Friday 3 September 2010 

Leicestershire Issue Statement In Support Of Chairman

Leicestershire County Cricket Club has issued the following statement to announce changes to the board and continued support for chairman Neil Davidson.

"Leicestershire County Cricket Club announces that Paul Haywood resigned from the Board today. The remaining Board members John Allen, Tony Hill, Mike Siddall and Andrew York together with President, David Wilson confirmed their unanimous support for Chairman, Neil Davidson and decided to release the following information:

"Losses for the year ending September 2010 are currently projected to be c. £300,000 before taking into account any donations.

"In November last year the Board approved a revised budget presented by the former Chief Executive, David Smith which showed a £59,000 deficit. This took account of employment costs associated with Matthew Hoggard, Andrew McDonald and Brad Hodge and it was expected that donations would eradicate this shortfall.

"The additional projected loss of c. £250,000 consists of a £140,000 revenue shortfall and £96,000 of non budgeted costs. The revenue shortfall is primarily the result of lower than budgeted attendances for Friends Provident t20, lower than anticipated Membership sales and poor performances in the areas of Corporate Sales and Marketing. The Club also incurred higher than budgeted costs of over £40,000 in respect of the programme of winter maintenance approved by the former Chief Executive.

"By mid June it was clear to the Board that a significant financial loss was developing which is why the Chief Executive and Senior Coach were asked to explain the team's disappointing home one-day performances. Despite significant expenditure on senior players and the club having some of the finest young cricketers in the country the team has won only a single one-day home game so far this season. The absence of Andrew McDonald has been a contributory factor but equally all Championship victories have been achieved without his presence.

"The role of the Board is to set policy, agree budgets and hold management to account, and all times to act in the interests of the members who own the club. This is a legal responsibility under the Companies Act 2006. The Board has acted consistently within its fiduciary duties. On the field performance cannot be divorced from budgets written by the management.

"Moreover, it has very recently come to the notice of the Board that a sponsorship deal worth £125,000 over five years plus other benefits was rejected by the former CEO in August 2008, for no apparent reason and without reference to the Board. Furthermore, a generous offer by the Big Communication Group to help improve the marketing of the club was never followed up.

"The Board has also, very recently, received information of what amounts to a planned undemocratic take-over of the club. The Board is carrying out its own investigation but will vigorously resist any such attempts on behalf of the membership.

"If true, this will not be first time in recent years that this has occurred. In the 2007/08 close season, the Board foiled such an attempt by one of the individuals alleged to be currently involved. His plan then was to flood the club with new members, infiltrate the Board and effectively take-over the club.

"The Board used its powers to block such a move and invited the individual to make a formal take-over offer to put to the members if he wished to do so. No such offer was forthcoming and the individual concerned withdrew his Board candidature before the 2008 AGM papers were sent to members.

"Having successfully defended members' interests, the Board took the view that there was nothing to be gained by placing this in the public domain at the time. Given recent developments the Board has chosen to do so now.

"Members of the Board acknowledge that these are difficult times but can assure members that they have the best interests of the club at heart. The Board welcomes a second request for a Special General Meeting that has been received this week and the Company Secretary will be discussing the resolutions with the requisitioners' representative to ensure that the business of the meeting is effective."

© Cricket World 2010