Glamorgan Cricket: Welsh County report £279,000 loss for 2020

Sophia Gardens
Glamorgan played games behind closed doors at Sophia Gardens in 2020 due to the pandemic

Glamorgan Cricket Club report a loss of £279,000 for 2020, when a much-reduced schedule was played behind closed doors.

The club’s turnover was slashed from £8.3 million to £4.7 million as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief executive Hugh Morris says the losses are a “positive outcome” given the income reduction.

Glamorgan’s board predicts the club would be able to survive even a worst-case scenario of no cricket in 2021.

The operational loss of £224,664 plus £54,712 in interest payments compares with a profit before tax of £258,164 on ordinary activities in 2019, when Sophia Gardens staged four World Cup matches.

“While appearing a challenge, this (operating loss) is a positive outcome given the lack of many of the club’s expected sources of income,” Morris said in his annual report to members.

Glamorgan’s income in 2020 came largely from the England and Wales Cricket Board, with TV fees for international cricket keeping the sport afloat despite the complete absence of crowds in the UK.

The county also received £1.06 million of government money for furloughing players, coaches and commercial staff for much of the year, while the lack of income from an England-Pakistan international and the postponed Hundred franchise tournament was covered by ECB insurance.

But the club’s profitable conference and events business has been closed for the last year because of public health restrictions.

Welsh road-map awaited

Glamorgan and other Welsh professional sports are still waiting for a road-map from the Welsh Government of when crowds will be allowed to return as Covid-19 levels fall.

The UK government is planning to allow stadia to be 25 percent full in England from 17 May, with restrictions potentially ending from 21 June.

Among the key dates for Glamorgan are the start of the T20 Blast on 10 June, two England v Sri Lanka T20 internationals scheduled in Cardiff on 23 and 24 June, and the first home fixture for the Welsh Fire franchise men’s and women’s teams on 27 July.

An England-Pakistan one-day international on 8 July has already seen more than 10,000 tickets sold – over two-thirds of capacity.

Budget scenario

Glamorgan’s board set its spending plans in line with a “budget scenario” of only 25% capacity crowds being allowed in 2021, which would mean a loss of around £370,000.

But after a million-pound grant from the Welsh Government, Morris reports; “Budget and worst-case scenarios both deliver sufficient cash going into 2022. The more optimistic scenario (of 70-85 percent attendances for major games) could see the financial position much improved by the end of 2021.

“The Board’s Assessment is that all of those scenarios will enable the club to continue trading throughout 2021.”

Playing ambitions

Chairman Gareth Williams sets out a series of playing ambitions in his report to members, despite admitting to “mixed fortunes” in 2020 when Glamorgan did not win any of their five four-day games, and recorded four victories in nine T20 Blast matches.

His targets include Championship promotion if the format reverts to two divisions, winning a limited-overs trophy, producing at least one senior England player (after a 16-year gap), and having a core of Welsh players in the team.

“In the short term, there is no doubt that the pandemic has damaged our plans.. but we remain optimistic for the future,” writes Williams.

The club’s AGM will be held online on 25 March, while the Championship season begins behind closed doors away to Yorkshire on 8 April.

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