ECB confirms huge job cuts; predicts a massive financial shortage  

England and Wales Cricket Board. © Women's CricZone

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a total of 62 jobs cuts and hinted that the organization could suffer a shortage of close to 200m pounds due to the coronavirus pandemic that has created havoc in the world. According to a report in Sky Sports, it is believed the game has already suffered around 100m pounds due to the games played behind closed doors, and the figure is expected to double up if the same continues next season.

Earlier, ECB CEO Tom Harrison had already warned the huge loss amounting to 380 million pounds, ECB would incur in a worst-case scenario due to COVID-19 when he gave evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee in May.

As a result, the board has decided to let go of 20 per cent of the workforce budget equating to 62 positions. Expectedly most of them will be the exiting staff while a few would be ceasing the recruitment to the vacant posts.

“Getting cricket back on this summer – at a recreational, domestic and international level, for both men and women – has been a remarkable achievement by everyone across the game,” Harrison said in a statement. “It has been the result of true partnership in action; across our first-class counties and recreational game, from our broadcast and commercial partners and with government and local public health agencies.

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“When the crisis first hit, the ECB put in place a range of measures to save money in the short term including furloughing staff and significant pay reductions across the organisation, in addition to a recruitment freeze,” he added.

While Harrison has led the way with 25 per cent pay cut which started way back in April while other employees are also receiving salaries 20 to 10 per cent less. The measures will end in October. While England have already hosted West Indies and Pakistan are currently hosting Australia in ODIs.

“I am very proud of the work that has been done by my colleagues across the business and the sacrifices made at a time when we asked them to work harder than ever before, while managing their own personal experiences of COVID.

“It is now an irrefutable fact however, that the impact of this pandemic is significant and will be long-lasting. There is also deep uncertainty about the future, and it is vital we take more steps now to ensure the future financial sustainability of cricket in England and Wales,” Harrison stated.

“The entire cricket network has pulled together to get us through this challenge so far and overcoming it will mean continuing to work in partnership and continuing to make tough decisions as we have done this year. We must reduce the cost base across the game – and that requires the ECB to lead the way by reducing its own cost base.

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“Given this new reality, if we are to safeguard cricket’s long-term future and still deliver on the growth ambitions of our Inspiring Generations strategy, it is clear the ECB will need to become a leaner and more agile organisation.

“It is now an irrefutable fact that the impact of this pandemic is significant and will be long-lasting. There is also deep uncertainty about the future, and it is vital we take more steps now to ensure the future financial sustainability of cricket in England and Wales,” he added.

Harrison also added that ECB has spent the recent weeks reviewing the structure and budgets in order to reduce the central costs without shifting from their ambition.

“We have now shared with colleagues our board-approved proposals, which will generate significant savings. Every part of the ECB is affected by these changes, and these savings will only be possible by reducing our headcount.

“These proposals include a 20 per cent reduction in our workforce budget, which will equate to the removal of 62 roles from our structure – a number which is largely made up of existing headcount and a small number of vacant positions,” he said.

“Additionally, we are also proposing further cost savings by changing a number of current posts into flexible working roles. ECB staff have been informed and a collective consultation will begin imminently.”