The Rugby Football Union will lose up to £107 million in revenue if England’s end-of-year Tests at Twickenham are cancelled because of the coronavirus.
England are scheduled to host the All Blacks, Argentina, Tonga and the Wallabies at Twickenham in November. But with Covid-19 still raging world-wide, it is becoming increasingly possible that sport could remain suspended and only resume next year.
RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney has revealed that the union has already lost £15m in revenue since the outbreak of the pandemic, but says the monetary loss will be far greater if England’s November Tests were abandoned.
‘It is a very significant loss of revenue and we are doing what we can to mitigate it,’ he explained. ‘Twickenham is a major asset for us – 85% of our income comes from hosting men’s international games at Twickenham,’ he said.
‘When you own a stadium it is a major cost and at the same time brings in large revenue. If this was to be prolonged and the Six Nations games were impacted, then it would be a catastrophic impact on rugby union in England. We would be looking at some very severe situations.’
England’s 2020 Six Nations campaign is yet to be completed, with their final game against Italy postponed.
Guidelines released by global governing body World Rugby on Monday suggested elite matches should be played behind closed doors until a coronavirus vaccine is freely available.
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