Badminton England Chief Executive, Adrian Christy, today warned that one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious sporting events is under threat because of the Government’s recent decision to pause plans to reintroduce fans back into sporting events, because of the ongoing pandemic.
The YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships is an incredible event in the sporting calendar and a wonderful spectacle for the fans.
Given the unprecedented times we continue to live in, we have planned for a number of scenarios as it has become increasingly clear that the 2021 Championships could come under threat.
Unfortunately, following the latest Government announcement, we are now looking at a real possibility of the YONEX All England not taking place for the first time since World War II.
The Government announcement means that we must prepare for the fact that fans may not be able to attend if things do not improve over the next six months.
My number one priority has to be the sustainability of Badminton England, particularly at this time, and the YONEX All England Championships is a major part of our economy. We have already sustained huge losses of income because of Covid-19 and not being able to welcome spectators to the Championships increases these losses to £1.75m in the current financial year - this is simply not sustainable for our organisation.
I am now calling on the Government for £1m of financial support that will protect the YONEX All England Championships and ease the pressure on one of this country’s most participated sports.