Lawn Tennis Association’s 2020 income falls by 40% because of coronavirus pandemic

National Tennis Centre in Roehampton
The Lawn Tennis Association is based at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, London

The LTA’s income has fallen by about 40%, or £30m, in 2020 due to Covid-19.

British tennis’ governing body says it is planning for a “challenging financial outlook” and expects a severe impact on its finances if Wimbledon is held behind closed doors next year.

In the short term, much will depend on the size of the annual payment the All England Club (AELTC) makes to the LTA.

Wimbledon was cancelled this year so that will be determined by the sum the AELTC’s pandemic insurance pays out.

BBC Sport understands those negotiations are now close to a conclusion.

The LTA’s income for 2020 has been affected by the loss of ticket, hospitality and sponsorship revenue from its own cancelled grass-court events.

The shortfall was reduced by cancelling events early, accessing the government’s furlough scheme (which is currently contributing to the salaries of 15% of staff), and making £10m of savings elsewhere.

The governing body has also committed millions of pounds towards grants and loans for players, coaches, officials and venues, and says it is taking out a £15m overdraft facility, secured against its reserves, to manage cashflow.

The All England Club is preparing three scenarios for Wimbledon 2021 – one of which is to stage the Championships behind closed doors. Pandemic insurance is no longer available.

“Given the significant range in financial implications within these scenarios, with the behind-closed-doors scenario as the most severe, it is our responsibility to plan very carefully and continue to take a prudent approach,” LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said.

“We also have to bear in mind that whatever form the events go ahead in, it is likely the economic outlook will remain difficult and the market for sponsorship and hospitality will remain depressed for a number of years.”

BBC News