Surrey County Cricket Club recorded a £1.2m loss before tax during the 2020/21 financial year, a figure announced last night at the Club’s Annual General Meeting.
The AGM was the first ever event to be held in the brand new 175 Suite, part of the One Oval Square development that has added 2,700 new seats to The Kia Oval – as well as two large new suites, another roof terrace and an extension to the Micky Stewart Members’ Pavilion.
The financial loss for last year was in stark contrast to the record profits generated in 2019/20, when the Club’s pre-tax profit was £6.3m. In 2018, profits were £2.75m. Due to the Surrey CCC structure, all profits made are retained within the Club, allowing for significant reserves to have been built in recent years.
It is estimated that the Covid19 pandemic cost Surrey CCC a cash sum of £5.6m – a figure that has been absorbed through use of Club reserves, further efficiency savings and two restructurings that led to significant redundancies in Club staff.
A full recording of the Annual General Meeting is available to watch on the Club YouTube channel and Facebook page
The Club’s turnover – £45m in 2019/20 – sunk to £13.7m in 2020/21. This is as a result of the cancellation of The Kia Oval Test Match, the first time the ground hasn’t staged a Test since 1945, and a drop of £5m in non-matchday sales for the Club’s conference and events business, from £6.1m in 2019/20 to £1.1m in 2020/21.
Were it not for the loyalty shown by Club Members the losses would have been far greater. Only a small percentage of Members took up the offer of a 25% refund of their annual Membership fee, helping retain nearly £2m of revenue.
The Club also benefitted from government schemes designed to help businesses cope with the damage caused by the pandemic. Approximately £1m of Business Rates were retained and the furlough scheme was used throughout the year to help protect the jobs of many Club staff, all of whom were paid in full – with Surrey picking up the extra 20% of salary not met by the scheme.
As well as this, extra support was also received from ECB – who maintained full payments to the Club after being able to stage the England Men’s Team’s programme inside a biosecure bubble at The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford. The governing body also offered further support with an advance of cash due in the remainder of the County Partnership Agreement.
Richard Gould, Chief Executive of Surrey CCC, added: “The Covid19 pandemic has had a hugely damaging impact on all areas of this country but – with the two key facets of our business being live sport and conferences and events – Surrey CCC were particularly exposed.
“Thanks to the unflinching support of our Members, government support, the ECB’s ability to continue to stage international cricket in a biosecure environment and some very hard decisions, we have managed to weather the storm and are now preparing to build back brighter and stronger than before.
“Our Chair is often fond of using the phrase ‘Surrey Family’. This strength of community within the Club is always something that I have hugely appreciated and enjoyed working with.
“However, it is when the chips are down that you truly appreciate the remarkable support we receive from all aspects of our fanbase. Without the backing and understanding of our Membership, Covid19 could have caused almost irreparable damage to our Club. That this did not happen is something we are immensely grateful for and will never forget.”
With the latest step out of lockdown coming into effect this week, Surrey are looking forward to welcoming 4,000 fans a day to The Kia Oval to watch the Club’s LV= Insurance County Championship games with Middlesex and Gloucestershire over the next two weeks. The overwhelming majority of these fans will be Club Members, who number 13,500 in 2021, a modern record.
After that, the Club have four big Vitality Blast matches on or after Monday June 21st, the date when all restrictions on social distancing could be lifted. Two of these games are sold out, as is the Royal London One Day International between England and Sri Lanka on Thursday July 1st and the fourth Test Match, between England and India, that will be played between Thursday September 2nd and Monday September 6th.
Also at the AGM, four new Members were voted onto the Club’s General Committee – Alex Tudor, Ros Trinick, Matt Tee and Jerry Hudson – and David Pakeman was elected as the new Club President, taking over from Ken Schofield CBE, who has served for the past two years. Patricia Garrard was elected as the Deputy President.