Debenture (sport)

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For other uses, see Debenture.

In sport, a debenture is defined as a certificate of agreement of loans which is given under the company's stamp and carries an undertaking that the debenture holder will get a fixed return (fixed on the basis of interest rates) and the principal amount whenever the debenture matures. The terms may also include ancillary benefits such as an option to buy tickets at a favourable price, as well as or instead of interest. The term stems from the financial concept of a debenture.

A large number of sporting organisations have issued debentures to raise money, to allow their fans to gain a financial stake in the club, to foster a sense of community, and in some cases to fund new construction.

Royal Albert Hall[edit]

An early example of debenture holders having rights to seats at venues was the Royal Albert Hall in London, where about 1,200 of the hall's 5,500 seats were provided on 999-year leases when it opened in 1871 to help finance its construction costs, allowing access to most of its music, sporting and other events, subject to an annual service charge. The debentures can be passed on or sold, and the tickets to individual events can be resold if the debenture holder does not wish to attend.[1]


The organisers of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, The All England Club, issue their debenture holders a ticket for each day of the tournament. Furthermore, only debenture holders are permitted to sell their tickets to third parties.


A rugby debenture is somewhat different as, in the most part, no money in the form of interest is returned to the lender but the rights to obtain tickets for a seat in that ground. The exact terms of the debentures vary from issue to issue but will be covered in the main here. Charlton Athletic also used this financial method to aid their move back to The Valley.

Welsh Rugby Union[edit]

These debentures carry no interest on the amount invested and the advantage of holding said debenture is the right to obtain a tickets at the Millennium Stadium the home of the Welsh Rugby Union where Wales play in the Six Nations Championship.

The serial numbers on the debentures denominate the expiry date (although some are renewable and / or renewed earlier), starting with:

Certificate starts with: Expiry Date Surrender Value
05 01/03/2021 £50
100 01/03/2021 £100
200 01/09/2028 £200
300 01/09/2035 £500
410 31/08/2024 £5000
420 31/08/2024 £3750
430 31/08/2024 £3950
440 31/08/2024 £3950
450 01/09/2027 £5000
460 01/08/2030 £3950
470 01/09/2030 £6000

The WRU has changed some of the numbers during the term of the debenture.[2]

Rugby Football Union[edit]

These are issued by the RFU and permit the holder to 10 years rights to the ticket issue; they are transferable and the principle sum invested is returned 75 years from date of issue.

An RFU debenture confers on the debenture holder the right to purchase, at face value, one ticket for Rugby Union events at Twickenham Stadium for a given period, currently 10 years (with the exception of a small number of business debentures in the South Stand which confer ticket rights for 15 years). A debenture is fully repayable, currently after 75 years, but bears no interest.[3]

The following is the current debenture issue:

Date of issue Number of Private and initial cost Number of Business and initial cost
2000 1269 @ £3950 418 @ £12000
2001 1068 @ £3950 216 @ £12000
2002 868 @ £4350 28 @ £12000
2003 3751 @ £4750 135 @ £12000
2004 1052 @ £4750 28 @ £12000
2005 2314 @ £5250 58 @ £12000
2006 3295 @ £6000 279 @ £14000
2007 102 @ £14000 0
2008 1000 @ £6750 96 @ £14000

Other sports organisations[edit]

Other sports organisations which issue debentures in a similar fashion include:

Not all sporting debentures provide an entitlement to free tickets. Some organisations, such as the Millennium Stadium, merely give holders the right to purchase a ticket for events.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For sale: The Albert Hall box with a £1.2m view Daily Mail, 3 June 2008
  2. ^ "Rugby Debenture shop and other debentures bought and sold". Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  3. ^ Twickenham Debentures
  4. ^ "Hibs and Hearts handed 20,000 ticket allocations for Hampden". STV (STV Group). 20 April 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Murrayfield". Retrieved 5 May 2010.