Surrey record £1.2 million losses during Covid-ruined 2020 season

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Extent of pandemic revealed at club’s AGM, as reserves take financial impact

Covid-19’s impact on county cricket’s richest club has been laid bare at Surrey’s AGM, where the club announced a £1.2 million loss before tax during the 2020-21 financial year.

The figures were announced during the first event to be held in the club’s new 175 Suite, part of the One Oval Square development that has added 2,700 new seats to The Kia Oval – as well as two large new suites, another roof terrace and an extension to the Micky Stewart Members’ Pavilion.

The financial loss for last year was in stark contrast to the record profits generated in 2019-20, when the club’s pre-tax profit was £6.3m. In 2018, profits were £2.75m.

The club has built up significant reserves in recent seasons, but these were tested in 2020, with the pandemic estimated to have cost Surrey a cash sum of £5.6m. Efficiency savings, as well as two restructurings that led to a number of staff redundancies, further mitigated the losses.

For the first time since 1945, The Oval was unable to host a Test match, and this was the central reason for a drastic reduction in turnover, from £45m in 2019-20 to £13.7m. The closure of facilities around the ground, including hospitality and conference venues, caused a drop of £5m in non-matchday sales, from £6.1m in 2019-20 to £1.1m in 2020-21.

The figure would have been more significant had it not been for a large proportion of Surrey’s members choosing not to take up the offer of a 25% refund on their annual fees. This helped the club to retain nearly £2m of revenue.

The club utilised a number of government schemes to prevent further damage to the business, including the retention of approximately £1m in Business Rates. The furlough scheme, meanwhile, helped to protect the jobs of many club staff, with Surrey picking up the extra 20% of salary not covered by the government.

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