea now need to win their remaining seven games and hope on luck as we approach the end of the season.
Antonio Conte will look back at the defeats to Bournemouth and Watford as the turning point in Chelsea’s disappointing season. The Blues have already lost nine league games this season, compared to the three they lost last season.
However, where Roman Abramovich will even be more worried about the fact that his club might not be in Europe’s elite competition next season.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League will affect income, even with the sums generated through Premier League media rights. Chelsea’s most recent financial figures, covering a 2016-17 campaign, where the Blues were out of Europe altogether, serve as a reminder of how important Champions League football is to the club.
The finance data shows 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 fell 6% to £66m and, although Chelsea will be in Europa League if we miss out on Champions League football, those games will not attract the same glitz, glamour or gates as the Champions League.
For a club who made £193m between 2012 and 2017 from playing in Europe, suffering another downturn won’t be a good one as certain other clubs are holding a grip as the elites in Europe.