Sumo is in its worst financial crisis ever after ringing up a debt of nearly ¥4.9 billion last year, the Japan Sumo Association announced Wednesday.
“We’re in an extremely difficult situation,” JSA Chairman Kitanoumi said. “We need to face up to reality and work to regain the faith of the public.”
In 2011, the JSA scrapped the spring tournament in March in light of the match-fixing scandal and made admission free at the May Basho, turning it into a technical examination meet.
After scrapping all tours and being hurt by declining crowds and less TV money, sumo’s operating revenue dropped by ¥2.98 billion from the previous year to ¥5.44 billion.