It was always the case that the cost of effectively shutting down live sporting attendance would come at a cost but stories across football and rugby from England today suggest it is not one that can be applied equally.

The annual Deloitte Review of Football Finance showed that operating profits across the English Premier League rose from £49 million in the first year of Covid to £479 million in the season 2020/2021. This was off the back of a bounce in total revenue from £4.5 billion to £4.9 billion. For last season that is expected to rise to £5.5 billion, surpassing pre-Covid levels and to £6 billion the season after.

It is not such a rosy picture across other European Leagues but the Premier League looks in rude financial health.

The same cannot be said of Premiership Rugby where two clubs look to be in serious danger of being forced to close or at the very worst dramatically restructure.

The figures are nowhere near the stratospheric ones of the round ball code but Worcester City has had a winding up petition lodged by the UK tax authorities and Wasps are also reported to be approaching a financial crisis point.

The Daily Telegraph reports this morning that in May of this year the club delayed the scheduled repayment of a £35 million bond scheme and that in June they requested a £13 million investment from their local authority in the West Midlands to meet stadium running costs at the ground they share use of with Coventry City FC.

The football club have now been forced to postpone three home matches at the start of their season because of an unplayable pitch, for which remedial works are currently being undertaken.

Unexpected costs and reduced revenue are a toxic cocktail when trying to emerge from the dark financial shadow of the past two years.

Owner Derek Richardson has been forced to deny rumours of serious financial concerns but still, they persist. The latest financial accounts show a loss of £18.5 million over two years to June 2021 and net current liabilities of £54.7 million.

The last Premiership Rugby to go bankrupt was Richmond back in 1990 when it was known as the Courage League. There is a clear and present danger now that another might soon be added to that list.