Covid-19 crisis: Cricket Australia announces more job cuts, cost reductions

Interim Chief Executive Nick Hockley said the temporary and permanent changes to Cricket Australia's cost base would help cricket cope with the short-term impact of Covid-19.
Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday detailed a program of operational changes that, according to them, will deliver significant savings in response to the rapidly evolving Covid-19 situation while ensuring the long-term sustainability and growth of the game.


According to the official CA statement, 40 more jobs would be lost, taking the total tally to 200 since the crisis began in March. The Australian cricket board has also slashed 40 million dollars from its annual budget.


"The amended FY21 (2020-21 financial year) plan presented to staff today identifies cost reductions of approximately $40 million a year to partly mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on revenue and other factors such as biosecurity costs and match attendances," CA said in a statement.


"Regrettably, the plan includes a reduction of 40 roles. The positive impact of the Job Keeper program and an increasingly improved outlook for the season ahead have been recent factors considered in arriving at this final number," the statement added.


CA's FY21 plan ensures that the elite men's and women's teams are appropriately and prudently resourced, including their commitment to support mental health and well-being. The key components of the plan also include continuing the Marsh Sheffield Shield, WNCL and Marsh One-Day Cup in their current formats for the FY20-21 season and maintaining the current number of games for the WBBL and BBL.


However, CA announced the pausing of international tours for Australia A teams, as well as CA XI fixtures for FY21. The body also revealed, "Retaining the U19s male and female representative teams as an important part of the pathway for emerging talent, while pausing male U15s and U17s and female U15s representative teams for FY21."


Moreover, the body will be reducing budgets in areas including administration, travel, marketing, and advertising while cutting all bonuses for senior management and implementing ongoing executive pay reductions.


Cricket Australia Chairman Earl Eddings said with increasing clarity about the impact of Covid-19, they have managed the financial impact on their organisation.


"Throughout Covid-19, the need to work closely with the cricket community and to move quickly as circumstances have changed has never been more important. With increasing clarity about the impact of Covid-19, we have managed the financial impact on our organisation, our people, our partners, and players. There will still be painful decisions for some parts of our organisation, but we have worked hard to carefully develop plans to protect our investment in community cricket and high-performance cricket while ensuring the game's financial sustainability," Eddings said in a statement.


Interim Chief Executive Nick Hockley said the temporary and permanent changes to Cricket Australia's cost base would help cricket cope with the short-term impact of COVID-19 and create a more sustainable financial position to manage four-year cycles that can involve annual revenue swings of $100 million depending on the cricket schedule.


"We are excited about the prospect of cricket returning this summer but are prepared for fewer crowds and higher associated costs of biosecurity measures in addition to the likelihood of incurring borrowing costs rather than investment returns. Taking costs out of the organisation, however painful, helps offset those impacts and we will remain vigilant to changing circumstances," he said.

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