Rugby-Premiership clubs may not survive another lockdown -Bristol chief

  • Rugby
  • Wednesday, 22 Dec 2021

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Premiership - London Irish v Bristol Bears - Brentford Community Stadium, London, Britain - February 21, 2021 Bristol Bears head coach Pat Lam Action Images/Matthew Childs

(Reuters) - Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam said Premiership Rugby clubs may struggle to recover from the financial hit of losing matchday revenue in the event of another COVID-19 lockdown.

Lam said Bristol lost around 300,000 pounds ($397,500) in revenue after Scarlets forfeited their Champions Cup tie due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Asked if the Premiership could survive another lockdown, Lam told British media: "I don't think so ... I don't mean to be all doom and gloom, but this is not as cosy as people think.

"People look at us and think, 'They have got (owner) Steve Lansdown, a billionaire', but what people tend to forget is we don't have what Steve is worth.

"Professional rugby is a great game, but the reality is there are a lot of wealthy people who are losing money. I am pretty sure PRL (Premiership Rugby Limited) will be talking to the government."

Lam also pointed to the decision by the Premier League, England's top flight soccer league, to continue playing over the festive period despite 10 games being postponed due to COVID-19.

The Premier League reported a record 90 new COVID-19 cases among players and staff in the past week, while Premiership Rugby said on Friday said it recorded a season-high 54 cases.

($1 = 0.7547 pounds)

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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