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Timeline: Three months that brought down CA chief Kevin Roberts

The former CA chief executive could not galvanise the game amid questions over the financial impact

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Kevin Roberts speaks to presspersons in Melbourne  •  Getty Images

Kevin Roberts speaks to presspersons in Melbourne  •  Getty Images

March 15
Two days after the Australia-New Zealand ODI is played behind closed doors at the SCG the remainder of the Australian season is cancelled.
"We're in uncertain times, and it's difficult to project precisely what will transpire over the next number of months," Roberts said. "We really empathise with the situation for winter sports, we are more fortunate with the timing of this."
April 16
A report in early April, put together by CA's chief medical officer Dr John Orchard, painted a positive picture of the 2020-21 cricket season being able to take place as planned, but a week later the sport is thrown into chaos when it is announced that the majority of staff are being stood down on 20% pay.
April 21
Amid growing resentment from various parties, including staff and the ACA, about the way the stand downs had been managed, Roberts addresses the issue publicly for the first time.
"It wasn't an overreaction because we're dealing with a situation that's hitting us unfortunately at the low point of our cash cycle over four years," Roberts said. "We reach a point in early September where if there's more shocks as we've had over the last month or more, where our reserves are very thin and in fact effectively we'd chart a path to zero if we didn't take drastic action."
April 29
With anger mounting, Roberts apologises to staff for the way the stand downs were announced but insists the cuts have to go ahead despite many questions over whether the financial position is as dire as is being made out. Earl Eddings, the CA chairman, becomes increasingly involved in the situation.
May 6
The first major response from the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) highlights the significant fault lines that are emerging around CA's financial forecasts particularly as signs for the 2020-21 season are improving and India's tour, worth A$300 million, looking like it will happen in some capacity.
In an email to members, ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson wrote: "Cricket is able to express an optimistic and confident posture about its capacity to weather the pandemic, and has the opportunity to put in place effective plans for cricket to be played this summer. With this, cricket's financial position will likely remain positive."
May 18
Amid growing talk that financial cuts will see reduction in domestic competitions, ACA chairman Greg Dyer pens a strongly-worded column slamming CA. "That at the first sign of a headwind, states are being asked to take significant cuts, which are in turn filtering down to local cricket, suggests that something is horribly wrong with the current model.
May 26
Tensions continue to rise among the states with New South Wales and Queensland opposed to 25% cuts in their grants (which had been negotiated down from an initial figure of 45%) while Western Australia say they will only sign up to the deal if there is a collective agreement. Job losses among the states grow towards 150, including a swathe of community cricket staff at Cricket Victoria. A few days earlier Roberts had given the India tour a "9 out of 10" chance of taking place.
"We have been told for a long time how big a deal the Indian tour is, so to hear that optimism brings the depth of the cuts into focus," Queensland chairman Chris Simpson said. "Eighty percent of our funding comes from one source [CA] and they have said they potentially have solvency issues, so it is our duty to act on that information. We disagree with a lot of the information provided but we still had to act."
June 3
After a number of delays, Roberts presents CA's financial position and outlines the need for 25% cuts across the business saying they faced a deficit of A$142 million if no action was taken. "Given the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many organisations are working with scenario plans rather than developing precise financial projections that may need to be updated various times in ever-changing circumstances," he said.
Roberts increasingly becomes sidelined from talks with states and the ACA with Eddings and board member Paul Green taking charge.
June 4
The ACA swiftly responds to CA's financial projections - the players' body is not impressed by the lack of detail provided to them - and confirms it will formally challenge the board's forecast of a 48% reduction in revenue and the subsequent impact on player payment.
"The ACA expresses a lack of confidence in these reforecasts," Nicholson said. "They do not appear to be reasonable or consistent with an obligation of good faith, as required. From what the ACA has been able to determine so far, cricket is yet to suffer a significant adverse revenue event and the outlook for the game remains positive."
June 15
There had been suggestions of a breakthrough with hope of bringing all parties together for talks, but tellingly this was being led by Eddings. After a weekend of board meetings it emerges that Roberts' position has become untenable and he tenders his resignation
June 16
Nick Hockley, who ran the T20 World Cup organising committee, is installed as interim chief executive.
"Kevin and the board and I have been working hand-in-glove over the last three to four months around this," Eddings said. "We thought it's time now and Kevin agreed with the board that it's time for a new leadership and he tendered his resignation accordingly for the good of the game."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo