The significant financial losses suffered by Ipswich Town during the coronavirus crisis
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town are facing losses of more than £3million due to the ongoing lockdown phase of the coronavirus crisis.
With football suspended indefinitely, the Blues have not played a game since the loss at home to Coventry on March 7, with no potential for a return to action until June at the earliest. The lockdown will not be reviewed by the government until May 11, with EFL clubs ordered not to return to training until at least May 16.
Even then, games look certain to be played behind-closed-doors, meaning the club will miss out on vital revenue, with each home game bringing in upwards of £150,000 for the club.
That figure includes ticket sales, food and drink, programmes, mascot packages, peak retail sales and hospitality so, with Ipswich having five Portman Road games remaining at the time of the suspension, the lack of action will cost the club more than £750,000.
Beyond matchday income, the Blues are losing more than £40,000 a week due to the fact they are unable to hire out Portman Road to businesses and for functions, as well as a loss in retail revenue away from games. Over the course of a two-month lockdown period, that equates to more than £300,000.
The club are also losing £100,000 a month from cancelled sponsorships and corporate sales – including events such as the end-of-season dinner and golf day, which will now not go ahead. This is all money the club will not be able to claw back in the future.
Season ticket packages for the 2020/21 season were set to be launched in late March or early April, so there is a drop in revenue there, too. Season ticket renewals bring in approximately £600,000 a month once the first payment is taken in April, meaning a potential drop in income of £1.8million should none of this money be paid up to and including June.
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This is money the club could potentially recoup in the future, once the game returns, but this lack of income is causing a cash flow issue in the short-term.
The majority of the Blues’ off-field staff have been placed on the government’s furlough scheme, which covers 80% of employees’ wages, with the use of this helping to put a small dent in the club’s losses. Owner Marcus Evans is topping-up the furlough payments to ensure all staff receive their full monthly salaries.
It’s understood Evans will cover the club’s losses during this period, as he has to the tune of an average of £6million a year during his 13 years as owner, ensuring the club’s long-term future is not under threat.
Away from Ipswich Town, large parts of Evans’ business empire is based around international conferencing and summits, which has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. However, it’s understood he is better equipped than most to deal with this troublesome period as he doesn’t rely on large bank loans.