Change to survive – Local cricket clubs diversify as they face financial struggles

first_imgFacing a financial crisis, administrators at local cricket clubs say they have been forced to take a wider approach to keep their clubs in operation as they struggle to deal with monthly expenses that climb in excess of $500,000. This against the backdrop of little or no direct financial support from the Jamaica Cricket Association, pushing clubs to tackle the situation by adopting a more multipurpose approach and placing focus on fundraising efforts, ranging from after-work socials and road races to wall advertising and venue rental. Mark Neita, president of the Melbourne Cricket Club, which has turned out West Indies stars such as Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh and Marlon Samuels, says his club has put together a 10-year plan which it hopes will lead to greater financial security, while noting that the institution fully understands the need to diversify in the face of scarce revenue potential in local cricket. “We understand that if we were to just focus exclusively on cricket, then we would not be able to make the revenue needed to sustain a club like Melbourne. You have to see what programmes will work for your club, but if you just focus exclusively on cricket, your club will die because there is not enough revenue from cricket,” Neita stressed. Neita pointed to 12 sponsors who he says play a major role in the club’s continued existence, with other revenue streams such as cricket clinics, membership fees, plus an active bar and restaurant also keeping the lights on. Lucas Cricket Club, another cornerstone in local club cricket, with famous alumni including George Headley and Chris Gayle, according to long-serving vice-president Brian Breese, has also been looking to go beyond cricket to help with the offsetting of expenses. Among the club’s focus is the establishment of a cricket tourism component as well as a focus on community cricket. “We have tried to expand to more than just cricket. We have a group that comes in the mornings to exercise, and we call them the Lucas joggers. We have people who play table tennis, couple of dart boards and we are always trying to go beyond cricket and to put in a multipurpose court as well,” said Breese. The management is also looking to renting the ground to other cricket teams, while looking to its membership of close to 90 persons to pitch in with membership fees. Breese, meanwhile, will be heading back to England to work on their cricket tourism business component, which he hopes will help bring visitors from schools and clubs in the off-season from September to March. According to Breese, they have a partnership with Jason Henzell of Jakes in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth. TRIP OUT OF TOWN “The idea is to take them (tourists) out for two weeks and they stay in St Elizabeth and play some matches and help raise funds for the club, where we would have them come to Kingston and play matches, see Bob Marley Museum and other attractions,” he confirmed. Meanwhile, chairman of the Boys’ Town Cricket Club Lindel Wright noted that his club, the home of West Indies’ Collie Smith, continues to struggle to cope with its massive budget, which, when considering its football team, raises to $14 million a year. “It is tough going. We are nowhere near 50 per cent of that amount at the moment. We are more than a club, though. We are dealing with the ‘have nots’ of the society and we operate out of Trench Town,” he explained of the 76 year-old club. “We are struggling. It’s day to day. It is terrible. The burden now falls on a number of individuals and stalwarts of the club to assist,” Wright bemoaned.last_img read more

Expanded Scotiabank-WICB Kiddy Cricket programme launched

first_img BEARING FRUIT The preliminary-round matches are scheduled to run from February 20 to March 20. Teams comprising both boys and girls, will compete to be named in the top eight. These top eight schools will playoff at the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Festival, scheduled to take place on April 7. Billy Heaven, president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, endorsed the expanded programme. Heaven said it has been bearing fruit with several alumni now playing at the highest level. Scotiabank is the exclusive sponsor of Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket and the official bank of West Indies Cricket. According to Hope McMillan-Canaan, manager – public and corporate affairs at Scotiabank, the bank was committed to the programme for the long haul. Eighteen new schools have been added to the Kiddy Cricket lineup, moving the number of participants from 224 up to 242 for the Scotiabank-WICB Kiddy Cricket programme. The 2017 programme was officially launched at Sabina Park yesterday. Key stakeholders from the West Indies Cricket Board, the Jamaica Cricket Association, the Ministry of Education and Scotiabank were on hand to welcome the participants. There has also been an increase in the number of coaches, one for each parish, an adjustment that will allow at least 16 schools in each parish to get special attention during the programme. According to Phillip Service, West Indies Territorial Development Officer for Jamaica, “with this new structure, we have been able to provide greater quality coaching to more boys and girls, improved assistance in the cricket skill development of young cricketers, as well as to have a closer link with the schools in the programme”. Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket started in Jamaica in 2001 and has exposed thousands of young children to the game in a modified form, where they play ten overs per match consisting of ten persons per team. Since its inception, numerous players have gone on to represent their countries and the West Indies. Some former Kiddy Cricketers of note in Jamaica are Brandon King, who now represents Jamaica, and Jermaine Blackwood, who plays for the West Indies at the highest level.last_img read more

If Man United beat Chelsea and Man City to Gareth Bale, will it win them the title?

first_imgRumours persist that Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale could be on his way back to the Premier League this summer, with Manchester United front-runners for the Welshman’s signature ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City.Bale is already one Britain’s best exports to the continent and he’s bagged 28 goals in 54 La Liga appearances, not too mention winning the Copa del Rey and Champions League in his first season at the Bernabeu – scoring in both finals.Nonetheless, the former Spurs man has come under criticism from Madrid fans – with many accusing him of failing to pass – and reports continue that he could leave the Spanish capital sooner rather than later.If Bale moves this summer – which is by no means guaranteed – will he win the league for his English club next season? talkSPORT takes a look… 4 Rumours persist that Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale could be on his back to the Premier League this summer, with Manchester United reportedly front-runners for the Welshman’s signature ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City. ChelseaIf Bale signs for Chelsea, Chelsea retain the title which they look odds-on favourites to win.In partnership with Eden Hazard – favourite for PFA Player of the Year – Jose Mourinho’s side would be close to unstoppable.The Blues also hold a potential bargaining chip in Petr Cech – the Czech likely to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season – and Madrid may be equally interested in him and for less than half of De Gea’s price.Some may argue Bale’s arrival at Chelsea could unsettle the balance of the squad, but with Juan Cuadrado still to settle and Oscar linked with a move away, Bale could be the missing piece of the Mourinho jigsaw to catapult the Blues to domestic and European domination. Manchester UnitedThe Red Devils are favourites to sign Bale and they hold the trump card in Spain goalkeeper David De Gea, who remains a long-term target for the Spanish giants.De Gea has been United’s best player this season and he was rewarded earlier this week with nominations to both PFA Player and Young Player of the Year Awards.The Spaniard is a firm fan favourite, but United have former Barcelona man Victor Valdes – winner of six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues – and at just 33, Valdes still has three, possibly four years left at the top.Using De Gea as part of a deal could bring Bale to Old Trafford and if he does it puts the Red Devils in pole position for their first championship of the post-Ferguson era.When Sir Alex went all out for Robin van Persie back in 2012 he knew the Dutchman was the missing cog for another league title and he was right, Van Persie won United the league that season.Bale can define the Premier League title race and he would be the key man, the player who takes Louis van Gaal’s side to another level, in a way he cannot do at Madrid because of Cristiano Ronaldo. 4 4 4 Manchester CityWhen United beat City to the signature of van Persie, the then boss Roberto Mancini knew the impact the Dutchman would have at Old Trafford, and he was right.Similarly, City – who have the oldest average squad in the league – need new blood to take the club forward.Boss Manuel Pellegrini is under pressure after a lacklustre campaign but Bale would be just the signing to reignite the blue half of Manchester.A lot would depend on City confirming their Champions League qualification – which is not guaranteed – and Financial Fair Play would require the Citizens to move a few on, potentially Yaya Toure, to pursue a deal.Ultimately, Gareth Bale may not move this summer but all indicators suggest the Welshman will return to the Premier League in the future. If he did, where do you think he will end up and will he win them the title? Comment below…last_img read more