With Britain’s LTA a longtime recipient of All England Club Wimbledon profits, even the COVID-19 cancellation of next month’s grass court Grand Slam should not doo serious damage to the federation’s balance sheet.
The LTA, which receives a generous 90 per cent of annual profits from the privately-run Championships, showed a surplus of 10 million USD for 2019; it marked the first time in four years that had been achieved – even with annual Wimbledon profit inflows guaranteed until 2053.
But even with reserves totalling 91 million USD, the organisation has put its hand out to the UK government as it furloughed 50 per cent of staff.
The government plan pays 80 per cent of wages for those who were shed from corporate payrolls due to the pandemic; the programme looks to be extended through the autumn by Parliament.
Covering all of its bases, the LTA is prepared to plead potential poverty:
‘Whilst the LTA delivered a profit for 2019, the current outlook for 2020 and beyond will be very different due to the financial impact of the current pandemic,’ the organisation said in a statement.
‘Our reserves, in isolation, can only support the short-term needs of the sport at this time.
“The government furlough scheme is an essential measure to assist organisations, including the LTA, manage such cash flow constraints and to safeguard jobs in the future.’
Any blow to the LTA cashflow due to next month’s Wimbledon cancellation will be cushioned by the All England Club’s far-sighted pandemic insurance policy, said to be paying out up to 50 million USD to the club to cover the cancellation crisis.