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28th June 2010

Durham CCC posts six figure profit for financial year

The underlying financial picture at DCCC is encouraging, the club having secured an Ashes Test in 2013, further development opportunities planned and the recent landmark six year sponsorship deal with Emirates Airline.

In May 2009, Chester -le-Street hosted the West Indies in a Test Match for the second time in three years. Due to the early season start and poor weather, the event yielded lower than expected income for a Test Match.  However, the match still returned a small profit for the club, as did the sell out One Day International against Australia in September. 

David Harker, Chief Executive of Durham CCC, comments:
“Revenue from international cricket is, in the medium term, essential to all of the Category A venues of which the recently renamed Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground is one. We are now seeing a recurring pattern where even the bigger, major city centre venues are losing between £500,000 and £1,000,000 in years without midsummer Test Matches. 

“This situation is only sustainable if clubs are able to retain sufficient income from Test Matches in order to fund the costs of running such major venues in the lean years. Durham, with a commercial debt of £3.5m, does not have the debt levels of many other venues, which for a number of clubs is reportedly between £8m and £19m. I am pleased however that the ECB recognises the problem and that there is currently a lot of work going on within the game to address the issue of major match allocation.”

In July 2009, the venue was awarded an Ashes Test for the 2013 home series. Before the Ashes Test, Durham will host other international fixtures, including a One Day International between England and Pakistan later this year.

In accordance with the requirements of the ECB, additional improvements to the ground’s infrastructure, funded by grant and ongoing equity investment, have also taken shape during the last 12 months. Currently the permanent capacity of the Emirates Durham ICG is being increased from 8,000 to 9,500, with further undercover facilities to be provided for supporters as well as an enhanced ECB Hospitality Area capable of hosting 200 people on a match day.  Future stadium development will continue to be managed on a staged process determined by the availability of external funding.

During 2009, DCCC also entered into an agreement  to develop a plot of land on the Eastern perimeter of the ground. The intention is that it will be transformed over the coming years into a high quality hotel that will add to the appeal and income generation potential of the venue.

David Harker added: “We are fortunate that with, for example, the hotel and Gateway Building we have a number of long term income generating opportunities to underpin our cricketing ambitions.”

Despite the recession the club has continued to invest in the team, the continued success of which helps to promote both the club and its facilities. Progress off the pitch has gone hand in hand with success on it. In 2009, Durham CCC retained the LV County Championship, with a squad that combined home grown and international talent.  The club has maintained its approach of developing local players and contributing to grass roots and community cricket throughout the North East.  Ben Stokes is the most recent Durham Academy graduate to become a first team regular and the club also continues to provide a production line of cricketers for all levels of the national set up. 

Clive W Leach CBE, Chairman of Durham County Cricket Club, comments:
“Durham County Cricket Club will continue to seek to invest in its squad, whether through developing young players at the Durham Academy or signing top quality professionals from elsewhere.  This policy, working within the confines of the domestic salary cap, supports the club’s determination to compete in all forms of the game.  This approach has delivered on field results and it underpins the club’s commitment to its supporters and to the North East sporting community.  However, it cannot be sustained without also pursuing other areas of income generating activity.

“Durham CCC is an ambitious club and although we have already achieved many milestones, we must continue to develop our infrastructure and international profile. Improvements such as the media centre, additional seating capacity and the new hotel development will reinforce the ground’s status on the world stage and should help us to secure more profitable international cricket and other major events for Durham.  That in turn will allow us to maintain investment in the academy and the squad, so that we can continue to enjoy excellent domestic cricket and teams that consistently challenge for honours.”