The England and Wales Cricket Board today announced that Durham County Cricket Club has accepted an offer of significant additional financial support from ECB in order to manage current and historic debt and revenue issues.
As part of the £3.8 million pound agreement, Durham will be relegated to Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship and start the 2017 season with a 48-point penalty in this competition. Hampshire, therefore, will remain in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship in accordance with ECB’s competition regulations.
Durham will also start the 2017 season with a four-point penalty in the NatWest T20 Blast and a two-point penalty in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Other conditions of the agreement include a salary cap, that is to be in place until 2020, and any non-player related ECB competition prize money for the 2016 season is to be refunded to the ECB or withheld until all debts to the ECB have been settled.
The club will no longer be able to apply to host test matches, but they will still be able to host ODIs and T20 internationals.
The financial aid package will allow the club to meet on-going salary, HMRC and operating costs, settle a substantial debt to a secured creditor and focus on the restructuring and future sustainability of the County Cricket Club.
ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: “We’ve been working with Durham County Cricket Club throughout the year on how best to address their financial issues. We welcome the club’s willingness to review its business model and management structures.
“There is no doubt that a strong, financially robust Durham County Cricket Club has a vital role to play in developing England talent, enriching our domestic competitions and underpinning the wider growth of the game in the north east.
“We have a wider responsibility to the whole game and need strong deterrents in place to preserve the game’s integrity and financial stability.”
A Durham County Cricket Club spokesperson added: “The Durham County Cricket Club Board welcomes the ECB’s long-term commitment to safeguarding First Class Cricket in the north-east.”