Chesterfield set to make six-figure sum from 'lottery ticket' FA Cup tie against Premier League Chelsea

A trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Champions League winners Chelsea will be like winning the ‘lottery’ for Chesterfield, says football finance expert Kieran Maguire.

By Liam Norcliffe
Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 9:05 am

The non-league Spireites will be in dreamland when they face Chelsea’s Premier League stars in a month’s time.

The tie is going to be extremely financially rewarding for Town who look set to make a six-figure sum from the game.

We caught up with Maguire to find out how much the club could potentially make from the tie and to get the lowdown on Chelsea’s finances...

Chesterfield have landed a dream tie away at Chelsea in the FA Cup.

HOW MUCH COULD CHESTERFIELD MAKE FROM THE CUP TIE?

“Looking at Chelsea’s accounts they normally make around £2.5m to £3m per revenue for every home game. That will be at Premier League or Champions League prices. We don’t know what the prices are going to be for this match. They can be as low as £15.

"But the way that the money is split is that if it is a Premier League team or an EFL against a non-league team the FA take 10%, the Premier League team take 40% and the non-league team take 50%. So Chesterfield are going to get half of the gate receipts after paying for the normal match expenses like stewarding etc.

"So realistically even if Chelsea drop the prices a bit I think we would be looking at a minimum of around £700,000-£800,000 from this match. And of course there is prize money (£84,000) if they win.”

WHAT ABOUT IF THE MATCH IS SELECTED FOR TV?

"If it is selected for TV they will get the best part of another £100,000. There are going to be five or six matches on TV and this is a romantic-looking fixture from an FA Cup third round point of view so it could be chosen.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS MONEY TO A NON_LEAGUE CLUB?

"If we look historically we have seen the likes of Crawley, Exeter, Cambridge United go to Old Trafford, we have had Shrewsbury play Liverpool and it is transformative for a club. In an ideal world the money would be invested in the infrastructure of the club, training facilities, 3G pitches so it is a bit of a lottery ticket but it is a reward for Chesterfield getting to the third round and it is a fantastic draw for them.”

WHAT ARE CHELSEA’S FINANCES LIKE?

"In a normal year Chelsea will make around £450m in a year and you compare that to Chesterfield who in their most recent accounts had income of less than £3m so that shows the gulf between the two clubs financially.

"The average wage for a Chelsea player is £132,000 a week.”

HOW MUCH IS OWNER ROMAN ABRAMOVICH WORTH?

"Chelsea made over £100m from their progress in the Champions League last season so you can’t get any bigger difference than Roman Abramovich versus a non-league team in terms of wealth.

"In terms of owner wealth Chelsea are third with Abramovich’s wealth (around £14bn) behind Newcastle United and Manchester City.”