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Tennis Australia reveals receipt of $4.5 million in JobKeeper support during Coronavirus pandemic
Tennis Australia received over $4.5 million in JobKeeper benefits from the Federal Government in the last quarter of the 2019/20 financial year, with the funding supporting its operations and preparations for the Australian Open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The income was revealed in Tennis Australia’s latest annual report which shows the sport implementing a range of measures to counter the extraordinary financial impact of staging next year's Australian Open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With talks continuing between Tennis Australia and the Victorian Government - as well as the ATP and WTA player bodies - over the quarantine requirements for the delayed grand slam event, Tennis Australia has confirmed that it's likely to seek external credit and will access $80 million from its cash reserves.
Tennis Australia’s annual report showed the sport delivered a surplus of $4.4 million for 2019/20 - down from a profit of $10.7 million the previous year - while received $4,527,000 million in JobKeeper funds in addition to $2 million in rent relief.
Tennis Australia became eligible for payments from the JobKeeper program due to a reduction of revenue caused by this year's lockdown measures.
The 2020 annual report stated “JobKeeper eligibility was assessed and funds were received on the basis of a reduction in turnover mainly attributable to the closure of customer facing tennis facilities around the country.”
Revenue for last year, including the 2020 Australian Open unaffected by the global pandemic, surged to $456 million but Tennis Australia is expecting a decline across its operations this summer, as well as the growing costs due to having to roll out stringent quarantine measures.
The revenue drop is expected to result from smaller crowds at Melbourne Park due to Coronavirus restrictions and an anticipated reduction in "partnership revenue" while domestic broadcaster Channel Nine is expected to seek a discount for the tournament which is now being held in February.
Advising that it’s likely to seek credit as a “medium term liquidity measure” to manage the heavy costs of funding the biosecurity measures, the annual report continues “the group will most likely introduce external funding in the form of a line of credit to cover the significant costs that have arisen as part of the COVID-19 response to meeting quarantine and bio-security measures for AO2021.
“The funding is considered a medium term liquidity measure and will assist with the retention of an adequate level of cash reserves that will be required to support the recovery of our sport post COVID-19.
“This funding will also provide an additional safeguard in the very unlikely scenario that the summer of tennis will be significantly curtailed as a result of a new wave of COVID-19.
“The designated amount of the reserve is currently $80 million and it is highly likely that there may be use of the reserves as the Group executes its recovery plans following the impacts of COVID-19 on the delivery of the 2021 major events.”
While the Australian Open is currently scheduled to commence on 8th February details for the reshaped Tennis Australia's summer tennis program, including which events will happen before and potentially even after the grand slam, are yet to be confirmed.
8th December 2020 - Tennis Australia announces new board appointments
2nd December 2020 - Australian Open to be moved back to February to allow player quarantine period
14th October 2020 - California Sports Surfaces announced as ITF’s official preferred court supplier
4th October 2020 - Australian Open looks for 2021 event to run at half capacity
1st October 2020 - Global sports survey shows impact of COVID-19 pandemic
18th September 2020 - International Tennis Federation unveils historic rebrand of Fed Cup
14th September 2020 - Tennis Australia announces Paula Robinson to lead new Gender Equality National Taskforce
27th June 2020 - Record tennis courts bookings as Australians enjoy safe play
4th February 2020 - Australian Open 2020 welcomes largest ever tournament crowds
2nd February 2020 - Australian Open showcases best of the nation for international tourists
28th January 2020 - Australian tennis great Margaret Court honoured at Australian Open
26th July 2019 - Tennis Australia to roll out new court surfaces across the nation
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