Wimbledon organisers set to net £100Million insurance payout | Daily News
After taking out infectious diseases cover following 2003 SARS outbreak:

Wimbledon organisers set to net £100Million insurance payout

Wimbledon was cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
Wimbledon was cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Wimbledon is preparing to submit an insurance claim 'in excess of £100million' following the the cancellation of the tournament this week.

The All England Club's insurance policy, in the region of £1.5m a year, was updated in 2003 after organisers asked for a virus-related clause inserted following concerns over the SARS outbreak.

It marked the first time since the Second World War that the SW19 Grand Slam tournament was to not go ahead as planned, due to the scale of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Times, Wimbledon chiefs are to see their insurance triggered by the cancellation with the clause that covers infectious diseases set to be worth as much as £100m.

The exact amount of the pay-out they will earn from their policy remains unclear with the organising costs and the prize money, to the tune of £40m, to be considered as deductions now it has been cancelled.

Wimbledon was set to bring in around £250m in revenue for the grasscourt Grand Slam.

Figures from 2018 showed that The Championships had an annual turnover of £254.8m. There will, inevitably, be some financial hit from the annulment, such as a dip in merchandising and food revenue.

All England Club bosses made the tough call to abandon the third Grand Slam in the calendar entirely, a marked shift from the decision made by the French Open to hastily rearrange to late September, just a week after the US Open in New York ends.

One senior figure at the Club put the cost of the insurance policy at ‘around the low seven figures’.

Wimbledon is the only Slam of the four - Australia, France and US - to have an insurance policy that includes a virus-related clause and it is reported that the French Tennis Federation felt they had no option to cancel entirely, risking a loss of £230m.

The All England Club’s Risk and Finance Sub-Committee have long since insisted on a clause covering epidemics, and the policy has been accordingly upgraded in recent years.

Outgoing chief executive Richard Lewis warned that, despite the good insurance policy, Wimbledon would sustain a financial hit, although the knock-on effect for British tennis would be limited.

'The insurance will help protect the surplus to an extent, I would say to a large extent,' he said. 'Of course we're fortunate to have the insurance and it helps, but it doesn't solve all the problems. The details and the figure probably won't be known for months.'

The Lawn Tennis Association, which held a teleconference for all its staff, relies heavily on its annual handout from The Championships' surplus, worth around £40m. Some staff at Roehampton are expected to be furloughed.

Sportsmail reported how holding a proper Wimbledon behind closed doors would still have involved having at least 5,000 people at the All England Club.

That is said to be the startling internal estimate circulated around various committees, and one reason why the idea was rejected and the whole tournament called off on Wednesday. A scaled down version of the competition was also considered, but quickly dismissed as impractical.

The sheer number of personnel required to stage any major modern sporting event shows why so many showpieces have had to be abandoned early, with The Open golf the latest in line to go. In the case of Wimbledon everyone from ballkids to TV technicians to coaches would have been on site, even without spectators. - DailyMail


Add new comment