Leicester Tigers: Club 'financially stable' again after pandemic problems, says CEO Andrea Pinchen

Leicester captain Ellis Genge
Captain Ellis Genge (left) and his Leicester Tigers team top the Premiership with five wins out of five

Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers are now "financially stable" after the threat of going out of business last year because of the pandemic.

Tigers chief executive Andrea Pinchen said in October 2020 that the club were losing £1m a week.

Leicester still have to repay a loan from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that helped tide them over.

"Season 2020-21 was without a doubt all about survival and we have achieved that," she told BBC Radio Leicester.

"Through that we have a three-year strategy that is club-wide that has been presented to the board, and approved and supported by the board, and all of our budgets have been worked into that.

"20-21 was survival. Tick, that's great. What's this season about? We push on. 21-22 is about development, moving to 22-23 it's about consolidation and then 23-24 is maturity and evolution. We are really clear where we are going and are financially stable to be able to achieve that."

Leicester have made a great start to the new season, winning all five games to set the early pace in the Premiership, and behind the scenes Pinchen and her staff are "reshaping" the business.

Andrea Pinchen
Andrea Pinchen replaced Simon Cohen as Tigers chief executive in May 2020

But the pandemic is still having a negative effect on their matchday operations and the full impact of Covid on the club will become clearer when accounts are published on Monday.

"The outward perception is that we are normal but there are still restrictions that we have to adhere to," said Pinchen.

"We're pleased to say that all our players and staff really got on board and wanted to protect what we were doing at the club so we were about 85% double vaccinated before round one which is great - but when you get a team that isn't [double vaccinated], then we have to put other measures in place.

"We have to provide socially distanced changing facilities. We've had to close two bars and take them off line and we can't then utilise that for our season-ticket holders and supporters so that revenue is still being missed and we can't offer the service we'd like to offer.

"We've also got the DCMS loan which was a really big input to our survival but that needs to be paid back. We've got PAYE and VAT that we've got to pay back. We're a long way, unfortunately, from being back to normal."

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