Lancashire Leagues May 31, 2007

Accrington face bleak future

Cricinfo staff

Accrington Cricket Club, one of the stalwarts of the Lancashire League, are facing the real prospect of folding after the club's management revealed they have debts of more than £10,000.

Last week Peter Barratt, the president, wrote to members warning them that the club could go out of business unless they were able to raise funds

"We are determined to overcome these problems but they are very real problems that need to be confronted," Barratt told the Burnley News. "It has gone on too long where we have tried to struggle through. "It's been creeping up on us for a while and it has got to the situation where we have to make it public and ask for help.

"The club is losing money and it needs to be halted and turned around. As it is there is a very real prospect that we will go out of business."

Accrington were formed in 1864 and have won the league five times, most recently in 1975. Many famous overseas players have turned out for the club, including Wes Hall, Bobby Simpson, Eddie Barlow and Mohsin Khan, while home-grown cricketers included David Lloyd and Graham Fowler.

But in the last 16 seasons they have finished in the bottom two ten times, and the ground has also been subjected to repeated vandalism. Two years ago a substantial refurbishment was undertaken but it has not produced the expected increase in returns.