THE loan of "several hundred thousand pounds" by Kent chairman George Kennedy to his county club after their horrendous loss in 2009 underlined that the gap between 'haves' and 'have nots' was widening in the recession.
This week Glamorgan, after their first season as a Test county, reported that an £822,000 profit from hosting Australia at Cardiff in 2009 had turned a loss into a healthy surplus. Their turnover rose by an incredible 71 per cent, though they were one of the counties who suffered from dwindling interest in the Twenty20 Cup.
The Kent Messenger
newspaper disclosed that Kennedy decided to step in to ease the burden of bank charges afer Kent's second successive loss, this time more than £800,000. "I hope that members and supporters see this as a sign of my absolute commitment to ensure the future success of the club," he said. The deficit was worsened by losses of £190,000 on two summer pop concerts at Canterbury -- "a major blow" -- £150,000 paid out in staff settlements and £140,000 from earlier years, including bad debts and VAT payments.
Kennedy, in his second year as chairman, said: "The three are non-recurring debts and are unlikely to happen again, so would bring the loss down to around £300,000, which is half the previous year. So from a trading position going forward, I am actually quite bullish, and feel we are in reasonable shape."
Glamorgan reported a surplus of £338,000, the third consecutive year they had managed to stay in the black. But they would have lost money without the Ashes party in town for the first Test, and the turnover £11.6 million was four times greater than 2007, as a measure of how far the Sophia Gardens redevelopment had taken the county.
Alan Hamer, the chief executive, said: "The financial importance of staging an Ashes Test match, can be clearly seen. Despite the recession, we are delighted to have been able to report a record operating profit. We have every reason to look forward to the future with confidence. We are now an established Test match venue and have been awarded international matches through until 2016."
Nevertheless hospitality sales were badly affected by the recession, with take-up for the Test match much lower than expected. County match-day income was disappointing, especially from low attendances for Twenty20 Cup matches. That seemed to underline that cricket lovers limited their spending after the historic first Welsh Test match.