County news February 26, 2013

Glamorgan finances improve despite loss

ESPNcricinfo staff

Glamorgan have become the latest county to announce a loss for 2012, although the club have significantly improved their fortunes after recording a deficit of £2m last year.

After the wettest summer in 100 years - and one which saw the ODI between England and South Africa at Cardiff abandoned after 5.3 overs - Glamorgan's accounts were £315,793 in the red. A turnover of £6.5m was equivalent to the previous year but the club have taken steps to reduce outgoings. Glamorgan also improved their net cash balance to £481,027, representing a year-on-year increase of more than £1.3m.

The Glamorgan chief executive, Alan Hamer, said: "Whilst it is disappointing to report an operating loss, our trading performance during the past year is much improved. The game of cricket is currently facing many financial challenges and we have made many changes to the business over the last 12 months as part of a programme to improve the profitability of the club.

"This year is our 125th anniversary and it promises to be an exciting season both on and off the field. Having received a £1m loan from the England and Wales Cricket Board, we have committed to making a whole host of improvements to spectator facilities including the installation of a permanent replay screen which will also act as a new scoreboard."

In 2012, Glamorgan's Sofia Gardens ground hosted Friends Life t20 Finals Day, while during the coming season, Cardiff will be the location for five Champions Trophy fixtures, including the opening match of the tournament, plus an England-Australia ODI in September. The ground has also been awarded an Ashes Test for 2015.

While several counties, including Warwickshire and Leicestershire, suffered heavy losses last year, an equal number have demonstrated their financial prudence in tough economic circumstances. Derbyshire, Worcestershire and in particular Somerset are among the clubs to enjoy surpluses from their 2012 trading.

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  • Chris on February 27, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    I agree with you, davidpk, that running club finances is no easy task.

    However, the ethos of county cricket has fundamentally changed over recent years. Once, the culture of a club covered foremostly the interests of the members, other spectators (with a view to signing them up as members) and the development of cricket. The financial aim each year was to make a small surplus and to build that surplus up to the extent that there was sufficient 'rainy day' money to cover unexpected events.

    Now, the money men have got hold of the game. These businessmen believe that success is measured in growing turnover, no matter where it comes from, and maximising profits. They are fuelled by Sky money (via ECB distirbutions) and this gives them confidence to make huge investments and increase expenditure to a level that would be unsustainable without the continued funding that Sky provides.

    Cricket is now beholden to Sky - it's a poor man's football. If Sky pulls out, county cricket will die.

  • david on February 26, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    its a hard old game keeping clubs finances in the black. my own club lancs have had a hard old 36 month but with everything just about set in place now,the hope is they will set making decent profits.

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