Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former Australia opener Simon Katich has lambasted Cricket Australia after they announced a loss of A$33 million over the first five years of the Big Bash League (BBL).
The BBL has quickly become one of the elite domestic Twenty20 competitions in the world and Cricket Australia have had a lot to do with that as they have heavily invested in it.
In 2013, the board signed a five-year broadcast deal with the Ten Network that was worth $20 million a season. But, with the tournament expanding to free-to-air television, it is expected to bring in $60 million a year when the next deal is signed in 2018.
Unable to comprehend the sizable loss, Katich pointed out the need for an independent investigation.
“The claims that CA has managed to lose money on the biggest success story in world cricket must be independently investigated,” he said. “Record crowds, record ratings, record sponsorships and merchandising sales each and every year, yet CA are claiming a loss. It defies logic and good business sense.”
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia are also embroiled in an ongoing pay dispute with the players, who want the fixed revenue-percentage model to be retained.
However, the board has said that they are being generous by offering the players a pay rise despite losing a lot of money over the first five years of the BBL.
The new proposition by Cricket Australia will see players receive guaranteed amounts over the next five years, but bars them from a fixed percentage share of revenue.
Both male and female national players will also have a capped bonus system, but domestic players will have fixed salaries.
When asked about this, Katich said: “It also defies logic that you would claim a financial loss, yet not recommend a model that shares the risk. It may well be an ill-conceived negotiation tactic, which itself is silly given mediation is the way to go. The BBL and WBBL provide the best platform to promote cricket to kids and families given they are turning up to these events in their hundreds-of-thousands over the course of the season.”
Given the amount of money Cricket Australia have had in the last five years, Katich questioned how it was possible that only a small portion of the funds were used to develop grassroots cricket in the country.
“The recurring question that keeps arising is, where does all the money go?” Katich said. “Is it drained by too much bureaucracy, executive salaries, entitlements and bonuses. One thing is for sure, it’s not drained by either the players or grassroots investments, which together account for less than 30 cents in the dollar.
“I have called for a cap on CA administrative costs before and this is more evidence of the need for that. And it is also now clear evidence of the need for an independent investigation.”