The County Ground at Taunton © Getty Images

Somerset have announced a record-breaking profit of £4.4 million for the year ending September 30, 2008. The principle cause for this significant rise is the club's real estate deals which helped boost their income before the slump in the property market.

"It has been a very demanding few years but over recent months the progress made by the club has emerged for all to see," said chief executive, Richard Gould. "The benefits will be long-lasting, and having completed many of our financial and real estate deals before the worst of the recession hit, we are strategically ahead of many of our competitors."

The club have begun major developmental works, which includes the building of 65 apartments, a restaurant complex, 3000 more seats and a new pavilion that boasts a hydrotherapy pool. Like many of England's counties who aren't afforded the huge financial benefits of staging a Test, Somerset have to look elsewhere to swell their coffers.

"I am delighted to see our club thriving in all areas," chairman Andy Nash told the club's website. "In the past other sports clubs have shied away from the supporters-based ownership model that we enjoy in favour of relying on private ownership.

"However, there is no doubt that by introducing a professional management system that can cope with the demands of business, and take advantage of opportunities which arise, Somerset can be viewed as an exemplar of how sports clubs can remain stable and sustainable, even when challenging for top honours in fiercely competitive environments."