Lancashire Cricket has announced a surplus of £1.806m (€2.17m/$2.36m) for 2021, aided by the proceeds from a business interruption insurance claim that acted to offset losses incurred as a result of COVID-19.
The year started with the business continuing to be heavily impacted by Government restrictions and the initial three games of the season were played behind-closed-doors at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. Following that, reduced capacities were imposed until mid-July, along with limited conference and events business and reduced hotel occupancy.
However, the club was successful in its business interruption insurance claim which generated £2.5m of proceeds to mitigate the lost revenue throughout the pandemic. In July, following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in England, Emirates Old Trafford then hosted a sell-out international T20 fixture between England and Pakistan.
However, following this was the unprecedented cancellation of the Test match against India in September, just prior to gates opening on day one. The club said that while it suffered a loss of contribution from hospitality and secondary food and beverage, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) supported this setback with general admission ticket refunds.
While domestic cricket was also affected with matches played behind-closed-doors and at limited capacity for the T20 Blast competition, Lancashire said the financial impact of this was significantly reduced as the ECB provided compensation to top up revenues to normal levels.
The club’s ECB distribution increased in 2021, due to a combination of new investment in the women’s game and additional prize money as a result of the men’s team being runners-up in the County Championship. A special distribution of £1.1m received in 2020 has continued to be spread over a three-year period.
Towards the end of 2021, the club’s revenues began to increase as confidence returned to the market. The on-site hotel generated record revenues in October and the conference and events space at Emirates Old Trafford was heavily utilised during November, including for TheStadiumBusiness Summit.
Lancashire last month extended its long-standing partnership with Hilton, which operates the on-site hotel at Emirates Old Trafford. In June, Lancashire received approval for a revised redevelopment project that is set to complete a broader regeneration scheme for Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire said the outlook for 2022 is to continue with the club’s recovery from the pandemic, across all areas of the business. The continued redevelopment of Emirates Old Trafford is now underway and will be a “major focus” during the next year.
This will see the Hilton Garden Inn hotel extended to 250 bedrooms and increased and improved facilities for members and supporters with a new lower tier stand installed, new restaurant, museum experience, ticket office and shop.
Angela Lowes, chief financial officer at Lancashire Cricket, said: “It has been a challenging year that, financially, would have resulted in a loss if it wasn’t for the club’s successful business interruption claim.
“The demands of stopping and starting our business during the year, presented us with an incredibly difficult challenge throughout 2021. Now, we are looking forward to our business returning to normal and enjoying a successful 2022 for both Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford.”
In other news, Lancashire has today (Friday) signed international law firm CMS as a new partner on a multi-year deal.
As an official partner, CMS will see its branding displayed across Emirates Old Trafford’s mid-tier LED boards and the top of the in-bowl scoreboard, while engaging with the club’s supporters in-bowl and via digital channels.