Friday 19 July 2019

Wimbledon winners’ prize money ‘worth less due to Brexit’

Potential winners have seen up to £200,000 wiped off the value off their maximum winnings due to poorer exchange rates

Novak Djokovic’s potential Wimbledon winning have seen £150,000 wiped off their value in the past four months due to the declining value of the pound (PA)
Novak Djokovic’s potential Wimbledon winning have seen £150,000 wiped off their value in the past four months due to the declining value of the pound (PA)

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

This year’s Wimbledon champions’ winnings will be worth significantly less than just months earlier due to the impact of Brexit, experts have said.

Uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the EU has significantly weakened the value of the pound in recent months, with international winners looking at smaller value prize pots than earlier this year, according to currency analysts.

Potential winners have seen up to £200,000 wiped off the value off their maximum winnings, according to the most recent exchange rates.

Wimbledon prize money was boosted for 2019 to £2.35 million for both male and female winners, with runners-up set to win £1.18 million.

This week, the pound has sunk to an almost two-year low driving down the value of winnings once exchanged into players’ native currencies.

Novak Djokovic, one of the favourites to win the men’s title, would take away almost £150,000 less than if the tournament had been held in March due to poor recent exchange rates.

Weakness in the pound means that once his prize money is exchanged to his native Serbian dinar, he would receive around 314 million Serbian dinars, down by 20 million dinars from March.

The most heavily impacted of the male players would be eighth seed Kei Nishikori, whose potential winnings have lost more than £200,000 in value in recent months due to poor pound to Japanese yen exchange rates.

In the women’s tournament, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina would walk away with 79 million Ukrainian hryvnia if she won the tournament, but would have bagged an extra £200,000 worth of prize money if exchange rates were at their March value.

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Simona Halep (Adam Davy/PA)

Romanian rival Simona Halep would also miss out on a chunk of cash due to exchange rates, with her potential top prize of 12.6 million Romanian Leu worth £160,000 less than now than just four months ago.

Phil McHugh, chief treasury analyst at Currencies Direct, said: “Given that March did not deliver a Brexit outcome, sterling uncertainty has increased and shows no sign of abating ahead of the October Brexit deadline.

“This means that when it comes to prize money, all remaining Wimbledon competitors will suffer from the pound weakening over the last few months.”

Uncertainty over Brexit and Theresa May’s departure from Downing Street have both contributed to the softening of the value of the pound.

Mr McHugh added: “Whilst all Wimbledon competitors stand to benefit handsomely from the biggest prize money pool the tournament has ever seen, the weak pound has surely done the competition no favours.”

PA Media

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