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From the CEO’s chair

Monday 7th March 2011

Another Sunday, another thrilling England World Cup match. What a fight back from the England bowlers – having looked as good as finished after 10 overs. Thank goodness, because another defeat after the loss to Ireland would have left hopes hanging by a thread.

The Ireland result was particularly painful for me – I have recently gained an Irish brother-in-law who, of course, was quick to make sure I had heard the score, I also have cousins in Co. Tipperary who play Club Cricket – multiple Facebook posts from them of course. Great for the development of Irish Cricket though.

There has been much talk of the Fixture Scheduling Meeting at Lord’s last week. Rather predictably it failed to reach a conclusion, although there is a desire to make a decision at the next meeting of the ECB Board on 22 March. All counties will be asked to complete a questionnaire stating their Club’s view ahead of this meeting.

Accepting that the volume of cricket currently in the programme is too high, it is a terribly difficult decision to make. Were the game in rude financial health the priority would, of course, be to ensure that the County Championship remains untouched. Most counties, however, are announcing huge losses for 2010, and so to turn up revenue generating opportunities seems dangerous (the Test Match grounds argue that staging costs outweigh the benefit of extra Twenty20 matches).

This week the Club announces a profit for 2010 of nearly £4.0 million (before tax). These profits have been generated through the sale of land at the St Lawrence Ground, and have enabled the start of the redevelopment project. These must be seen though against an operating loss of just over £595,000. Finally agreeing the sale of land was a landmark moment for the Club and these results reflect that. They do emphasise, however, that we must now maximise the use of the new assets.

Everyone involved with the Club is determined to turn the operating losses around. We continue to drive costs down and go hard after revenue generating opportunities. Most of all we continue to work to get all in the County behind the Club. The more we can encourage people to come and support their club the easier the task will be, and given the improvements we are making to the St Lawrence there are plenty of reasons to come to the St Lawrence in 2011.

Finally, a word of thanks to the Yellow Shirt Brigade – a team of supporters keen to help – they have been a tremendous support to the Club in recent years. Over the last few weeks they have completed the stuffing of envelopes for the Members’ mailing. No small task and one that would take up considerable time without their wonderful help. A reminder to me that the Club is special and that it attracts some great people to support it.