Anyone else a little disturbed at the financial pictures being revealed around the county circuit at present?
While we've not yet heard Derbyshire's final tally, we know that a 'modest' profit has been returned (for that, we salute everyone at the County Ground). That is far from the case around the country, however.
Leicestershire lost £250K. Kent's figures will 'not be great', while county champions Warwickshire lost £668K. Teletext announced that it came after profits of £327K in 2011, though it somewhat misses the point. That profit was the result of a one-off land sale at Edgbaston, without which they would have made another loss of some magnitude.
It is not all bad news. By trimming £350K from their costs, Northants made a modest £22K profit, while
Somerset returned a handsome profit, courtesy of a big and growing membership. It is good to see, but the word on the street is that there are others due to announce losses that are not far short of catastrophic.
It's ironic to a point that some of the biggest clubs are in the greatest difficulty, but many of them are living way beyond their means. From the size of their staffs to the salaries paid to entice players from other counties; from the amount spent to attain international ground status to the ongoing expense of maintaining them.
Whether they like it or not, counties are going to have to look at counties like Derbyshire and how they have consistently ended on the right side of the line in recent summers. Worcestershire ended up with a surplus of over £200K in the summer just ended, but there's again factors to consider. They made the money from a land lease and cannot count on such income every summer.
As Derbyshire realised a few summers back, turning the club into a 365 days a year enterprise is crucial to ongoing success. A great appeal of the plans for the new ground is that it will give them even greater conference and function capacity, as well as vastly improved media facilities. Both are essential if the club is to continue to progress and the sooner that others realise it is the way to go the better.
See you during the week.