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Bath become latest Premiership club to report a massive financial loss for 2019/20

By Sam Smith

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Last season’s Gallagher Premiership semi-finalists Bath have reported a £2.7million loss after the financial impact of the pandemic saw a 16 per cent year-on-year reduction in turnover to £16.8 million in the 2019/20 accounting year ending June 30.

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A Friday afternoon statement from the Premiership club ahead of the Challenge Cup quarter-final at home to London Irish read: “The increase in EBITDA loss directly results from the impact on Premiership Rugby distributions to Bath, the delay in completing the season, and the loss of match income from March 2020 when supporters were prohibited from attending games.

“Losses were partially offset by a review and restructuring of the club and strategic cost savings in the summer of 2020, in addition to utilising available government support. To meet the extraordinary cash flow needs, the sole shareholder increased their financing of the club by £5m in the financial year, which is substantially greater than previous annual funding.

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“Furthermore, the club is still in the unique position of incurring annual operating costs in the region of c.£1m to erect a temporary stadium and ancillary facilities at the Rec each season.

“The pandemic dominated the financial and rugby year across all levels of the game. In March 2020, rugby rightly stopped for the first time in history as the focus turned to everyone’s welfare in the community and resources were redirected to public services working to cope with those directly affected by the coronavirus.

“The financial impact on all clubs in the league was significant and immediate. All players and staff supported the club by agreeing to a 25 per cent reduction of salary, effective from April 1, 2020. The reduction did not apply to lower-earning staff members and players, or those facing financial difficulty. Tiered wage reductions have continued through 2020/21.

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“Rugby did not return until August 2020, meaning the 2019/20 Premiership season completed in October 2020 without crowds, following the financial year-end. Furthermore, the pandemic has now created an unprecedented 12+ month period of absence of supporters from games.”

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Bath become latest Premiership club to report a massive financial loss for 2019/20

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