Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Worcestershire County Cricket Club – Chairman and Board Update

WCCC announces the following:

  • David Hoskins joins WCCC as Commercial Manager. David has extensive experience over the last 11 years in driving all commercial operations at Luton Town Football Club. During this period he trebled commercial income, implemented business efficiencies and increased utilisation of catering. David also introduced LED perimeter screens, and identified and secured large sponsorship partners.  David will report directly to the Board.
  • Increased investment in supporting Professional, Academy and Pathway cricket.  WCCC has expanded the role of Sports Psychologist, Camilla Henderson, to also assist Academy/Pathway players.  The club has hired additional strength and conditioning support. Kadeer Ali was also employed on 3rd October 2019 as dedicated Second XI Coach.
  • Attracting International and Domestic Talent. The Cricket Steering Group (“CSG”) led by Paul Pridgeon, Vice Chairman of WCCC, which includes Alex Gidman, Alan Richardson and Kevin Sharp, manages all cricket operations and makes all substantive cricket decisions.  The CSG identified two overseas targets at the end of the season.  These have been secured with the hiring of Hamish Rutherford and Ashton Turner.  Hamish will play in all formats of the game (T20, 50 over and County Championship), Ashton for all T20 games. WCCC has also added to its domestic squad with the hiring of Jake Libby from Notts on a three year contract.
  • Recognising and empowering existing cricket administrative personnel at WCCC.  A key focus of our club between 2020-24 and beyond will be on “Inspiring Generations” as part of the ECB’s Cricket Partnership Agreement.  Tom Raymond-Hill, Cricket Development Director of Worcestershire Cricket Board (“WCB”) will lead this initiative on behalf of WCCC, working closely with all cricket elements in the professional and recreational game. Tom will report on this directly to the Board. Elliot Wilson, Academy Coach, alongside the CSG will lead on WCCC’s joint expression of interest (alongside Warwickshire CCC) in becoming a Regional Host for Women’s and Girls’ Cricket.

Financial Outlook of WCCC

  • The Board continues to believe there is scope for improvement in commercial offerings, cost control and improving service at our enviable facilities here at WCCC. Especially when cricket is not being played at WCCC.
  • The club has made substantial inroads into its debt burden, despite mixed operational performances and the very recent impact of floods. As announced at the last AGM, WCCC had reduced debt by £683k to £4.878 million at the end of 2018 from £5.561m at the end of 2015. This occurred despite large increases in cricket costs (£0.422m) and fixed assets (£0.323m) in 2018 alone.
  • We expect a further reduction in debt in 2019 to circa £4.3-4.4m. The financial clouds and burdens of the past appear to be lifting — we reiterate that we expect WCCC debt to more than halve in the next four years.
  • WCCC believe it is imperative that we prudently utilise any windfalls from the ECB, which may not be recurring over the 2020-24 period.Any surplus contribution beyond debt repayment, cricket cost increases (and now flood reserves) will be spent on improving member facilities.

The impact of reduced debt on WCCC

  • Our primary goal remains to produce homegrown players.  More than half of our squad has been capped through our Academy since 2017 with Pat Brown and Josh Tongue already featuring for England/Lions. We anticipate substantial increases in Academy spend next year.
  • Improved commercial offerings will be passed on to members.  WCCC remains committed to passing any benefits secured from improved commercial offerings, as a result of our stronger financial position, to our membership. We would hope for further announcements on this in the New Year.
  • Early Bird Offerings to Members who renew before 31st January 2020. We hope to be hosting tourist fixtures at WCCC next year.  For those members who take up our early bird offer ending 31st January 2020 — these fixtures will not be charged for and will be included in your standard membership. Charges will occur for all membership categories who do not take up our early bird offer.
  • Clear need and desire to improve member facilities. In the near term, the Board is considering improving facilities to include better disability access, a permanent shop/museum, classroom access, a gymnasium for players, academy and pathway use. We also have pressing needs for additional storage facilities as part of flood recovery planning.

Fanos Hira FCA
WCCC Chairman