Sports Business Group case studies

By sport


UEFA Club Licensing

In 2004, UEFA commenced a project to improve the club licensing system, particularly in respect of the financial criteria. We were selected to provide assistance in the development of the financial requirements of the revised club licensing system. The Deloitte team, led by Paul Rawnsley, provided European football business knowledge; technical input on financial reporting and auditing matters; precise drafting of the manual; and, resolution of a variety of issues. The new requirements have been implemented from the 2008/09 season.

Football club transactions

We have provided business advisory and corporate finance services in respect of several football club transactions over recent years – including Manchester United, Liverpool and Derby County. In respect of financing transactions and either buy-side or sell-side activities, clients choose Deloitte because they trust and value our deep industry experience and advice to provide credibility and robust commercial insight to enable successful completion of the transaction.

Business planning

We were engaged by a Premiership football club to develop a strategic business plan in conjunction with a proposed move to a new stadium. The club were keen to understand the impact that the stadium would have from a revenue perspective and on the funding of areas of the club. working closely with senior management we produced a comprehensive five year model that looked at key drivers and impact on key revenue and cost areas, utilising benchmarks and primary research where appropriate.

Growing matchday revenues

The club wished to understand the characteristics of existing corporate hospitality buyers as well as the potential demand of the wider corporate market, in order to help with the design of corporate facilities at its new stadium. Our work involved a survey of existing, lapsed and potential buyers of the club’s corporate packages to facilitate a greater understanding of market characteristics and demand. We provided the club with a robust analysis of the behaviour, perceptions, and price perceptions of its existing corporate buyers which provided a foundation for the planning and design of corporate facilities at the new stadium.

League restructuring

The key backers of the Singapore S.League wanted to develop the League to the next level. We were appointed to carry out a strategic review of the S.League in time for changes to begin to be implemented for the new season. The overall aim of the project was to provide recommendations to move the S.League towards a more self-financing model, allied to its commercial development. We produced a strategic blueprint to guide the development of the League over the medium and long-term. We provided recommendations relating to the League's vision & mission, structure & organisation, commercial operations, expenditure & funding, and facilities and stadia.


Governance review

Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC) engaged Deloitte to conduct a comprehensive review of Governance and Committee structure. We gathered views of Committee Members and Executives, followed by workshops to refine proposals. The project made recommendations in four areas: Structure, roles and responsibilities, people; and operation.

ECB test match allocation

We were engaged by the England & Wales Cricket Board to formalise a system for the allocation of major matches and staging agreements with venues for the 18 First Class Counties. Our work covered legal issues: governance, and detailed procedures, and we provided a framework for the ECB’s allocation of major matches.

Tax depreciation

Deloitte were appointed by Surrey CCC to undertake the tax depreciation analysis for the redevelopment to create the new OCS Stand at the Brit Oval. The work involved the preparation of detailed assessments of those assets considered eligible for tax relief. We helped to enable additional tax relief under the specific provisions related to the Safety at Sports Ground Act 1975. The work has resulted in excess of 40% of the expenditure incurred being identified as potentially available for tax relief.

Review of Warwickshire County Cricket Club Business Plan

We were engaged by Birmingham City Council to review the business plan prepared by Warwickshire County Cricket Club for the redevelopment of Edgbaston. We reviewed and challenged the business plan, evaluating the likelihood and scale of potential upsides and downsides to their projections. The project received initial Council approval in 2009.

Assistance with Listed Events consultation

In response to a DCMS consultation on the impact of a proposed Listing of home Ashes Test matches, the ECB wanted to set out the potential impact of Listing recommendations on cricket. As part of their response we highlighted the developments which have taken place within the recreational game in recent years, which were primarily funded by the additional broadcasting revenues the ECB has been able to attract since home Test matches were removed from the list in 1998.

Rugby Union  

IRB Integrated Season Working Group

Participated in an IRB Working Group assessing potential structures and formats for international matches, including consulting with key stakeholders and providing financial analysis on the financial performance of existing international match windows

Rugby Football Union – Fit for Rugby

Provided analysis to the RFU to help understand the level of funding in grassroots facilities required to deliver a significant growth in participation over the next decade, in order to support their case for further facilities investment by Government.

Premiership Rugby Club – Stadium redevelopment

We were appointed to assess the potential impact, in terms of incremental revenue, of increasing capacity by redeveloping three of the stands at a Premiership club.

European Rugby Cup Limited – Strategic review

Appointed by ERC Ltd, the organisers of the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup, to support the Board in conducting a strategic review of the organisation and its tournaments.

Celtic Rugby – Assessment of Italian of participation in the Magners League

Advised the Board of Celtic Rugby regarding the implications of Italian club participation in the Magners League including assessing the business plans of the two Italian teams and the financial implications of Italian participation on existing clubs and stakeholders

Rugby World Cup – Valuation of broadcast and commercial rights

Provided independent advice to the IRB regarding the potential value of broadcast and commercial rights to Rugby World Cup 2015 and Rugby World Cup 2019 depending on the host location.


ATP Tournament Financial Review

The ATP was keen to make various changes to the men’s tennis tour calendar, including prize money increases; the re-categorisation and structuring of tournaments; and various format changes. We assessed the potential financial impact of these changes on the tournaments, and the potential for tournaments to grow revenues.

WTA Tournament Financial Review

Deloitte was engaged by the WTA Board to perform a review of the financial performance of its c.50 WTA Tournaments during the period 2006-2010. We designed a financial reporting template and produced a report analysing tournaments’ results in relevant sub-groups according to tier and/or geographical region, including benchmark KPIs from other sports where appropriate.

The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club

In order to keep Wimbledon as the world’s premier tennis tournament the All England Club devised the Long Term Plan, which commenced in 1993 and resulted in a series of new facilities. Sports Business specialists in Deloitte’s Tax Depreciation Group provided capital allowances advice, involving the project management of the claim production process, negotiations with the Inland Revenue to secure claim agreements, and planning and structuring advice to enable maximum benefit.


Bridgepoint – acquisition of Dorna Sports

Bridgepoint was bidding to acquire Dorna Sports, whose principle activity was the organisation and promotion of motorcycling’s MotoGP World Championship. We delivered commercial due diligence including an assessment of the business, key revenue drivers, an outline of the competitive environment within which it operates, and an assessment of the macro and micro market factors likely to influence its performance going forward.


British Horseracing Board - Economic Impact of horseracing

We performed an extensive study of the Economic Impact of the British horseracing industry - including the impact of racecourses, trainers, breeders and bookmakers. Our wide ranging study examined elements such as size of the industry, number of jobs supported, and capital investment. The report is used by the British Racing industry as the definitive report into the industry in their discussions with government, investors etc.

Ascot Racecourse - due diligence

We performed a commercial and financial due diligence of Ascot Racecourse's £200m redevelopment for the finance providers. Our work involved a detailed market study of the UK horseracing industry, an assessment of the UK corporate hospitality market and review of the racecourse’s key revenue streams and operating costs.

Tote - commercial due diligence

The tote is the UK’s monopoly provider of pool betting on racing, and also has extensive bookmaking activities including 540 shops, and interactive betting channels. The Sports Business Group, in conjunction with Deloitte's Betting and Gaming unit, performed commercial due diligence for a consortium consisting of the Racing industry, tote management and private equity. Our work included an assessment of the tote’s business, the key markets in which it operates and an assessment of the macro and micro market factors likely to influence its future performance going forward. 

Public sector and sport  

Viability and financial review – Cardiff City Council (“CCC”)

We provided an independent review of the £700m International Sports Village at Cardiff Bay, our opinion on the optimum mix of facilities, and validated the initial financial overview of the project. Subsequently we identified how the scheme could be supported commercially whilst meeting community requirements and provided assistance in discussions with the Secretary of State and helped resolve areas of potential conflict between the Council and the consortium partners.

Strategic framework - Sport and Health Champion - NHS

The Chief Executive of NHS North West was appointed by the Health Secretary as the National Champion for Sport and Health. This is key strategic role for energising the delivery of sport and health policy inside the NHS and beyond. We assisted with the definition of the role, identifying strategic areas of focus and a potential delivery framework.

Business plan review – Eastleigh Borough Council

Hampshire CCC wanted to develop their Rose Bowl ground with the aim of securing additional Major Matches. Eastleigh Borough Council were a key partner in the project and were keen to understand more about the impact of the development on Hampshire CCC’s financial performance. We carried out a detailed review of Hampshire CCC’s Business Plan, evaluating the likelihood and scale of potential upsides and downsides to their projections.