Clubs face major financial issues if fan ban remains: Exeter chairman

(Reuters) – English Premier League clubs could go broke if fans are banned from entering the stadiums by the end of the year, said Tony Rowe, chairman of the Exeter chief.

The Premiership, which has been suspended since March, will resume later this month but games will be played without fans in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Chiefs, one of the few clubs to have consistently made profits over the past few years, have lost more than £ 1 million ($ 1.31 million) each month, Rowe said.

"I don't think the rugby brotherhood realizes how much clubs are losing," he told UK media. "We still have to maintain all the infrastructure and the player side, so it was incredibly difficult."

"Most clubs will have figured out how long they can survive, but if we don't have a decent income by the New Year we are in serious trouble."

"At Exeter … we're fortunate enough to have drawn on some of our assets to raise the funds we need to keep going, but I'm afraid for some of the other clubs."

Rowe said the clubs were particularly hard hit by the loss of match day revenue.

“The central financing consists of TV, league sponsors and RFU funds. The bigger money, however, comes from bums in seats and if we can't get spectators into the stadium we will all get into trouble, ”he added.

The Chiefs, who are at the top of the Premier League, will continue their season against Leicester Tigers on August 15th.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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