No one will be proud of this cricket century by the Australian cricket. Since the Cricket Australia’s (CA) drive to control the costs as its response to the Covid19 pandemic, more than 100 people attached with the Australian cricket have lost their jobs in the last two months.
Since the time CA furloughed and reduced 85% salaries of its staff, the unwanted baton now has been passed on to the state associations who one after the other are on cost cutting spree by firing its staff.
After Cricket Victoria, Cricket Tasmania, South Australian Cricket Associaiton – now Queensland Cricket has cut almost a third of its workforce, becoming the latest state association to take drastic action in response to the sport’s financial crisis.
The Queensland governing body has confirmed a restructure will wipe out 32 full- time jobs, equating to about 29 per cent of its staff. The association’s high-performance department will account for the biggest reduction.
Before this, Cricket Victoria recently cut 36 per cent of its workforce, while the South Australian Cricket Association and Cricket Tasmania also announced job losses amid the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this the vast majority of CA staff have been stood down for the rest of the financial year as part of chief executive Kevin Roberts’ cost-cutting mission, with many fearing redundancies are inevitable.
Why now the Australian state cricket associations have started firing their staff ?
CA has passed some of its cost cutting measures to the state associations by reducing their annual revenue shares and grants. CA, having initially pushed to cut states’ funding by 45 per cent amid fears head office will run out of money in August, is seeking to slash grants by 25 per cent. Queensland Cricket and Cricket NSW remain the only states yet to sign off on the new arrangement, but the former noted in Monday’s statement there had been an “acceptance of the inevitable 25 per cent decrease in grants from the national body”.
“This has been an extremely challenging time and our thoughts are foremost with our employees, who have no doubt been living with a high level of uncertainty and anxiety,” Terry Svenson, Chief Executive of Queensland Cricket said in a statement.
“A lot of difficult decisions have been made and we continue to offer support for those employees whose roles have been made redundant.
“In some cases, we have offered employees the opportunity to take on cross-role responsibilities in talent identification, coaching and club support.”
Why is CA finances in mess ?
Why CA is in financial mess, It has become such an enigma which does not have any clear answers. Unlike various other cricket boards, CA has not lost any cricket because of the Covid19 pandemic. None of their commercial partner (broadcasters, sponsors and others) till date has pulled out of any commitments. The revenues and the revenue streams still stay intact, still CA’s CEO decided to create such a panic in the ecosystem that it has resulted in huge job losses.
According to some reports, CA lost substantially in the equity investments due to the falling markets. Also according to some CEO Roberts went on the cost cutting spree as a safeguard to potential cancellation of very lucrative India tour of Australia end of this year. As per the estimates CA stands to gain USD 200 Mn (300Mn Aus dollars) from their media rights partners.
Whatever the reason may be, one thing is clear currently is the Australian cricket eco-system is in tremendous pain with these unwarranted job loses.