Board of Control for Cricket in India’s revenue sharing formula prescribes a 26% share to the players. However, the BCCI does not apply this to the players’ income from its major revenue source – the broadcast rights. They are effectively getting a mere 8% from the broadcast rights income.
The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators has discovered that the Indian cricketers get just about 8% of BCCI’s gross revenue as salaries and bonuses, according to a Times of India report.
The 26% revenue – earmarked for players – is meant to be split as 13% for international players, 10.6% for domestic players and the rest for women and junior cricketers.
The decision for the 26% revenue-sharing formula was arrived at after long deliberations between the board officials and two veteran cricketers Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid. The BCCI general body in 2001 had adopted to clear the resolution, which was finally put into place in 2004 by then BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya.
The report, quoting sources, reveals that BCCI doles out 70% of its gross revenue to the State Associations. The players are paid 26% of the remaining 30% of gross revenue, and not from the entire gross revenue. The amount left over is used for stadium construction, infrastructure maintenance and running of the board administration.
“The CoA has been trying to change the formula for a long time to give players more, but the members are not willing. The cricketers are making a small share. The bigger problem is that the board members who are spending the 70% are unwilling to share details with the CoA. Whenever the CoA points fingers at them, they keep saying that it is their money,” ToI has quoted a top BCCI source as saying.
The revenue share formula though gives BCCI an advantage to deduct TV production cost from the media rights revenue. Of the remaining income 26% is prescribed for the players. But the board subtracts 70% after deducting the production cost and this significantly reduces the revenue pool meant for the players.
However, a senior BCCI member, talking to insidesport.co defends the BCCI decision. “The decision was taken by the general body in the best interests of the game. Money going to State associations is ultimately used in the interest of the players. BCCI might be the supreme body, but it is the State associations which run the game in the country. Think in a bigger perspective. The infrastructure and competition players need to reach the level where they become eligible for this revenue is created by the State Associations. Should we compromise with the interest of the next generation of players? Should we ignore cricket nurseries?,” said the veteran administrator, who was part of the board GM to determine the revenue sharing.
CoA’s hands are tied because the decision to dole out cricketers’ salaries from the gross revenue is a general body decision and, until a BCCI special general meeting doesn’t take a call, this discrepancy cannot be rectified.
Further, till an SGM decides the payment structure, the annual contracts of players, selectors, coaches and support staff, which are renewed during the annual general body meeting, cannot be looked at, the source said. The Indian team’s contracts ran out on September 30 this year. Right now, the men in blue are playing without contracts, the report read.
When TOI reached out to top board officials, they agreed that players weren’t being paid as per the formula defined by the BCCI general body resolution. But they argued that a player like Virat Kohli can earn nearly Rs 200 crore per year from BCCI, the IPL and endorsement contracts. However, of the 100-odd Indian cricketers in the IPL, only 15 to 20 are in the crorepati club; most fall in the Rs 10 lakh and Rs 20 lakh categories.
“If cricketers are paid as per the original ratio, they could be banned from doing personal endorsements, like the Australian cricketers. If today the top cricketers are making between Rs 100 crore and Rs 150 crore per year through endorsements, it is because there is no restriction from BCCI,” a top board official said, adding that the state bodies would not agree to give Indian cricketers more money.
Sources said the current BCCI regime has again worked out the same ratio (26% of 30%) for cricketers this year, which is yet to be cleared formally by the BCCI finance committee. But the CoA isn’t on the same page with board officials. According to sources, the CoA wants a formal adoption of a new “Fund Disbursement Policy” that will take care of cricketers’ demands for pay hikes.
“One of the recommendations of the Hon’ble Justice of Lodha Committee, which has been accepted by the SC, is that disbursement of funds by BCCI for cricket development need not be uniform but can depend on need, infrastructure and other relevant criteria, formalised as a clear and equitable policy to incentivise members to develop the sport,” CoA had written to board members in June this year. But this appears to have been ignored by the board because it has not been discussed at any SGM since June.