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Pyrahtechnics
(Login Pyrahtechnics)

Re: We're just not very organised..

February 26 2017, 7:34 PM 

From page 3 of Annual Report and Accounts:

"TWENTY TWENTY in 2020

....we are supportive of the new initiative....please remain open-minded about the proposed new competition."


No doubt the board will go down the blackmail route if members are remotely against the new Twenty20 tournament. Yorkshire members should have the right to vote for or against the new Twenty20 proposals.

Members should have every right to voice their concerns about the new Twenty20 competition as the proposals only marginalise County Cricket. Already the County Championship is reduced by 2 matches, which was designed to ease fixture congestion and pace bowlers workloads but the schedule looks as congested as ever. Next the 50 over competition is being devalued as the best players are either on England duty or playing in the flagship T20 tournament.

At the end of the day, we are Yorkshire COUNTY CRICKET Club and not a feeder club of the ECB.

 
 
Steve C
(Login stevecowton)
Assistant Moderator

Re: AGM

February 26 2017, 8:18 PM 

Well my suspicion is that at some point the debt will be reduced or written off altogether.
Colin Graves is no idiot. This wasnt a commercial agreement - i think he knows that the club will never be able to repay £25m.
I wonder what it says in Colin's will.....

 
 
JollyD
(Login JollyD)

AGM

February 26 2017, 10:23 PM 

The question was raised rather delicately some years ago at an AGM. Mr. Graves replied that this eventuality was covered. In any case, the debt has been transferred subsequently to a Graves family trust to avoid a conflict of interest, so there should be no cause for concern on this account.

 
 
Martin
(Login Martinh00)

Re: AGM

February 27 2017, 10:48 AM 

Yes, we have had a discussion on this before. Whatever our views about Graves, if he wanted to maximise his return on the money he wouldn't be lending it to the club - he would be investing in the stock market or buying property. I think Graves wanted the club to stand on its own two feet, but when push comes to shove I cant seem him allowing the club to go under.

 
 
WS55
(Login WibseySimon55)

Re: AGM

February 28 2017, 5:12 PM 

A couple of points.

First, From Reading The Annual Report:

The Club continues to be well-managed financially. A balanced reading of the three key financial statements -- Balance Sheet, Income and Expenditure Account, and Cash Flow Statement -- entirely justifies the opening line with which the Director of Finance opens his report: "Financially 2016 has continued to show a steady improvement over previous years."

The good points:
1) EBITDA was over £ 1 million -- probably for the first time ever.
2) The capital write-off and interest deals with Leeds City Council and HSBC last year put us in a much better structural position for debt service.
3) The bank's willingness to hold £ 3 million of our debt, at 2.5%, with capital repayment deferred until Oct 2018 indicates their confidence in the club's finances. Unless things change radically, it probably also indicates their willingness to roll that debt over after Oct 2018 - this does not represent a 'cliff edge' that we face at that time. If they won't, a competitor bank almost certainly will.

4) Not strictly a financial matter, but one other good point is the way that Domestic ticket sales are now a much more important part of our revenues than they were four years ago. These have increased steadily and significantly from £442,000 to £1 million. In the same period, international ticket sales have increased only a little -- from £2.2 million to £2.4 million. In other words, a few years ago Test match revenues were FIVE TIMES more important than Yorkshire's own games -- but now they are just two and a bit times more important. If you add Members' subs -- you and me, and all the members who value YCCC way ahead of the national team -- that is now another £ 3/4 million that can be put in the 'Domestic' column. The Tests are still crucial to our financial stability, but these things have gone in the right direction from our point of view, not the wrong direction.

The bad points:
1) Cash flow was negative over the full year 2016. There are specific reasons for this, and it is well within bounds of normal prudent cash management. Still, it's nicer to end a year with cash at the bank than with an overdraft.
2) The number of non-playing full time staff increased by four over the year. Salaries and associated costs (NI & pension contributions) are the majority of YCCC's costs. If we were just two or three salaries lighter it would make a big difference to the bottom line. The CEO and CFO need to focus on this, and not to let non-playing staff numbers creep up just because there is a bit of financial leeway.
3) Our commercial income (sponsorships etc.) has not increased
4) We depend heavily on ECB money, to the tune of £ 2.6 million last year, which has increased substantially since 2013.


Second, A Note On The Graves Trust Position:

Not quite true that "if (Mr Graves) wanted to maximise his return ... he wouldn't be lending it to the club", as Martin suggests above. The Graves family BOTH makes money out of the club AND has leverage over the future ownership.

Of note is that £13.4 million of the Graves loan pays interest of 4.625%. That is a cash income of £619,000 per year. A further £5.5 million Graves loan is interest free. So the weighted average interest on the Graves' loans is just over 3.25 percent. That is a very decent return in today's interest rate environment, for a loan that is fully-secured (by the legal charge over the ground, which it shares with HSBC). I expect (but do not know) that the Graves Family Trust has other assets -- property, stocks and shares, perhaps other commercial bonds. A commercial bond like this, secured and paying an acceptable interest rate, probably makes up part of a good balanced portfolio. It is not charity, and while Mr Graves is and has been an important benefactor of the Club, we should note that this is now on a commercial basis.

The term of the loan -- capital repayment of the £13.4 million envisaged by end 2020 (the Accounts are silent on repayment for the zero-interest loan) -- seems to imply only one of three options. A) The loan is renewed in 2019 and 2020. Perfectly possible, as long as the interest rates remains acceptable (see above) which will depend on conditions at the time. B) Someone else provides an equivalent loan, or grant to pay it off. C) The Graves Family Trust converts its debt to equity, buying out the Members' ownership of the Club and receiving a future stream of (uncertain or zero) dividends instead of the £600,000 interest. Buying out Members would be pretty damn easy as there is a 'Capital Redemption Reserve' which can easily cover the nominal value of 5 penny shares for each of the 4,000+ members. in order for our shares to have more value than that, we would have to vote to sell Headingley. Pretty unlikely.


Accountants on the Forum may be able to add to my perspective or to correct errors and oversights. I'd be pleased to see such corrections. I am not an accountant, just a careful reader of the information the Club provides, concerned to keep an eye on the long-term health of YCCC and the county championship.

 
 
David
(Login dikaiopolis)

"Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future" - YP

March 1 2017, 9:31 AM 

Article in the Yorkshire Post:http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/cricket/headingley-needs-leap-of-faith-to-secure-its-future-1-8414672

I'm sure this is deliberately downbeat to try to stir up the Powers That Be to sort out the funding for the new stand, but still alarming.

 
 
Tyke1950
(Login Tyke1950)

Re: "Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future" - YP

March 1 2017, 12:47 PM 

If, as reported, delays in the building of the new stand means Headingley may not host one of the eight 'franchise' teams, then my grief would be extremely restrained!

 
 
Martin
(Login Martinh00)

Re: "Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future" - YP

March 1 2017, 12:58 PM 

I just hope that the club have moved away from seeing Leeds City Council as the key to unlocking the new stand. The planning arrangement on the table was always a bit of a flight of fancy (and the delays weren't really anything out of the ordinary for schemes such as these), and I cannot see the Council dipping into Council Tax Payers pockets again. Funding will have to be found in another way. Easier said than done we know!

 
 
Ball Sup (Phil)
(Login ball_sup)

Re: &quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&quot; - YP

March 1 2017, 2:41 PM 

I was a little confused by the YP article.
Do "we" want Leeds Council to approve the building plans, so that we can finance the New Stand ourselves?
Or do "we" want Leeds Council to come up with some money for us as well?
As it happens, I'm not minded to sway from my long held position.
1. It's all fundamentally mad. We are told - YCCC need to pay for a New Stand so that supporters of two other cricket teams (England & New T20 Franchise) can sit in it.
2. No mate, THEY need to pay for it (is my view).
3. I subscribe to cock up (not conspiracy). When the ECB implored Counties to upgrade Test Match Ground facilities & capacities, they never for one moment intended to drive Counties like Durham & YCCC into unsustainable debt. But, that has been an unfortunate & (go on then, I'll help them out) unforeseen consequence.
4. That needs to be said to the ECB. (They can have my words for free). And, a way needs to be found that does not drive Counties into debt or Sugar Daddies.
5. The cycle of Blackmail - take on debt to upgrade, or this other team won't play at your ground - needs to end.
6. It cannot be endless - upgrade for the next World Cup, upgrade for the next Ashes, upgrade for new Franchise T20.
7. If the ECB won't call a halt - I'm happy for YCCC to do so.

You can't vote for my proposals at the AGM.
You can't vote for me at the AGM.
You can, however, vote for more of the same.

 
 
Idle Man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: &quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&quot; - YP

March 1 2017, 2:59 PM 

Phil, I agree with so much of that. However...

It's not YCCC's games, but those of the two visitors, England and the t20 circus, that will make the club any big money. So we have to do whatever it takes to get them in the ground.

Superficially at least, I was very attracted to the opposite approach, a scaled down set-up which aimed to cater for county cricket in all its forms and no more. Not every club without international cricket is facing financial crisis. However, we have embarked on the development+debt policy instead, and I'm not sure now there's much alternative to gritting our teeth and keeping going. God and Graves (if they aren't the same bloke) help us.

 
 
Ball Sup (Phil)
(Login ball_sup)

Re: &amp;quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&amp;quot; - YP

March 1 2017, 3:52 PM 

Idle Man
Here are my Demands.....
Have YCCC written to the ECB & told them that they feel taking on more debt to build a new stand is not financially viable & puts the future of the Club at risk?
Publish that & the ECB response.
Do YCCC support the current situation? Counties spend money bidding for International Cricket they might not win. Should they win the bid, they have to pay the ECB to send their team to our ground. In the hope of making enough on ticket & hospitality to cover the cost of bidding & the fee to the ECB. The financial risk is all with the bidding Counties. Do YCCC support that business model? If they do, then say that unequivocally.

If they do not support that business model - then say so, & publish.
If they do not support that business model - practice what they preach & stop using essentially the same model with Scarborough Cricket Club.
If they do not support that business model - then develop & publish alternatives.

.... demands end....

I'm with you... ECB & New T20 Cricket look like the only income generators in town. What we need is a more collaborative, back scratching arrangement.

Income. All revenue from ECB & New T20 Cricket goes into one pot. All money. TV deals, sponsorship, ground advertising, ticket sales, food & drink, hospitality.
Expenditure. All ECB & New T20 promotion, operating & match expenses - including player salaries for those ECB & New T20 games - are paid out of that pot.
Profit. Should be used for a) funding County Cricket & b) developing International Match grounds.

The basic principal should be that the Profit should be shared equally among the 18 Counties to some simple algorithm. (There is a tweak needed to take account of the non-First Class & Recreational game).

The first issue there is that some Counties provide more ECB & New T20 Cricketers than others - so the share algorithm has to take account of that -more players developed, more money.
The second issue is that some Counties provide the Grounds that those games are played on - those Counties should be paid "rent" for loaning their ground to the ECB & New T20 Franchises. How groundbreaking is that? Not very. "Hello, it's the ECB here, we need to play a game, but haven't got a ground. Can we borrow yours? We'll pay a fair whack".

The ECB should take a simple position - "It has never been our intention to drive Counties into Debt, or away from Members into the hands of private individuals. We are calling a Moratorium. Our new approach will be that we all live within our means, but that money made by the game, stays in the game. We will all share the cost of developing grounds & we will all share in the profits made at those grounds."

Sorry - recap - if YCCC agree with the current model - WE pay to see whether WE pay for THEM to play - then let's say so.
If not, then let's hear our alternatives.
And, above , you see the basics of my alternative.

Instead, we're anchored in Arthur's it is what it is, Debt or Die world.


    
This message has been edited by ball_sup on Mar 1, 2017 3:54 PM


 
 
WS55
(Login WibseySimon55)

Re: &amp;quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&amp;quot; - YP

March 1 2017, 6:23 PM 

Phil, this is excellent.

We should find a way of constructing it into a serious proposal.

At the moment, there isn't an alternative out there. No-one is putting something like this on the table to be looked at.

Graves isn't a fool, and no reason to suppose rest of ECB are either.

Why wouldn't they look at a Plan B, if it was presented to them courteously, credibly?


 
 
Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: &amp;quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&amp;quot; - YP

March 1 2017, 6:45 PM 

The YP article mentions a figure of £38m? Seems very pricey to develop just one stand, even if that means demolishing the existing structure and re-building from scratch. And what about Leeds Rugby`s share, or is the £38m just what we need to find?

It seems to be to be a circle that can never be squared. We borrow money and get ourselves into debt to ensure we get test matches and the revenue, as without it, we can not service the debt. Then we borrow even more to upgrade the stadium to make sure we retain the tests and get ourselves even further into debt. If only we had not started on this path many years ago, but now we have, we have no choice but to continue along the path, but appear to have no chance of ever squaring the circle or ever getting ourselves out of debt. I am not happy that every year ad infinitum that £700,000 of interest charges leaves the clubs accounts. Whoever it is to - CG, Leeds Council or the banks, it is still the same amount.

Phil`s ideas are excellent and definately worth considering and could well be the way out of our dilemma.

 
 
YorkTyke
(Login YorkTyke)

Re: &amp;quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&amp;quot; - YP

March 1 2017, 7:41 PM 

Colin Graves has already publicly said that the current system of allocating international matches to grounds (where the counties take all the financial risk) is wrong and has to change. The likelihood is that after 2019 the system will revert back to the old one of counties being asked to bid to stage internationals for a set period (say 5 years) provided they meet a criteria set out by the ECB. This criteria is likely to be weighted towards provision of facilities for players and spectators, quality of pitches etc (not who gives most money to the ECB) as it was before. If Yorkshire wish to continue to stage international matches post 2019 then they are going to have continue to improve Headingley as Mark Arthur has previously said.

 
 
Ball Sup (Phil)
(Login ball_sup)

Re: &amp;quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&amp;quot; - YP

March 1 2017, 8:38 PM 

I have no facts to back me up.....
Surely ANY County who "must" improve their ground hasn't got the money in the Bank to do that.
So, the only options are Debt, Daddy or Taxpayer.
Counties cannot service Debt
Daddy will Die

Is that what the ECB want?
There is no ICC Requirement on Ground Standards - or if there is, the p**s is being taken.
The last three series I've been to have been in India, South Africa & UAE.
Take it from me. All grounds, in all those countries are falling to bits.
OK, in the UK we have Safety Standards & maybe different expectations.
OK, there need to be acceptable media & player facilities. And the pitches & equipment need to be up to scratch.
But, Grounds should only be "improved" if the Counties can afford to do that - and they can't.

Decisions on which grounds get International Cricket must be criteria based - and one criteria is whether the County will be able to pay for the improvements "needed".
Is this thing switched on?........
If the ECB need a ground to be up to their self created requirements for their team to play on & the County who "own" the ground can't afford the improvements, the ECB should pay.

Phil

 
 
Sid
(Login sid-don)
Assistant Moderator

Re: &amp;quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&amp;quot; - YP

March 1 2017, 9:55 PM 

Outstanding stuff from Phil. Not sure if you're a man for committees but you've got my vote.

Perhaps one for Simon55, however do the headline figures (turnover, costs, profit) compare with similar counties, say Notts, Lancs, Warks? If we exclude debt repayment for these four counties, are we operating as efficiently as the others?



    
This message has been edited by sid-don on Mar 1, 2017 9:59 PM


 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: &amp;quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&amp;quot; - YP

March 2 2017, 8:07 AM 

And why can't counties afford to improve their grounds themselves? Because they are constantly deprived of their star players they have developed themselves who would put more bums on seats and who would help generate more cash.

But they are lost to international cricket, rested or doing other duties away from their counties.

True, it might also be the case overseas.

But in football the big teams can get over 50000 punters for a home game as unless it's the FA Cup they will see a team of stars and internationals.

In cricket you get to see the reserves more often than not.

So the teams who end up hogging the star names are the ones who should be footing the bill to raise standards at grounds. England, franchises, etc should look to improve grounds for those counties who continue to develop players for them based on track records. This won't just improve the grounds but also the talent pipeline in my view.

 
 
Idle Man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: &amp;quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&amp;quot; - YP

March 2 2017, 9:21 AM 

I've a lot of sympathy TU, but I really don't think the presence of Joe Root and JB would turn a crowd of 3,000 into the sort of numbers which bring in big money.

 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: &amp;quot;Headingley needs ‘leap of faith’ to secure its future&amp;quot; - YP

March 2 2017, 11:24 AM 

It might if there was far less international cricket for fans to watch them play. The cream rises to the top, they then milk it for all their glory and eventually kill the goose that first laid the golden eggs.

A good ad slogan for a dairy perhaps.....

 
 
Pyrahtechnics
(Login Pyrahtechnics)

Alternative T20 Proposal

March 11 2017, 2:07 AM 

Referring back to what Phil and Wibsey Simon have said in making an alternative propsoal in the AGM, I have one in mind.

Sell the County Cricket TV, Media and Image Rights as a separate entity (i.e. The Natwest T20 Blast)

When the original TV rights was drawn up in 2005, Domestic Cricket TV rights was included with the England Cricket TV rights to make it an attractive package to bSKYb. Back then Twenty20 was in it's infancy as a competition - IPL and World Twenty20 did not exist for starters.

The ECB offering Counties £1.3 Million per year in exchange for image rights is a poor deal in the current market. I reckon the Natwest T20 Blast is worth more than £23.4 Million per year as a competition.

The T20 Blast is a good product - Friday night cricket for 3 months outside the football season. Not only it has increased attendances at County grounds, but it is a potential broadcasters dream who need something to fill the viewing slots. Surely broadcasters would prefer to have a 3 month long tournament rather than a 6 week one, especially when the British weather is a fickle beast.

BT Sport have paid £80 Million over 5 years to Cricket Australia for Big Bash and Australia Home International TV rights. A similar TV deal would generate £1 Million for Counties just for Domestic TV rights. Then there is the International market, especially when most Test Nations are relatively quiet between May and August, which enhances the TV deal further.

Like the Big Bash, a handful of matches could be shown on free to air television to give Counties additional exposure, increase value of title sponsorships and further increase attendances.

The County image rights themselves are also worth a fair bit - for example fixture lists, results and match statistics which will be of use to companies with an online presence, particularly betting.

Rather than let the ECB elite dictate offerings, County chairmen should get together and realise the marketable value of County Cricket.





 
 
 
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