Revenue more than halved and profit slipped into the red as Warwickshire County Cricket Club suffered a major financial hit from the impact of covid-19.
In its latest annual results for 2019/20, the Birmingham club saw turnover tumble year on year from £26.5 million in 2018/19 to £11.6 million and pre-tax profit slipped from £3.22 million to a loss of £974,314.
The annual report covers the 12 months to September 30, 2020 and shows the harsh financial impact the pandemic had on the club’s finances, mainly due to cricket matches having to take place behind closed doors last summer.
Its Edgbaston stadium is also used for corporate events and award ceremonies which had to be cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
The club said it had anticipated a “significant downturn” in profitability.
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Alongside the impact of the pandemic, it said there was a difference in the “comparative attractiveness” of its major match programmes between 2019 and 2020, such as it hosting the first test of the 2019 Ashes series.
Chief operating officer Craig Flindall thanked the cricketing authorities for enabling games to go ahead at Edgbaston last summer despite the covid restrictions and praised the club’s fans as more than 60 per donated their annual subscriptions.
He said: “Strong sales of major match tickets and club memberships for the 2020 season put us in a good position to initially mitigate the impact of covid.
“Major Match ticket sales in March 2020 were significantly ahead of budget….and we were able to retain these revenues through insurance.
“While the relocation of these matches did result in the loss of hospitality, catering and retail revenues, we are very grateful to the ECB and the overseas boards for the great efforts made to stage these matches in bio-secure venues.
“We are very appreciative of the support of members, supporters and our partners which should ensure the club is able to continue to trade through this uncertain period while we await the return of crowds and our conference and events business.”
Chief executive Stuart Cain added: “Huge thanks go to the many members who donated their subscriptions and to the commercial partners who continued to invest in our match day activation and in the enhanced live stream of our matches which was developed to support fixtures being played behind closed doors.”
During the course of the pandemic, the stadium’s car park was opened up to be used as a covid test centre and the club ran a food storage and distribution hub for a charity fighting food poverty.
Warwickshire CCC received a further boost this week when it was awarded a men’s test match in England’s series with New Zealand in June.
This is in addition to England international against Pakistan in July and the T20 finals days in September; both of which are already sold out.