British & Irish Lions Set For Biggest Payout Ever From A Lions Tour
The British & Irish Lions players will share a jackpot of more than £2M ($3.2M) if they win all 10 matches of their tour of Australia next summer, according to Gavin Mairs of the London TELEGRAPH. Under the draft player contract, each player will receive a basic tour fee of £45,000 ($72,000), which will rise to £67,000 ($107,000) if the Lions win all of their matches, which include three Tests against the Wallabies. The contract is "expected to be signed off" with the players' unions in the coming months. With Head Coach Warren Gatland expected to take a party of at least 35 players, the combined basic tour cost will be a minimum of £1.6M ($2.6M), likely rising to a maximum of £2.3M ($3.7M), "depending on the accumulation of win bonuses." The four home unions will receive a fee of £50,000 ($79,600) for each player they provide to the squad as compensation for their unavailability for each country’s summer tours, which will cost the Lions a further £1.8M ($2.9M). The overall cost of the tour is estimated at £14M ($22M), and officials are hopeful a profit of more than £4M ($6.3M) can be generated through sponsorship, TV rights and ticket sales. The profit will be shared between the four home unions, which should ensure a seven-figure payout, making next year’s tour "the most successful in commercial terms" since the Lions began touring 125 years ago (TELEGRAPH, 9/4).