THE coronavirus pandemic has cost Oxford United an estimated £2.3million, says chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth.

The U's chief has issued an update on the impact of Covid on the club as the anniversary of last season being halted approaches.

Tiger warned the £2.3m figure was a 'conservative' estimate, but added that money coming from player sales and other sources means United's accounts for the year ending June 2020 will show a profit.

Tiger: Framework in place for return of fans

More than half of the money lost comes from gate receipts, which includes five home games that were never played at the end of last season, plus the play-offs.

"We believe the pandemic has cost the club just over £2.3 million," Tiger told the club's official website.

"We estimate it cost us close to £400,000 when those games disappeared, excluding play-offs.

"That does not include a home play-off against Portsmouth, which would have been sold out, or the final at Wembley where we would have taken maybe 35,000 people for a showcase game.

“This season, we estimate we will lose around £1.4 million from lost ticket sales.

"Our season-ticket holders have been amazing and their support has made a massive difference but ‘matchday sales’ have gone from a being a major source of revenue to zero.

“All clubs in the EFL need that matchday spend and then you also have to factor in the loss of hospitality revenue, executive box sales, and secondary spend: the club shop’s biggest days are always matchdays and then you add in things like programme sales, matchday lottery and so on."

The damage has been mitigated by cash from the Premier League's bailout of the EFL, plus season-ticket holders not asking for refunds.

United were only able to play three home game in front of fans when Covid restrictions were briefly relaxed in December.

The club's accounts in the year ending June 2019 showed a loss of £4m.