Exeter Chiefs chairman warns clubs will struggle without supporters being allowed into matches

Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs - Credit: Archant

Exeter Chiefs chairman Tony Rowe has spoken out about the problems that Premiership matches being played without supporters, will bring to top flight clubs throughout the country.

He has spoken specifically about the issues sides will have if fans are kept away from matches until early in 20201

Last season, Exeter Chiefs were the only top-flight club to post a profit for the campaign with the exceptional commercial operation they run at Sandy Park playing a big part in the profit making.

However, since the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Chiefs have been losing around £1m a month.

The Premiership action resumes this coming weekend with the Chiefs, and other top flight clubs set to play the 2019/20 season to a finish. The Chiefs entertain Leicester on Saturday with the match set to be played behind-closed-doors match

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Since the last action, which was played before lockdown rules were put in place, clubs have voted through a reduced salary cap in a bid to lower costs.

The Chiefs chairman says: “If we can’t get some decent revenue coming in by the new year, we’ve got serious problems,” Rowe said.

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He continued: “Everybody has held up Exeter as the ideal business and a profitable club because we have Sandy Park conference and banqueting that pays the day-to-day bills and then we have all these bums on seats for matchdays.

“However, for the last five months that’s been a millstone around our necks. At the moment we can’t earn any revenue, yet our outgoings remain the same.

“What was to a degree our ‘golden goose’ in having Sandy Park pay the bills and the overheads, whilst the matchdays were the big earners, both of those income streams have currently gone.”

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