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James
(Login ElTwis)

Re: Finance

March 18 2017, 10:04 PM 

Completely understand the viewpoint of paying off the debt and ensuring a future rather than gambling on future revenue. However, I can't help but be depressed at the thought of no international cricket and no t20 franchise. I'd go so far as to say it's probably shortsighted, if there is an option to finance a new stand, get the England games and the franchise I really think it's worth doing. Cricket is transforming, there won't be the appetite for the county championship in 10 years, County 50 overs competition in 5 years, so where does a debt free club go from there?

Other clubs will have continued to adapt, improve their facilities, and will be so far ahead of us that we won't be able to get the international games back without a massive cash injection to get the ground up to scratch which just brings us back into debt!

I don't know, without understanding the financing options it's very difficult to say with any certainty the best way forward but my gut feeling is to think big.

 
 
Guest
(Login Tyke1950)

Re: Finance

March 18 2017, 10:56 PM 

It's all a bit gloomy I'm afraid, El Twis - for those of us who love County Cricket, anyway.

Don't be too depressed by the thought of no international cricket or no twenty twenty franchise. Most counties have had to live with that reality for a hundred and forty years and despite it, have soldiered on.

Perhaps if it were not in so much debt, YCCC might have felt able to articulate an alternative vision for the future of the game. As it is, instead of leading, it must be supine and tow the ECB line because its Chairman holds the fate of Yorkshire cricket in his hands.

 
 
Steve C
(Login stevecowton)
Assistant Moderator

well

March 19 2017, 10:00 AM 

As usual i'm afraid that i'm going to have to take the opposite view.
This isnt just another little phase in the development of cricket - the entire future of the game is in doubt as we currently recognise it.
I thought Steve Dennison gave a remarkably self-assured and frank performance at the AGM and i was hugely impressed by his grasp of the facts.
No business can stand still i'm afraid. As soon as you stand still you start going backwards in reality. Even as it stands, we couldnt sustain Headingley without International cricket.
Can you really imagine that we could give up Test cricket, shun the new T20 tournament and carry on like Leicester or Northants? I'm afraid those clubs wont exist as professional clubs in ten years time..
Dennison quoted Dickie Bird - and they dont come more traditional than him - who thought that the only surviving Test series in ten years will be the Ashes. How many Test Matches do West Indies or Pakistan play in a year these days..?

If you want people playing professional cricket at Headingley in twenty years time we have no alternative but to improve the ground, maintain Test Match status and opt in for the T20 franchise - and all of the associated ticket, bar and catering income. Its the only game in town i'm afraid - and although Stu and i disagree i think a Franchise scheme would be as successful here as it has been everywhere else.
Yes - the debt is terrifying. But you have to remember who's lending us the money. Neither Colin Graves or Leeds City Council are likely to foreclose any time soon as it wouldnt be in either of their interest to force us out of business.

Ironically - as far as i can see it - we need to increase our debt in order to increase our income and enable us to pay off our existing debt. If we dont maintain Test status we'll never pay off the existing debt in a million years of County cricket...
Dark times gentlemen an di know that some of you will find this unplatable but it seems to me that our Board are steering us along the only possible course...


On a cricketing front - i was disappointed that Moxon didnt formally thank Dizzy for an amazing few years - or pay tribute to Sid as he approaches his final season...

 
 
Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Re: well

March 19 2017, 10:31 AM 

I thought Steve Dennison gave an assured performance too. Unfortunately he either has a very blinkered view, or he was skewing his view to fit the story he wanted to tell.

He spent half the meeting taking the p*** out of Dickie Bird and then quotes him as some great sage who can see into the future when it suited the point he wanted to make.

County cricket, and indeed test cricket, need not die, but it will when it's left to people like him to chart the future.


 
 
Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: well

March 19 2017, 11:24 AM 

A couple of other points. The county based T20 comp was mentioned as being a 3 groups of 6 competition (4 less matches)from 2020, and reference was made to a possible "review" of the 50 over competition by the ECB.

Could be a lot less cricket for us to watch from 2020 onwards.

 
 
Guest
(Login BrickyardBoy)

A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 12:12 PM 

I came away from yesterday's AGM feeling that I was far better informed about the challenges facing the YCCC Board than I was when I went into the meeting. That in itself demonstrates the careful and assured mastery of our Board Chairman and underlines his immense talent at communicating his understanding.

Yes, he has a light touch and without unpleasantness is able to be amusing. As others have noted he is far from being one-dimensional in his assessments; he sees the humour, for example, in quirkier aspects H D Bird's persona, but does not dismiss his equally life-long commitment to cricket (and his insights into the game and its future) just because Dickie can sometimes appear a figure of fun. There is more to Dickie than that, as we discovered during his two outstanding years as club president.

So what did Mr Dennison clarify so well?

Firstly, that domestic cricket in this country is over-dependent on one source of income; the proceeds of broadcasting rights to the Indian sub-continent. With Test cricket in decline (leaving aside England v Australia), that is an unsustainable position; and one which the ECB have rightly identified and set about to remedy.

Secondly, the YCCC Board has understood the nature of the ECB concerns and is working with it and all the other counties to come up with alternative income streams. BUT; and it is a big BUT, YCCC have not committed to any particular solution at this stage. Similarly, doing nothing is not an option; except as one for extinction. Consequently, Mr Dennison is attending ECB Chairmen's meetings and Mark Arthur is attending ECB Chief Executive meetings and both are working with other counties and the ECB to develop a positive response to the potential financial difficulties which have been identified on the horizon.

Thirdly, one such possibility is the proposed 8 team regional T20 competition. Terrestrial television is apparently extremely eager to buy into such a product as it fits well into its scheduling constraints and the various companies are in an intensely competitive struggle to get the contract, which is intended to be a 5 year deal. The product of the deal would be assured income of £1.3m per year for every one of the 18 first class counties, who through the ECB, would maintain control/ownership of the competition.

Fourthly, this new competition would transcend the county structure. It is not aimed at the present "cricket supporter", but rather at a completely new client base, much of which will be a television audience, rather than necessarily a ground-based group of fans. There would be 15 players in each of the 8 squads chosen on a bidding basis from a panel of players. Each squad would have 3 overseas players. As far as I could see from what was said, the scheduling of the competition would avoid conflicting with County Championship cricket.

Fifth, none of this is a "done deal". There is still much to be considered and many factors to be resolved, but it is a model which may just deliver the funding need for the professional game to survive in this country. Obviously, YCCC must be actively engaged in the process of discernment, in order to contribute to the solution and to vouchsafe its own interests.

Sixth, YCCC can either recognise the changing nature of the cricket environment and work with it to secure an outcome in which it has a stable future, or it can stand still and attempt to obstruct. If it opted for the second course, it would be unfaithful to its premier position in English cricket, and it would very likely be alone. "It is very difficult to play cricket with yourself", as Mr Dennison pointedly remarked.

Additionally, YCCC have negotiated an early restoration of catering/hospitality and this will increase the YCCC income considerably.

Mark Arthur explained:

Firstly, that YCCC have now had written confirmation from the ECB that Headingley does not, any longer, meet the facility requirements for international cricket and, unless this is addressed in the very near future, will not be considered in the next round of allocations for international fixtures. The 2019 Test would be the end of international cricket in Yorkshire.

Secondly, the funding of the new N/S Stand has run into problems, because although the leadership of Leeds City Council are in favour of the grant of £4m, the Council as a whole is not at present prepared to proceed. The YCCC Board is, therefore, in careful and on-going discussions with all potentially interested partners, including LCC, with a view to a speedy resolution of this problem.

Thirdly, the new stand would cost in the order of £40m, of which the YCCC liabilty would be about £16.5m. If a financial package can be put in place which would allow the development to go ahead, then under the rules of the Club this would require the formal approval of the membership of the Club and it would be necessary to call an EGM to consider such a proposal.

Finally, it was revealed that the Club had received a bequest, from the estate of my great friend, Michael Plumb, of £70,000.

Was the AGM worth spending a Saturday morning on? It most certainly was!


    
This message has been edited by BrickyardBoy on Mar 19, 2017 12:46 PM


 
 
Guest
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 12:29 PM 

Good summary brickyardboy. Full details of the situation for those who were not there.

Further details of the proposed new comp. and how it will work are in this Cricinfo article. It does impact on CC as it will clash with the 50 over comp which will become a second eleven comp, as the best 96 County players and the England players will not be available and it will be played solely on out grounds.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2017/content/story/1086257.html



    
This message has been edited by StuartRA on Mar 19, 2017 12:34 PM


 
 
Guest
(Login BrickyardBoy)

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 12:40 PM 

Stu

So does that mean that it will impact on both the 50 over comp AND the County Championship OR just on the 50 over comp?

 
 
Steve C
(Login stevecowton)
Assistant Moderator

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 12:44 PM 

Brilliantly summarised Brickyard.
I think the club is in very safe hands with our current chairman.

 
 
Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 1:21 PM 

Brickyardboy

My reading is that it will only impact on the 50 over comp and nothing else. My CC in my earlier posting meant County Cricket, not County Championship.


    
This message has been edited by StuartRA on Mar 19, 2017 1:23 PM


 
 
Guest
(Login sooty-yorkie1)

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 1:31 PM 

A question for those that went, did the agm change your view point on anything of note or did it reinforce your viewpoint?

 
 
Guest
(Login BrickyardBoy)

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 2:01 PM 

sooty-yorkie1:

"A question for those that went, did the agm change your view point on anything of note or did it reinforce your viewpoint".

I am not a fan of T20 as many on this forum will be only too well aware. Consequently, before yesterday I was resistant to any further expansion. Particularly, I had seen it as a threat to what i call "real cricket".

After the meeting, I now understand the rationale behind the proposal; that an alternative income stream has to be identified and I am reasonably assured that the expansion is predicated on the basis of securing the future of all types of cricket. My antipathy has, as a result, been overcome and dependent upon the nature of the final deal, I would now support it. I guess that the journey which I have made replicates that taken by the YCCC Board.

With regard to the N/Stand development I now understand what is going on, and see no alternative to the direction which the Board is taking. I just hope that it is successful.

"The old order changeth, yielding place to new; and God fulfils in many ways lest one good custom should destroy the world". (Or something like that!)

 
 
Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 2:11 PM 

In answer to Sootie-yorkies question.

It did not change my point of view at all. We should not, IMO, be going further in to debt and also still not convinced that crowds for the new tournament will be any greater than for the existing T20 comp. We do not need the new stand, crowds of 13500 (I think - the current capacity without the stand) will be the maximum we will get IF we get a franchise, which of course we will not if we do not find 16.5M from somewhere. Another factor is the tv rights. Yes it could be a fantastic income source, but conversely it will impact on live "crowds" and match day income streams, especially if it is on a non-subscription channel. It just might not be the "money-spinner" the ECB seem to think it will be.

The debate may all be pointless anyway, as the likely hood of us finding someone to lend us a further 16.5m is pretty remote.


    
This message has been edited by StuartRA on Mar 19, 2017 2:20 PM


 
 
Guest
(Login sooty-yorkie1)

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 2:17 PM 

Stu, i don't think that the franchise is dependant on the ground being upgraded, but test matches.

Do you not think there will be greater numbers watching on tv, if as above, if its put on domestic tv and that we'll get greater income from that?

 
 
Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 2:23 PM 

Sootie Yorkie.

It was stated at the AGM, that we would not get a franchise or International matches without the new stand. Not quite sure how correct that is though.

TV rights could mean less attending the ground so less income on the day, but obviously more income from the tv deal, so maybe in the end about the same as now. Any tv deal would be a fixed amount, paid in advance and would not be dependant on the number watching at home, but could knock 3 or 4000 of the ground attendance.


    
This message has been edited by StuartRA on Mar 19, 2017 2:26 PM


 
 
Guest
(Login sooty-yorkie1)

Re: A very informative AGM

March 19 2017, 4:24 PM 

Fair enough, i didn't go to the agm. Its just been stated as international cricket in the press.


t could be but then is aimed at those who more follow cricket than are big supporters. I think virtually all sports that have signed up to big TV deals have done better financially from it. This could bring in less, but i doubt it.

 
 
Tyke1950
(Login Tyke1950)

Re: A very informative AGM

March 20 2017, 12:21 AM 

It sounds as if Mr.Denison has done a very efficient job of echoing the ECB position.

 
 
Ball-Sup (Phil)
(Login ball_sup)

Re: A very informative AGM

March 20 2017, 7:41 AM 

Unfortunately, I didn't attend the AGM. However, with the help of this forum, I do feel I've got a grasp of the issues.

When it boils down to it....

18 Cricket Clubs can't attract enough income from paying customers & media deals. So, they decide to create 8 more Cricket Clubs (to make 26) to solve the problem.

I just can't get behind that plan I'm afraid.

Phil

 
 
Ball-Sup (Phil)
(Login ball_sup)

Re: A very informative AGM

March 20 2017, 7:46 AM 

BrickyardBoy

Thanks for sharing the information about Michael's bequest to the Club. I worked with Michael from 1993 until he retired. I choked up when I read your report. What a thing for the Silly Old Goat to do. Salute.

Phil

 
 
James
(Login ElTwis)

Re: A very informative AGM

March 20 2017, 11:08 AM 

Phil - come on, you know full well that's not the situation. 8 new teams playing in a completely new tournament. Do you honestly believe that won't attract further income?

 
 
 
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