Essex's finances March 19, 2004

Essex report a handy profit

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Essex have announced an overall profit of £138,274 for 2003, thanks to improved attendances last season, especially for their inaugural Twenty20 Cup games, the National League matches played under Chelmsford's new floodlights, and their two one-day games against the tourists.

Nigel Hilliard, Essex's chairman, said: "Our third position in Division One of the National League and our wins against Pakistan and Zimbabwe were highlights of the year. In the Championship we finished seventh in Division One, but this meant relegation for the 2004 season. However, with our new signings of Darren Gough and Danish Kaneria building on our established strengths under the leadership of Ronnie Irani we are well-placed to achieve good overall results in all the principal leagues and tournaments."

The treasurer, Keith Brown, pointed out: "We have achieved an excellent financial result. In all areas of income generation - membership, marketing, matches and cricket school - we have improved our financial performance. This has enabled us to invest in new players and infrastructure to benefit our members and the public. 2004 will be very challenging, but the demand for tickets for a number of our matches, especially those under floodlights, is strong."

And David East, Essex's former wicketkeeper who is now their chief executive, concluded: "In addition to the first-team activities we have a highly utilised cricket school and our academy enjoyed enormous success in its first full year. We are producing some highly talented young players, with Alistair Cook leading the England Under-19 team in their recent World Cup campaign in Bangladesh. We are talking to Chelmsford Council about a development plan that will fully utilise all our assets and place us in a strong position to capitalise on possible changes in the structure of county cricket."