Australia ditching 'crystal ball' for new funding model

Australia ditching 'crystal ball' for new funding model

Australia's cricket board said on Tuesday it has given up trying to use a "crystal ball" to predict the impact of COVID-19 on revenues and is drawing up a new model after a backlash from state associations over proposed funding cuts.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Ashes test match - Australia v England - SCG, Sydney, Australia
FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Ashes test match - Australia v England - SCG, Sydney, Australia, January 5, 2018. Australia's captain Steve Smith celebrates after taking a catch to dismiss England's Dawid Malan during the second day of the fifth Ashes cricket test match. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

MELBOURNE: Australia's cricket board said on Tuesday it has given up trying to use a "crystal ball" to predict the impact of COVID-19 on revenues and is drawing up a new model after a backlash from state associations over proposed funding cuts.

Former Cricket Australia Chief Executive Kevin Roberts tried to ram through swingeing cuts based on grim projections but met stiff resistance from states unconvinced by doomsday scenarios.

Roberts resigned last month after losing the support of the board and his interim replacement, Nick Hockley, said on Tuesday CA had ditched the "pre-emptive" approach to modelling revenues.

"We’ve sought to take on feedback on this," he told reporters on a video call.

"We’re having … a very different approach.

"It’s a completely transparent model based on what does actually transpire this summer.

"It’s a flexible model that varies depending on how revenues are actually impacted in the future ... There’s further discussions to be had but certainly there’s good support from the majority of states and territories."

While COVID-19 hit at the end of the Australian season and the board stands to net an estimated AUS$400 million (221.66 million pounds) in revenue from India's tour in the home summer, CA has not been immune to the effects of the pandemic.

The postponement of the Twenty20 World Cup, which was to be staged in Australia in October and November, will mean some AUS$20 million less in the board's coffers in 2020, CA has estimated.

The potential loss of ticket revenues from crowd restrictions and expenditure on biosecurity arrangements could cost another AUS$60 million, Roberts said in May.

"There are still a whole range of outcomes and it is going to be really complicated," Hockley said.

"In many ways we’ve been exceptionally fortunate as compared to our friends in the northern hemisphere ... So I’d like to think there’s a sensible way through it."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: Reuters

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