Bates takes on Deloittes over Chelsea wages bill

Ken Bates, chairman of Chelsea football club, has demanded that Deloitte & Touche retract the claim that highly paid foreign stars such as Gustavo Poyet drove up its 1998 wage bill by 81% to £26.9m.

Bates blasted the figures quoted in last week’s ‘England’s Premier Clubs’ report as ‘totally inaccurate’.

He claimed the report, put together by Deloittes partner Gerry Boon, over-estimated players wages by including figures for all the companies in the Chelsea Village group. As a result, the side was said to have the highest wage bill in the Premier League, and a rise of 81% on the previous year.

Bates said the club spent £20.5m on basic player wages in 1998, with £2m in bonuses financed by winnings. He added that as a public company, Chelsea must be seen to operate in a prudent manner. ‘Suggestions otherwise cause concern with our 12,000 shareholders’. The matter is now ‘under judicial consideration’, Bates said.

This dispute over wage figures is the latest episode in a feud that goes back to 1993, when Bates claimed Deloittes insolvency partner Christopher Morris ‘tried to bankrupt Chelsea’ in two High Court cases.

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