ECB finances – where our money comes from and where it goes
- The ECB oversees, supports and develops the sport of cricket, in every form and at every level, for adults and children. Our ambition is to grow cricket and make it a game in which everyone can feel welcome and included. By inspiring people to discover and share their passion for cricket, we aim to connect communities and improve lives.
- Because we are effectively a not-for-profit organisation, all of our income goes back into professional and recreational cricket across England and Wales. In order to run and grow the game, we collaborate with and provide funding to many different organisations from the grassroots up, from local cricket clubs and charities to County Cricket Boards (CCBs) and First-Class County Clubs (FCCs). As part of our drive to broaden participation in the game, we also invest in targeted programmes such as the South Asian Action Plan and the Transforming Women’s and Girls’ Cricket Plan, and we fund provision of cricket in thousands of state schools through delivery partners such as Chance to Shine and Lord’s Taverners.
- The scale of the ECB’s ambition and financial commitment to cricket is underpinned by the income that we generate through our commercial activities. Our annual revenue is around £310m, of which around 75% comes from sale of broadcast rights. Most of the remainder is generated through sponsorship, ticket sales and income from the ICC.
- All of this revenue flows back into game, either reinvested in the same year or added to our reserves to fund expenditure in future years. Our largest investment is in supporting the domestic professional game, which accounts for 40% of annual expenditure (£120m).
- Around 15% of annual expenditure (£50m) is invested in running and developing the recreational game, followed by the Men’s, Women’s and Disability England Teams (15%) and The Hundred (15%), the new competition we launched in 2021 and which generates significant revenue for the whole game. The remainder of our expenditure funds ECB central costs and salaries (15%).
- The ECB’s commercial activities generate around £310m of revenue a year. Around 75% of total revenue - £225m - comes from sale of television rights to UK and international broadcasters. The most significant part of this is the ECB’s agreement with Sky, which is locked in until the end of 2028.
- The ECB generates around £85m a year from other revenue sources, including sponsorship, ICC income, the ECB’s share of international ticket sales and a small amount of income from participation programmes and Sport England.
- All of the ECB’s revenue goes back into the game. We reinvest most of our income – around £290m - in the same year to run, grow and broaden the game. The remainder is used to build up ECB reserves to increase the sustainability of cricket: funding investment in future years and increasing resilience against any future disruption or revenue shortfall.
- ECB annual expenditure can be split into 5 categories:
- Our England teams are the pinnacle of the game. They inspire passion and participation and generate the vast majority of the income that underpins the success of cricket at all levels. The margins between success and failure can be narrow.
- The ECB spends £40m a year to fund the England Men’s, Women’s and Disability teams. As well as the salaries of centrally contracted players and the cost of playing home and away, this investment supports our coaching and medical teams, talent development programmes and the National Cricket Performance Centre.
First Class County Cricket and Women’s Domestic Game
- To ensure there is a thriving county network at the heart of the domestic game, the ECB invests around £120m a year supporting First-Class County men’s cricket and the more recently established women’s regional competitions.
- The majority of this (£70m) is through direct grants under the County Partnership Agreement (CPA) to help the FCCs meet their running costs.
- Alongside these direct grants, the ECB provides funding to the FCCs (of around £15m each year) to help meet the growth plans set out in our Inspiring Generations strategy. This includes investment to help the FCCs to improve facilities, develop their talent pathway, build connections with local communities and operate the women’s domestic league.
- In addition, the ECB delivers a range of services that benefit domestic cricket where it is more cost-effective to provide this support centrally for the network as a whole. These centrally funded services cost the ECB around £20m a year to deliver, and include things like marketing of competitions, purchasing of insurance, provision of match officials and digital infrastructure development.
- Established in 2021, the men’s and women’s Hundred competitions generate revenue of around £60m a year for the ECB (from broadcast, ticket sales and sponsorship) and cost around £45m to deliver. This includes the salaries of players and coaches, marketing and digital activity, matchday operations and event presentation.
- In addition to The Hundred fees of £25m distributed to the FCCs as part of the CPA, the venues hosting Hundred teams generate additional revenue from the competition through hosting fees, share of ticket sales , matchday hospitality and retail catering.
- So that cricket can fulfil its positive role across England and Wales, the ECB invests £50m a year supporting recreational cricket, growing participation at the grassroots and creating opportunities for under-represented communities.
- This includes around £30m of funding to County Cricket Boards to support local cricket clubs across the country, and other organisations involved in delivering grassroots cricket and reaching under-served communities (including ACE, Chance to Shine, and Lord’s Taverners). Part of this investment directly funds the delivery of cricket in around 4,000 state schools.
- In addition, the ECB spends around £20m on activity including its national participation programmes (All Stars and Dynamos) – which enable 100,000 girls and boys to pick up a bat and ball each year - and on centrally funded services that support recreational cricket, such as safeguarding, coach development, insurance and digital/ IT infrastructure.
ECB Central Costs
- ECB central costs of £40m a year include support function such as commercial, operations, legal and integrity, finance, marketing and communications, and other core requirements like rent, utilities, insurance and IT.