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LTA to take out £15 million overdraft after income falls by 40 per cent

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is set to take out a £15 million overdraft to compensate from its expected losses, after the organisation announced its 2020 income was down by 40 per cent.

Revenue streams for the LTA took a significant hit after all major grass-court events were cancelled this summer due to the Covid-19 crisis, leading to a £30 million shortfall, which doesn’t include losses from Wimbledon.

The LTA’s income loss from 2020 has been mainly down to the loss of ticket sales, hospitality and sponsorship revenues. However, the losses were reduced by the body making use of the government’s furlough scheme, as well as the All England’s Club pandemic insurance.

Negotiations between the two organisations are said to soon be reaching their conclusion with regards to the claim. The overdraft will be provided against the LTA’s reserves, which are reportedly significantly higher than £15 million.

"We have already taken important steps to mitigate the environment we have faced this year and we have a plan to manage the challenges ahead,” said LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd. “We are all working hard to ensure that tennis is in as strong a position as possible for the future."

The LTA has also made payments to help individuals and facilities that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with mystery shrouding how tennis is expected to look in 2021. The infamous Wimbledon tournament is already undergoing a planning stage of three scenarios, one of which is to hold the tournament behind closed doors, a path the LTA will hope to avoid with further financial constraints inevitable.

Lloyd added: “The AELTC are actively planning to stage The Championships 2021 based on three scenarios and we will do all we can to support them in delivering this.

"We are also doing all we can to deliver our own event calendar under very challenging circumstances, and to deliver events in a COVID-secure manner, all of which makes planning very difficult.

Author: Jake Wilkin