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Monday, 8 March 2021

Rugby, cricket chiefs reveal financial impact of Covid-19, still confident on return dates

Duration: 03:15s 0 shares 1 views
Rugby, cricket chiefs reveal financial impact of Covid-19, still confident on return dates
Rugby, cricket chiefs reveal financial impact of Covid-19, still confident on return dates

Scale of sport's financial loss to coronavirus laid out for UK government committee

SHOWS: VARIOUS, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 5, 2020) (PARLIAMENT TV - ACCESS ALL, NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS USE ONLY, CANNOT BE USED FOR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT OR SATIRICAL PURPOSES, PARTY POLITICAL BROADCAST USAGE MUST BE CLEARED WITH PBU) 1.

WIDE OF COMMITTEE 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ECB CHIEF EXECUTIVE TOM HARRISON SAYING ON FINANCIAL IMPACT POTENTIALLY BEING £380 MILLION: "We are obviously still working on what the impact of Covid 19 is across the entire game, clearly it's a much greater impact than just on the Hundred.

We anticipate that with no cricket this year, as being a worst case scenario for our planning purposes, that could be as bad as £380 million across the..That would be the loss of 800 days of cricket across all of our professional clubs and the ECB as well.

If you take all of that revenue and put it at risk, that is the worst case scenario for us this year." 3.

WHITE FLASH 4.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ECB CHIEF EXECUTIVE TOM HARRISON SAYING ON TESTS IN ENGLAND THIS YEAR: "Obviously you've got all the other logistical elements, including bringing overseas teams over and providing the same level of preparation for overseas teams. It's is a very complex scenario but with a following wind we hopefully will be able to play a significant number of test matches this summer, which will help us mitigate those financial losses we are facing at the moment." 5.

WHITE FLASH 6.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BILL SWEENEY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION SAYING: "If this was to be prolonged and go through into the summer of next year and the Six Nations games were impacted then it would be a catastrophic impact on rugby union in England.

All of the money we generate is spent back into the professional game and into the community game, so we would be looking at some very severe situations there and be needing additional levels of support." 7.

WHITE FLASH 8.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BILL SWEENEY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION SAYING ON PLAYING THE SIX NATIONS: QUESTION FROM KEVIN BRENNAN: "It all depends on how quickly we can return to play.

At the moment the assumptions are that the remaining games in the Six Nations will be played in October and November.

We are still aiming towards that scenario." QUESTION FROM KEVIN BRENNAN OVERLAPS "Yes we have worked with World Rugby, we've worked with Six nations and the intention is to be able to schedule those in October and November." 9.

WHITE FLASH 10.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BILL SWEENEY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION SAYING ON RESTRUCTURING CALENDAR: "Yourself as a rugby fan, you'll know there are several fault lines that exist in the game probably going back to 1995.

We think that this crisis presents a unique opportunity to address those now.

Perhaps the biggest one is an alignment of the global calendar, where we can eliminate the overlap between the club game and the international game, have clarity for fans and the domestic market, but also find a way to align with the southern hemisphere so we come together." 11.

WHITE FLASH 12.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DAME KATHERINE GRAINGER, FORMER ROWING GOLD MEDALIST AND CHAIR OF UK SPORT SAYING: "I think there was a huge of excitement about what and how Tokyo could deliver.

It will be an extraordinary games.

"I think now looking forward to next year I think, as I have said these events are very emotional, I think the fact that if it all goes ahead next year as we hope it could potentially be the first global gathering of the world.

"And you know the Olympics and Paralympics have always been at its heart a sporting event, but it's an incredible gathering of human endeavour and human spirit and possibility, and it's why so many people find it inspiring, I think if next year goes ahead as planned it will be on a whole new scale." STORY: The scale of the financial problems caused to sport by the coronavirus pandemic were laid out to the UK government's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on Tuesday (May 5).

English cricket is braced for losses of up to 380 million pounds if no matches are played this summer, according to Tom Harrison, CEO of The England and Wales Cricket Board.

The cricket season was due to begin on April 2, but no matches will be played now until the start of July at the earliest.

The sport's new competition, The Hundred, which Harrison described as a "profit centre" for cricket that was expected to add 11 million pounds of revenue to the game in its first year, has been postponed until next year.

A three-match Test Series with the West Indies originally scheduled for June has been postponed until later in the summer.

England are due to play a series of T20 and one-day internationals against Australia in July and a Test series against Pakistan in July and August.

Harrison was still hopeful some Test matches would take place without spectators, which would still incur a loss of around 100 million pounds.

But he said such matches were subject to serious logistical difficulties while the coronavirus continues to be a global threat.

In rugby, the cancellation of this year's November internationals and the 2021 Six Nations due to coronavirus restrictions would have a "catastrophic impact" on the Rugby Football Union's finances, CEO Bill Sweeney said.

Sweeney told the committee that the RFU's finances were in "pretty good shape" after extensive cost-cutting and the furloughing of more than 60% of the union's staff, but that they are being forced to plan for a worst-case scenario in terms of a return to play.

Sweeney said that 85% of the union's income comes from hosting games at Twickenham, where each match generates more than 10 million pounds.

England are due to host New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Australia in November.

Those games remain very much in the balance due to likely travel restrictions, with alternative games against northern hemisphere opposition - possibly even an autumn Six Nations - being discussed.

England are also at home to Scotland, Italy and France in the regular Six Nations next February and March, with some concern that restrictions on public attendance of sports events could still be impacting on the potential to house 82,000 spectators.

There was a more positive message from Katherine Grainger, former Olympic rowing gold medalist and chair of UK Sport, who said that if next year's Tokyo Olympics are able to go ahead it could be a celebration on an unprecedented scale.

(Production: Andy Ragg)

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