The England and Wales Cricket Board today announced that Durham County Cricket Club has accepted an offer of significant additional financial support from ECB in order to manage current and historic debt and revenue issues.
ECB has been working with the Board and Chief Executive of the County and its stakeholders throughout 2016 in order to ensure that Durham could address their financial issues. This support has included advancing an annual fee payment of £1.294 million. There has been no direct investment to date.
The £3.8 million financial aid package – which has been approved by the ECB Board and accepted by the Board of Durham CCC - will allow the club to meet on-going salary, HMRC and operating costs, settle a substantial debt to a secured creditor and focus on the restructuring and future sustainability of the County Cricket Club.
The conditions and sanctions that have been agreed within the new financial arrangement are:
- COMPETITION: Durham will be relegated to Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship and start the 2017 season with a 48-point penalty in this competition. As a result of this decision, Hampshire will remain in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship, in accordance with ECB’s competition regulations. Durham will also start the 2017 season with a four-point penalty in the NatWest T20 Blast and a two-point penalty in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
- FINANCIAL & GOVERNANCE: All non-player related ECB competition prize money due to Durham for the 2016 season to be refunded to ECB or withheld until all debts owed by the club to ECB have been settled. The club will also not carry out any future capital redevelopment works without ECB’s prior agreement.
- SALARY CAP: Durham to be subject to a revised salary cap from April 2017 to April 2020 under the ECB’s Team Salary Payment (TSP) Regulations, set at a level to be determined annually by the ECB Board.
Within the package, the ECB Board has agreed to set off £2 million of the club’s existing debt to the ECB after the club accepted it would no longer be eligible to apply to stage Test Match cricket at Emirates Riverside. The club will continue to be eligible to host one-day international and T20 international cricket.
Confirming the financial aid package and future plans, ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said:
“We’ve been working with Durham County Cricket Club throughout the year on how best to address their financial issues; we welcome the club’s willingness to review its business model and management structures.
“There is no doubt that a strong, financially robust Durham County Cricket Club has a vital role to play in developing England talent, enriching our domestic competitions and underpinning the wider growth of the game in the north east.
“The financial package and associated conditions approved by the ECB Board reflect the unprecedented seriousness of Durham County Cricket Club’s financial situation. To help them through these difficulties and continue as a First Class County, this had to be addressed with immediate, practical financial assistance.
“We also have a wider responsibility to the whole game and need strong deterrents in place to preserve the game’s integrity and financial stability.
“Durham have made a strong contribution to the game as a First Class County, through domestic competitions, local participation and producing fine England players. We now look forward to working productively with the new Board of Directors in the restructured company and supporting a healthy future for Durham County Cricket Club and the game in the north-east.”
A Durham County Cricket Club spokesman added: "The Durham County Cricket Club Board welcomes the ECB’s long-term commitment to safeguarding First Class Cricket in the North East."