Cricket Australia’s (CA) forecast of a near 50% plunge in the revenue that underpins player payments has been met with scepticism by the players’ union, who called for talks to “shine a light” on the board’s calculations.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) said on Thursday that CA had forecast 2020/21 revenues would slump 48% to A$239.7 million ($165.20 million) from their previous forecast of A$461m due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A reduction of approximately 20% was anticipated for the following season’s revenues to A$385.80 million from the previous estimate of A$484 million, the ACA added citing an email sent by CA on Wednesday.
“The ACA expresses a lack of confidence in these reforecasts,” the union said.
Players are paid just over a quarter of the revenues as per their deal in the collecting bargaining agreement with CA.
CA Chief Executive Kevin Roberts said last week the board was facing a shortfall of about A$80 million in revenue due to COVID-19 and there was a high likelihood Australia would not be able to host the Twenty20 World Cup in October-November.
The bleakest scenario looks to have been avoided, however, with India’s lucrative four-test tour, worth an estimated A$300 million in revenue, set to go ahead in the home summer.
The ACA said the new forecasts did not “appear to be reasonable or consistent with an obligation of good faith”.
“From what the ACA has been able to determine so far, cricket is yet to suffer a significant adverse revenue event and the outlook for the game remains positive,” the union added.”If cricket does suffer an adverse financial event in the future — a re-forecast can be provided at this time.”
The ACA said a more formal process of due diligence was now necessary.
CA did not provide immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.