Aberdeen Football Club have hit out after their insurer said they would refuse to pay out on business interruption cover during Scottish football’s coronavirus shutdown.
Chairman Dave Cormack has spoken out after the club had problems with their comprehensive cover – up for renewal on April 30 – which saw the company in question drop the wording covering the consequences of a pandemic ahead of the new policy being activated.
Encouraging all insurers to “do the right thing” at this uncertain time, he said: “As a diligent, well‐run organisation, we chose comprehensive business interruption cover and believe we may be one of only a few clubs with an insurance policy that clearly covers the impact of a pandemic.
“Despite paying for that cover ‐ when we need it most, we’ve been advised we’re not going to get it!
“We accept that our insurance company is acting within its legal rights and that the present circumstances will give rise to multiple and significant insurance claims.
“But this leaves us bearing the majority of the continuing costs incurred as a result of the football suspension in response to the coronavirus, despite the outbreak occurring when we had cover. The bulk of our losses will likely be beyond the end of next month.
“This just doesn’t feel right in the present circumstances.
“We’ve raised this with a local MP because we believe there is a moral dilemma here, which should be addressed by the insurance industry and the government.”
The Northern Goal podcast panel think Dave Cormack’s honesty about the financial impact of the coronavirus shutdown is the right move:
Mr Cormack has spoken out previously about the fact the indefinite Covid-19 shutdown – which has been in affect in Scotland since March 13 – could cost Aberdeen £5 million in outgoings, with no incoming revenue. This time of year is usually when clubs receive prize money, season ticket money, new kit sales and more.
Dons fans have been doing their bit, renewing season tickets and signing up to the AberDNA scheme.
However, Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Andrew Bowie, said: “Overall, I have been impressed by how Aberdeen FC have turned a negative into something so positive. Many of the city’s elderly and most vulnerable are getting help through the club’s Still Standing Free initiative.
“So I was disappointed to hear the club’s insurer will effectively pull the rug out from under it next month. After talking to Dave Cormack, I agreed with the club’s position and have now raised the issue with Treasury officials. This will require co-operation between insurers, government and the football community to find a way forward.”
Cormack added: “Perhaps what is needed is for pandemic claims to be dealt with in a similar way to those arising from floods and terrorism. That is, through an industry‐wide, public/private insurance solution which provides essential cover, at the cost of the insured, but with the cost of claims being spread across the whole of the insurance industry and the state.
“That seems an appropriate long‐term solution, for the solvency‐threatening consequences of pandemics.
“But, until that’s in place, would it not be the right thing for insurers to continue existing cover for so long as the consequences of the current Covid‐19 outbreak continue?”