Middlesex Cricket’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cornish, has today, Thursday 16th March 2023, issued a statement to its members in response to the publication of an article in the Daily Telegraph yesterday, which focussed on the Club’s current financial position. This statement is as follows:
As you may have seen, the Daily Telegraph yesterday published an article which focussed on the financial position of Middlesex Cricket, highlighting the ongoing discussions the Club has been in with the England and Wales Cricket Board in relation to this matter.
For the sake of clarity, I wanted to address all members with a statement to offer some background and context to the historic and current situation.
In essence, the content of the article is an accurate depiction of the financial difficulties the Club has experienced since early 2020 when the Covid pandemic hit, which were then further impacted by the resolution to the historic pension shortfalls that were discovered and subsequently addressed. However none of this is new news.
Losses have been significant, the accounts are filed publicly for all to see, as well as being sent to all members and discussed at the AGM, so there is no hiding away from the fact that the last two years have been an extremely challenging time for Middlesex Cricket.
As I have said, none of this is news to Middlesex members, as throughout this time, through regularly discussing the financial difficulties facing the Club at Annual General Meetings, Members’ Forums, in published statements from the Club, and in interviews conducted and published by the Club, we have made every effort to ensure that this has been conveyed to you in as transparent and open manner as possible.
Again, as the Telegraph article quite rightly stated, the financial landscape at Middlesex today couldn’t look any more different to how it did two years ago, as the measures that we have put in place as a Club take effect and as the understanding we now have of our financial position and the practices we employ as standard enables us to operate with far more efficiency than ever before. If we can achieve our 2023 forecasts, then the profit (loss) improvement over a 36-month period will be in excess of £1million.
Which brings me on to the matter of why the ECB are so involved in this process.
The revenue Middlesex receives from the governing body is significantly higher as a percentage of its income as a Club than it is at other counties, effectively meaning that we are much more reliant on the revenue that the ECB provides through its broadcast deals than our counterparts at other venues. This difference comes about due to us not owning our own ground and therefore being unable to stage profitable non-cricket events, which some might view as a blessing.
With such a vested interest in protecting the future wellbeing of the English game, and the counties that are the stakeholders in it, it is only right that open and honest discussions are being had between both organisations to ensure that there is an understanding of our position.
We are grateful for the assistance and help the ECB are providing to the Club throughout this process and will continue to liaise with them closely on this matter moving forwards. They are assured and encouraged that the financial position of the Club at this point is far more encouraging than previously. However, whilst unlike many other counties we have no debt, we also have minimal assets and that leaves our cashflow potentially exposed to the seasonality of cricket, hence our need as responsible Directors to ensure the Club has contingency plans in the event of a ‘rainy day’ - if you’ll forgive the pun.
For the first time in many years, the Club is forecasting making a profit in 2023, which is an enormous turnaround from where we were just two years ago, and with ongoing financial rigor we have in place are optimistic that the worst is certainly behind us. That said, there will undoubtedly be further challenges ahead of us, of that I am sure, however I would like to assure all our members that we are confident that the Club is looking at a future of both stability and long-term growth.
Our members have remained incredibly supportive of us through the difficulties of the Covid pandemic and in the time since, through some extremely challenging times, with little or no drop off in the volume of members remaining loyal to the Club, for which we are eternally grateful. We can now look forward to building from here and to hopefully bringing you the success that you deserve.
I am disappointed that we were unable to have this conversation in the first instance with you in person when we meet at the Club’s AGM in early April, however with the media making this announcement now through their channels, I wanted to offer this statement to ensure that our members are abreast of the position we are in. I could have chosen not to speak to the media, but in all probability, they would have run a story anyway, and as we have ‘nothing to hide’, the Communications team and I felt it best to present our side of the story.
We will of course have further discussions around this no doubt when we meet in early April at the AGM, and we look forward to seeing you all over the months ahead when we can finally get down to watching some cricket.
Chief Executive Officer, Middlesex Cricket