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Crusaders suffer huge deficit
ESPNscrum Staff
December 8, 2011
A Crusaders fan holds a placard supporting the earthquake-hit city of Christchurch, Crusaders v Sharks, Super Rugby, Twickenham, England, March 27, 2011
The Christchurch earthquake gathered huge support from around the world © Getty Images
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The Crusaders were hit with a loss of NZ$700,000 (£347,000) following a Super Rugby season where they played the entire campaign on the road.

After the Christchurch earthquake in February, damage to their Lancaster Park ground meant the Crusaders had to play their home ties at various grounds around the southern island of New Zealand and they also ventured to Twickenham to take on the Sharks. And as a result, their nomadic existence has hit the pockets of the franchise.

"It was a pretty disruptive year and the support we received in playing in those smaller venues was outstanding but it didn't match the revenue we would have expected from a bigger venue," Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said of the NZ$696,300 loss. "We tried to control costs as much as we could through the year. We were fortunate to play a couple of games where we got a good return from, (but) the smaller venues ...didn't have a fantastic financial contribution."

But despite the loss, their venture to London did break even, according to Riach. "The big play with the game in London, had we managed to get more people through the gate we could have made a dramatic difference to our bottom line," Riach said. "We covered the bills, but we needed a few more people to make a difference to the bottom line.

"It was exciting to be there but in a financial sense it pretty much was neutral."

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