Cash-strapped NZC wants districts to make cuts and go amateur
New Zealand Cricket, the sport's domestic governing body, has asked the six districts that make up the country’s professional cricketing structure to consider making financial cuts, along with widespread structural changes.
Greg Barclay, chairman of NZC, told local media after an NZC meeting that at district level, “something needs to change.” He added that this might mean the district associations (Auckland, Northern Districts, Central, Wellington, and Canterbury) changing their status from professional and semi-professional to amateur.
Although Barclay said that NZC retains NZ$17.5 million ($11.4 million) of equity, the association has lost NZ$12.8 million in two years, and the financial situation is not likely to improve this year.
NZC’s income for 2018-19 is already down by NZ$2 million after the International Cricket Council, the game’s worldwide governing body, rescheduled payments to each country’s cricket association.
Barclay added: “We’re not slashing our costs, but how we’re spending that money… I do want to emphasise that the relationship between the national associations and New Zealand Cricket has always been a tough one.
“They don't think they get the help and support that is due to them from New Zealand Cricket. They think, 'we're members, we should be getting more'. But the relationship is pretty healthy. It's a symbiotic one. We can't exist one without the other."
Ninety per cent of revenue generated from cricket in New Zealand presently derives from the men’s national side, and salaries for the top men’s players account for 25 per cent of all NZC spending.
NZC will this winter head into the last year of a broadcast deal struck with Star Sports, the Indian sports broadcaster. Star Sports secured rights to broadcast all New Zealand men’s and women’s international matches in India for three years in 2017.
NZC’s local broadcast deal with Sky, the pay-TV operator, is also due to expire in March 2020. Sky’s deal, which includes the exclusive rights in its home country to all New Zealand’s international matches as well as selected games from the domestic cricket season, was signed in 2014.