Losses have dramatically fallen at Warwickshire County Cricket Club but it remains in the red as it battles back from the impact of the covid pandemic.
In its newly published financial accounts for 2020/21, the club posted a pre-tax loss of £140,365, marking a significant improvement on the £974,314 loss it registered a year ago.
Revenue was also boosted in the 12 months to September 30, 2021, as Warwickshire welcomed back crowds and corporate events, hiking turnover from £11.6 million in 2019/20 to £17.6 million.
Among the on-field highlights of the financial period were Warwickshire CCC being crowned county champions for an eighth year while Edgbaston stadium hosted a test match between England and New Zealand last June.
The match was named as the first stage two event of the Government’s ‘Events Research Programme’ into hosting large-scale gatherings following the easing of certain covid restrictions last summer.
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It welcomed 60,000 spectators across four days of play while a further 18,000 enjoyed the England men’s team play Pakistan in a one-day international.
All matches during the club’s 2019/20 financial year were played behind closed doors.
The club invested in new technology to secure safe stadium entry and created a new app which was used during the New Zealand test match and which contained spectator information and tickets and enabled supporters to buy food, drink and merchandise.
Away from the pitch, Edgbaston stadium was able to host corporate events and awards once again while progress continued on a development of 375 apartments, a new piazza and retail units next to the stadium via the club’s partnership with German property investor Patrizia.
The new-look piazza is due to be completed ahead of this summer’s cricket season and even more redevelopment of Edgbaston stadium is planned, with details set to be released later this year.
Its exhibition hall also operated as a covid-19 vaccination centre for more than six months.
Chief operating officer Craig Flindall said: “This latest financial year was transformed by our successful bid for the England men’s test match versus New Zealand and then both the test match and one-day international being part of the Government’s research programme investigating the safe return of fans to major events.
“Major match revenues represent the primary driver of income for the club and 2021 was initially budgeted as a modest year in which no test match was scheduled as part of the allocation of fixtures awarded to Edgbaston for the 2020 to 2024 programme.
“The Hundred also proved to be incredibly popular in its first season, with two of the four games selling out and Birmingham Phoenix men’s and women’s teams finishing second and third in their respective competitions.
“Looking forward, we have already sold out five of our seven men’s major match days in 2022.”
Chief executive Stuart Cain added: “We believe our 2021 experience has created a blueprint for how many sporting events will operate in the future.
“The introduction of our app in 2021 allowed spectators to enter through tickets on their phone and order food and drink, with a delivery to seat option for disabled spectators.
“Further investment in the app will continue in the coming years as we strive to create one of the best spectator experiences in the world.”