The ITF borrowed $3 million from the IOC following the postponement of Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has reported a deficit of $6.9 million (£5 million/€5.9 million) after a coronavirus-disrupted 2020 campaign.

What is more, while it looks like Tokyo 2020 is now in the process of being satisfactorily delivered, the shadow of COVID-19 is set to dog the federation in 2021 as well.

As Finance Committee chairman, René Stammbach explains: "The disruption to international competitions in 2020 meant that the Olympics, as well as the conclusion to the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup, were all postponed to 2021 and therefore the impact will also affect the 2021 result.

"For the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup, one year’s revenue is being split over two years and is insufficient to support all costs, many of which are annual.

"For this reason, strict financial discipline will be maintained to prevent too significant a drain on reserves."

Stammbach’s comments are published in the annual report and financial statements of the ITF Trust.

This also reveals that the ITF borrowed $3 million (£2.2 million/€2.55 million) from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2020, in lieu of the sport’s revenue share from the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games.

The ITF said the loan was received in two installments - $2 million (£1.45 million/€1.7 million) in September and $1 million (£727,000/€850,000) in December.

The loan is interest-free and repayable "upon receipt of revenues from the rescheduled Olympic Games in 2021, or in the event of a cancellation, by 2024".

The ITF’s annual income was slashed heavily to $35.6 million (£25.9 million/€30.3 million) in 2020, less than half the 2019 figure of $88.7 million (£64.5 million/€75.4 million).

The Davis Cup licence fee generated just $10.3 million (£7.5 million/€8.75 million), down from $40.3 million (£29.3 million/€34.3 million).

The ITF is counting the cost of the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup Finals not being played in 2020 ©Getty Images
The ITF is counting the cost of the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup Finals not being played in 2020 ©Getty Images

Meanwhile, as explained in Stammbach’s admirably clear report, anticipated hosting fees from the inaugural finals of the Billie Jean King Cup, as the Fed Cup has been renamed, were affected as follows: of total hosting fees of $20 million (£14.5 million/€17 million) due to the ITF, $8 million (£5.8 million/€6.8 million) was received, with $5 million (£3.6 million/€4.25 million) recognised "in acknowledgement of part of the competition having been played".

Operating expenses also fell heavily to $44.7 million (£32.5 million/€38 million) from $86.4 million (£62.8 million/€73.4 million) in 2019.

Staff costs dipped from $12.8 million (£9.3 million/€10.9 million) to $10.3 million (£7.5 million/€8.75 million).

The ITF explained that $2 million (£1.45 million/€1.7 million) of this reduction was attributable to "staff taking voluntary reductions in pay and benefits, utilisation of the United Kingdom Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a reduction in headcount".

Executive officers' remuneration dipped from $3.1 million (£2.25 million/€2.6 million) in 2019 to $2.6 million (£1.9 million/€2.2 million).

The accounts also disclose that the federation managed to secure a tax credit of $626,000 (£455,000/€532,000) in 2020.

This is even though the ITF Trust itself is "domiciled in the Bahamas and is therefore not subject to income tax".

Stammbach’s report notes that this rebate "includes R&D tax credits claimed against expenditure on the ITF World Tennis Number project".

Year-end reserves dipped to a still-comfortable $52.3 million (£38 million/€44.5 million) from $57.7 million (£42 million/€49 million) in 2019.

According to Stammbach, £To have been so severely impacted by the global pandemic, yet to only realise a fall of $5.4 million (£3.9 million/€4.6 million) in reserves when revenues fell by $53.1 million (£38.6 million/€45.1 million), must be seen as a good result in the circumstances".