Sussex have revealed the seven-figure cost of Covid and thanked their supporters for helping them through the year.

The club have announced an operating loss of £26,000 for the year ending on October 31 last year.

That compares to a profit of £408,000 in 2019.

Sussex are currently in pre-season ahead of the 2021 campaign, which will start behind closed doors.

They did not begin last season until August 1 and all matches in the Bob Willis Trophy and the usually money-spinning Vitality Blast were played at empty grounds.

The financial impact of Covid is put at more than £2 million in terms of reduced turnover.

Players and many off-field staff were furloughed for part of last year and also accepted temporary wage cuts.

Some members and supporters donated their membership and ticket fees and sponsors also played their part.

Government grants helped the club as they protected jobs.

Chief executive Rob Andrew said: “‘The efforts made by all staff and players last year were fantastic. For many people it has been a very challenging 12 months, and sports clubs are no different.

“We set out early in the pandemic to protect the long-term health of our people and the business. I am pleased that we have been able to achieve that and set our vision for the next few years both on and off the field.

“I am very optimistic about our future with a very talented group of young players and the exciting construction of phase one of our masterplan for The 1st Central County Ground.

“Just as importantly, our community cricket activities continue to go from strength to strength, making a huge impact across the whole county. We are all looking forward to a packed summer of cricket and bringing smiles back to people’s faces.”