Full impact of Covid-19 crisis on British tennis revealed as LTA confirms losses

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The Lawn Tennis Association saw its income reduced by £30million in 2020 and suffered an operating loss of £5.2million.

The losses, which were reduced overall to £1.8million once gains in investments were taken into account, were largely the result of the wiping out of the grass-court season by coronavirus and measures put in place to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the domestic game.

The LTA received an annual surplus payment of just over £36million from Wimbledon thanks to the All England Club’s pandemic insurance – more than 75 per cent of the governing body’s income for 2020.

The surplus was nearly £10million lower than in 2019 while the LTA made just £676 from major events in 2020 compared to £14,372 the previous year, and commercial income was also severely reduced.

Losses were mitigated by the LTA saving £19.3million, but it invested nearly £5million to support coaches, venues, officials and tennis charities through the pandemic.

This year could turn out to be even more difficult, with Wimbledon set to take a major hit in income because of reduced spectator capacity and the same applying to the events run by the LTA at Queen’s Club, Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne.

LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said: “Last year was a challenging one for everyone but throughout the year we remained focused on reducing costs whilst continuing to support the tennis community. We made progress against our strategy of opening up tennis.

“This year we have the uncertainty created by a reduced capacity at the Championships and our own events, as well as the extra costs that Covid is imposing on our events.

“However, we will be continuing our efforts to make tennis a sport for everyone and transform the image of the sport in this country.”

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