Leicester Tigers’ turnover for the 2021/22 financial year has returned to levels of the pre-Covid period but the impact of the lockdown is still being felt with reductions in certain categories of income and challenges in controlling costs due to increasing inflation and interest rates.
The club previously announced significant losses for the two seasons affected by stadium lockdown but, after a full season of welcoming supporters back at Mattioli Woods Welford Road as well as for non-matchday events, turnover has increased from £12.6million in the period of playing behind closed doors to £22million during the year in which Tigers became champions of England for an 11th time.
Releasing its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year to June 30 2022, the club has announced reduced losses of £1.86million, down from £5.9million in 2020/21, and confirmed its positivity for the future thanks to the support of the extended Tigers Family despite the challenges ahead.
In the Strategic Report, Club Chairman Peter Tom CBE said: “Welcoming back our supporters after 18 months without full crowds finally allowed us to allow all our stakeholders to play a full, physical part in the business once again. Their loyalty during the lockdown was humbling and incredibly important.
“It was therefore a privilege to share in moments of celebration, knowing just how much work had gone into getting there from everyone connected with the club and to repay the loyalty shown by our supporters through those previous years.
“None of this would have been possible without the incredible support at all levels, from the Government, Premiership Rugby’s central partners, our bank at HSBC, club shareholders, season ticket holders and supporters during a spell which provided the biggest challenges the club has faced in its 140-year history.
“On behalf of the club and its Board of directors, I pass on our sincere gratitude to them all.
“The club has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to meet the challenges and we have emerged confident that foundations have been set for a positive future.”
The Board remains committed to supporting the demands of professional rugby, the academy and an ambitious women’s team, but the financial landscape for clubs remains challenging.
Improving revenues and reducing losses are steps in the right direction, but rises in inflation and interest rates have put a new pressure on controlling costs and the need for innovation in generating revenue, especially as central revenues remain behind pre-Covid levels and the DCMS loan taken during lockdown needs to be repaid.
Chairman Peter Tom added: “Supporting the playing programme and all of the club’s work in our region comes at a cost and many challenges remain, though we approach all of them knowing our supporters at all levels are with us.
“Partners and sponsors have been very supportive, with new brands coming on board while many others have extended their relationships with us, including main club partners Topps Tiles who have just announced a new agreement for beyond the current season.
“A year ago we talked about taking the first steps on a journey back to contesting the top prizes in the game. Winning the league title and the work to provide a solid financial platform on which to build was not an end-point, but another part of that journey towards consistent success on and off the field.
“With continued support of the Tigers Family, that remains our target.”