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ECB to axe 62 jobs with Covid-19 to hit cricket for expected £200m | Sport

The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced it will cut 62 jobs in response to projected losses of up to £200m from the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the ECB has been able to stage the full international men’s schedule, it has still lost £100m due to reduced broadcast and sponsorship revenue – including the 12-month delay to the Hundred – as well as a summer of no ticket sales and the high cost of staging biosecure cricket.

And now Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive, has said the financial pain will probably run into 2021 and could ultimately double in size, meaning the governing body must slash its workforce budget by 20% through redundancies and a small number of vacant roles that have now been cut.

Harrison said: “We must reduce the cost base across the game – and that requires the ECB to lead the way by reducing its own cost base.

“It is now an irrefutable fact that the impact of this pandemic is significant and will be long-lasting. There is also deep uncertainty about the future, and it is vital we take more steps now to ensure the future financial sustainability of cricket in England and Wales.”

In a lengthy statement that reiterated previous measures taken to keep the sport afloat – and praised “the entire cricket network” for putting on international cricket, a reduced county programme and restarting the recreational game – Harrison admitted “sharing a message of this nature was unthinkable” seven months ago.

The most recent ECB accounts show a headcount of 379 and this number was expected to rise further through the launch of the Hundred and the delivery of the Inspiring Generations strategy. Instead, Harrison said, the ECB must become “leaner and more agile” but still retain the ambition to deliver these goals.

On top of these cost-saving measures, it is expected that the 18 first-class counties will see their annual central payments of £3.5m reduced and further redundancies across the sport are likely to follow. Kent have already announced that 20% of their off-field workforce is being let go.

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