Sept 15 (Reuters) – The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is planning to make 62 positions within the organisation redundant due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, chief executive Tom Harrison said on Tuesday.
With professional cricket in the country suspended for several months due to the coronavirus, Harrison said the game had sustained losses of more than 100 million pounds ($128.92 million).
That figure could rise to 200 million pounds if there is further disruption to the calendar next year.
The sport’s new competition, The Hundred, was expected to add 11 million pounds of revenue to the game in its first year but it was postponed until 2021.
“The entire cricket network has pulled together to get us through this challenge so far and overcoming it will mean continuing to make tough decisions as we have done this year,” Harrison said in a statement.
“Over recent weeks we have thoroughly reviewed the ECB’s structures and budgets in order to reduce central costs without compromising on our ambitions….
“These proposals include a 20% reduction in our workforce budget, which will equate to the removal of 62 roles from our structure.”
The ECB had implemented short-term cost-cutting measures, including furloughing staff, significant pay reductions and a recruitment freeze at the onset of the financial crisis, but Harrison said a long-term solution was required.
“It is an irrefutable fact that the impact of this pandemic is significant and will be long-lasting. There is deep uncertainty about the future and it is vital we take more steps to ensure the future financial sustainability of cricket in England and Wales,” he said.
($1 = 0.7757 pounds) (Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)