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Wimbledon prize money to be allocated to players, despite cancellation

An insurance policy taken out by the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) has enabled them to allocate prize money amongst players that were scheduled to compete in this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s Wimbledon Tennis Championships have been cancelled, however, £10 million can be distributed as prize money to players that were set to play in the competition this year. Players will receive a cut of the prize money as a result of AELTC taking out an insurance policy that covers pandemics in 2003 after the Sars outbreak left executives concerned over how a pandemic could dampen revenues.

It has been reported that AELTC has been insured since 2003, paying premiums of £1.5 million a year which consequently means that they have paid around £25.5 million overall.

AELTC Chair Ian Hewitt stated: “It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.”

AELTC will distribute the £10 million prize money based on qualifying and event type, with the 224 players who have competed in qualifying earning £12,500 each, the 256 players who would have been competing in main singles matches will receive £25,000 and the 120 players who compete in main doubles will receive £6,250. Furthermore, the 16 in Wheelchair events will earn £6,000 and four players in the Quad Wheelchair events will earn £5,000. This means players who compete in two or more events will only receive the payment for one event.

AELTC Chief Executive Richard Lewis CBE stated in the AELTC statement: “Immediately following the cancellation of The Championships, we turned our attention to how we could assist those who help make Wimbledon happen.”

“We know these months of uncertainty have been very worrying for these groups, including the players, many of whom have faced financial difficulty during this period and who would have quite rightly anticipated the opportunity to earn prize money at Wimbledon based on their world ranking.”

"We are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognise the impact of the cancellation on the players and that we are now in a position to offer this payment as a reward for the hard work they have invested in building their ranking to a point where they would have gained direct entry into The Championships 2020.”

Richard Lewis also commented: “We’re fortunate to have the insurance and it helps. The insurers, the brokers, and everybody involved have been excellent to work with so far, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

In terms of cancelled tickets, AELTC has already commented on the matter, by stating they will not be staging The Wimbledon Public Ballot for the 2021 Championships, but instead offering all cancelled tickets this year to the same ticket holders next year. These tickets will be for the same date and event; however, the event organisers are currently considering different scenarios if there are any additional or spare tickets.

Author: Bradleigh Amis