The Jockey Club today backed calls from organisations across UK sport for the Government to provide direct support for the industry now there is no immediate prospect of spectators returning to sports venues – and this having been the case for the last six months.
Nevin Truesdale, Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, said:
“The two pilot events staged by Racing showed that we can host people safely with so much outdoor space for social distancing and stringent protocols in place. Nevertheless we respect the Government’s decision to pause their pilot programme across sport as part of trying to reduce contact between people.
“Without paying spectators, the largest revenue streams for many sports have been cut off for six months to date and, with no prospect of a change soon, this is threatening the survival of sports organisations and the many livelihoods they support.
“Now is the time that sport needs the Government to step in and provide direct support to the industry, as they did when awarding £1.57 billion to the arts in July. Sport and physical activity sustains 600,000 jobs and contributes more than £16 billion per year to the UK economy. British Racing alone contributes more than £4 billion a year in normal times, which clearly these are not.”
- Horseracing is the UK’s second largest spectator sport (with circa 6 million spectators in a normal year)
- The Jockey Club is the largest commercial organisation in British Racing and runs 15 racecourses nationwide, three racehorse training centres at Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom Downs, The National Stud breeding and education operation in Newmarket, Jockey Club Catering which is one of sport’s largest catering ventures and the charity Racing Welfare which makes support available to all of racing’s workforce.