Wimbledon in line for £174M insurance pay-out amid Covid-19 pandemic

Wimbledon in line for £174MILLION insurance pay-out after All England Tennis club cashed in policy amid Covid-19 pandemic (which saw event cancelled for first time since the Second World War!)

  • Wimbledon’s guarding through a pandemic is set to result in £174million payout 
  • All England Club will be largely unscathed despite the cancellation of event 
  • The figure, far in excess of original estimates, is contained in the annual report 
  • Wimbledon was cushioned by insurance that had a specific pandemics clause 

Wimbledon’s masterstroke of guarding itself against a pandemic is set to result in a whopping payout of more than £174million from insurers. 

It means the All England Club — and their annual distribution to the British game through the Lawn Tennis Association — will be largely unscathed despite the cancellation of last summer’s tournament.

The figure, far in excess of original estimates, is contained in the club’s annual report, which has been seen by Sportsmail.

Wimbledon’s guarding against the pandemic is set to result in a whopping payout of £174m

The figure, far in excess of original estimates, is contained in the club’s annual report

When the tournament was cancelled on April 1 at the height of the Covid crisis, it emerged that Wimbledon would be cushioned by insurance that had a specific pandemics clause. 

It was first thought that this would result in a payment of just over £100m but after months of negotiations, that has turned out to be a massive undervaluing.

Given SW19 sources say the insurance cost around £1.5m annually, the maintenance of the policy by the club’s finance sub-committee looks like one of the soundest moves in the institution’s history.

Sportsmail can also reveal the annual handout to the LTA this year should come in at just under £36m. That is down from £45m last time, but remains a substantial sum.

Earlier this week, the domestic governing body sparked speculation about Wimbledon’s situation by announcing a £30m loss for the year on its own activities, plus belt-tightening measures. According to the All England Club report, by October 15 this year they had negotiated a figure of £174m with insurers.

There is expected to be a small top-up before the final tally is made early next month.

Latest accounts filed by Wimbledon show that their revenues from the 2019 Championships — when Novak Djokovic won the men’s singles title — totalled £292m, more than half of that coming from broadcast deals.

Wimbledon was cushioned this year by insurance that had a specific pandemics clause

The annulment of the tournament this year — for the first time since the War — meant that many outgoings were saved, from the full prize money payout, to the employment of thousands of temporary staff.

However, the players have already benefited from the event’s foresight in having insurance. The safety net meant in July the All England Club were able to make a solidarity payment of £10m to entrants, with £25,000 going to every main draw singles player.

Unusually among sporting bodies, Wimbledon first instituted pandemic insurance in 2003 following the SARS outbreak, and have kept it ever since at an overall cost estimated at £25m by the insurance industry.

The US and French Opens did not have such cover, which is why they were so desperate for their events to go ahead this year.

The French Open, the last Grand Slam of the year, did not have the same insurance coverage

Pandemic insurance will not be available for the foreseeable future, which is why Wimbledon is certain to happen next summer, come what may, to protect revenue streams.

As with the other three Grand Slams, in recent years Wimbledon has been updating and improving its site with a number of costly enhancements, such as the Court One roof.

The next major stage is to develop further courts and facilities on the site of Wimbledon Park golf course.




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