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Lancashire braced for 'multimillion pound' losses over Old Trafford Test cancellation

Chief executive says club will need help from ECB after "unprecedented" loss of revenue

George Dobell
George Dobell
Fans play cricket outside Old Trafford after the Test was called off  •  PA Photos/Getty Images

Fans play cricket outside Old Trafford after the Test was called off  •  PA Photos/Getty Images

Lancashire are facing "multimillion pound" losses and will require outside support to cope with the cancellation of the Emirates Old Trafford Test according to their chief executive, Daniel Gidney.
Lancashire have promised to reimburse all those who bought tickets or hospitality for the match, while they are exploring their options having hired thousands of temporary staff for the next few days. The ground, which has a capacity of around 22,000, was sold out for the first three days with around 2,000 tickets remaining for day four.
But that has left them facing substantial losses. And, coming on the back of Covid, it has left the club in a precarious financial position. Asked if the club were "in a position to wear" the losses, Gidney replied, "no".
"These are unprecedented circumstances," Gidney said. "We're in mitigation mode at this point. We will need to work through this with the ECB.
"How big are our losses? We're talking about significant sums here. We're talking over seven figures. It's multimillions of pounds. It's very challenging. We will need to work with the ECB and others to support us through this."
While the club are facing serious issues of their own, Gidney insisted his priority at this stage was reassuring - and apologising to - ticket holders.
"My primary concern is everyone who has bought a ticket," he said. "I don't think any of us had an inkling the game would be cancelled this morning
"The final decision was made just before 9am this morning. We're absolutely devastated for all the disruption caused to ticket holders and hospitality buyers. They've looked forward to this for a long time. I'm incredibly sorry.
"The vast majority [of ticket holders] have been incredibly understanding and very patient. They're upset and disappointed but they have been incredibly supportive."
The ECB and Lancashire were in discussions about how they treat temporary staff hired for the game. While the club said they were minded to pay them for at least four days, that was yet to be confirmed. The club also confirmed that, if the Test were to be rescheduled for the 2022 season, they would be very keen to host it.
"We have a lot of people who have committed to five days' work with us," Gidney said. "We have work through that.
"We had built up reserves, but the first six months' of the pandemic effectively ate through all that. So we're back to scratch, really. But we're a resilient club: we've been through two world wars and a pandemic. We'll work our way through this."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo