Leicester have announced their increase in revenue and profit for 2013-2014. Whilst this is very good news it’s some of the details that support the revenue that show how Tigers are the leading the way off the pitch as well as on it.
On the pitch, Tigers are the most successful professional club in England, last season was below par for them “only” finishing 3rd and losing the semi-final. Most other teams would be over the moon with that. But for Leicester it’s the first time since 04-05 that they didn’t make the final. It’s amazing that they have only been outside the top 4 twice since 97-98 so it’s not their worst result but still below their recent levels.
Off the pitch things are also looking good, the headline of the report was the 20% increase in operating profit to just under 500K. The fact alone that they turned a profit is worth congratulations. It’s telling that the Aviva Premiership have stopped putting out reports about the profitability of the teams. It’s embarrassing when only 3 or 4 teams are actually profitable.
To me though the number that was most impressive was the nearly 15K season tickets that they sold. Most other clubs would love to fill a ground that size every week never mind have that many season tickets. In fact only 2 other clubs have a ground big enough to seat that many. One of those (Irish) I understand only open half the ground on match days anyway.
The attendance table on the premiership website is hard to figure out as so many of the clubs have one-off games at larger venues such as Twickenham and Wembley. But clearly there is something that the other clubs can learn from Tigers when their ground is 7.5K bigger than the next club rugby ground in England. It’s good seeing clubs like Exeter with expansion plans for their grounds but how will clubs like Irish, Welsh, Wasps and Warriors become profitable not owning their own grounds?