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Club Statement (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 16:17
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 20/04/2017 16:37 by Grockle.

Re: Club Statement
Mr Date (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 16:44
I hope the way Andy Nash has put it is the way it goes and that we see Somerset continue to prosper and our facilities to be continued to be Invested in to turn Taunton into an even better ground than it already is.

However I am a Somerset Supporter and will not be jumping on the Band Wagon and supporting a South West Franchise side.

Re: Club Statement
JuliaW (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 16:58
That seems to be a carefully nuanced statement from Andy Nash - I don't see that Somerset had any option but go along with the new competition.

Personally I find the whole concept to be flawed but clearly it is going to happen. It's highly unlikely I shall go to watch some band of mercenaries play even if they are plying their trade at The County Ground.

Re: Club Statement
AG on apple (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 17:04
SOrry, Mr Nash, but the ECB's 'assurances in this regard,' are not worth the paper they were written on.

Re: Club Statement
Grizzzly (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 17:11

''We agreed because we had no other realistic option, but we don`t like it, we don`t trust the ECB & we just hope everything works out ok''.


Re: Club Statement
Mike TA1 (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 17:22
I can't comment, there is too much uncertainty.

Re: Club Statement
Grockle (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 18:07
I'm very grateful for Andy for sending this to me to publish. He is obviously interested in the replies so please comment if ypu feel the urge.


Re: Club Statement
Clarence Parker (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 18:32
Why should Andy Nash be interested in any replies on here?

He said that the decision to unanimously support the new ECB proposals had been taken "after considerable discussion and consultation with Members."

Job done.

The club were always going to fall into line on this, and the meeting with members was merely a sham IMO.

Re: Club Statement
Grockle (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 18:40
Then don't comment Clarence. As you say...'Job done' in your opinion.


Re: Club Statement
Clarence Parker (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 18:57
So why is he interested in replies on here when the decision has already been made?

Did you ask him? He is surely not asking for assurances that the committee have made the right decision.

Let the clowns proceed with their circus.

Re: Club Statement
Grockle (IP Logged)
10 April, 2017 19:01 I say. If you think he has no interest then..... well leave it I suppose. Thanks for dropping by.


Re: Club Statement
old boy! (IP Logged)
11 April, 2017 08:25
I'm afraid we little people have very little influence in these matters as we have seen many times.
I have no interest in many merceneries topping up their pension pots, so the competition means nothing to me - wherever the matches are held will be an opportunity for more people to get p-ss-d up with little interest in the cricket.
My hope is that Somerset CCC can continue to offer us their own entertaining form of cricket sometime during each summer until the lunatics who have gained control of the ECB are replaced.
Old Boy! (Life member of Somerset CCC)

Re: Club Statement
Grockle (IP Logged)
11 April, 2017 09:01
Looks like the Facebook responses are along the same kind of lines. Which in itself is an indicator of how welcome this decision is. We rarely agree to this level.

Re: Club Statement
Farmer White (IP Logged)
11 April, 2017 12:35
The management of SCCC over the last decade and probably before has transformed the Club. We have the best appointed of the non-Test grounds, financially we are one of the soundest of the County Clubs and we are the longest standing First Division Club – 10 seasons.

Now a decision on which the very existence of the Club may depend has been made based on “assurances” and “expectations”. The statement seems to me, on the face of it, to have less justification in substance, than any I can recall seeing from the Club. Before I go on to say why I think this I would like to say that I have absolutely no doubt that the General Committee voted with absolute good faith and I have no doubt they believe they have come down on balance on the right side of a very difficult equation. (I also, as it happens, believe the same of the ECB having heard Colin Graves and Tom Harrison speak). I have serious doubts that they and the ECB have got this right for the following reasons:

Firstly, the statement refers to “considerable discussion and consultation with Members”. The only formal consultation with members of which I am aware consisted of one meeting a couple of weeks ago for which no advance information was available. Neither was any consultation document published to which members who could not attend the meeting (I was 200 miles away) could respond in an informed way. There was an offer from a poster on this website to feed information into an Area Committee to which I responded with my significant concerns about the proposal but could only base my views on various media reports. Further, information on the ECB website has in my opinion, to say the least, been nebulous or non-existent throughout the process. The ECB talks about transparency. To my mind little of this constitutes transparency beyond the hierarchies of County Clubs.

Secondly, the statement says:

“It is vital from our perspective that the blue riband Specsavers County Championship is nurtured and protected, the Royal London One-Day Cup is well-supported and that the NatWest T20 Blast continues to expand and prosper; it is commercially essential and is our most effective driver of growth in the region we serve. ECB have made clear assurances in this regard.”

I agree entirely with all of the first part of this statement and each part in equal measure. As to the ECB “assurances” there is no indication as to the form which these take. It would be reassuring to a degree to know that either they are in writing or at least formally minuted in a form of words that means Counties can enforce the “assurances”. If they are, then in the interests of transparency, can a copy be made available to members via the Club website so that members can provide an informed opinion as Grockle thinks Andy Nash wishes us to. If they are not then I worry that in under pressure they may prove less than robust particularly if they include caveats and those who made them have by then moved on.

Thirdly, the statement says,

“In sum, we are not signing a ‘blank cheque’ for the new T20 competition and we expect the ECB to continue to engage with us and protect the interests of all non-test match Clubs as the work continues to develop the new competition.”

Could Andy Nash explain in what form these “expectations” exist and especially in the event that the ECB did not meet them how the Club, and others, would be able to hold the ECB to its expectations. The answer to this, and how the ECB could be held strictly to its assurances, is absolutely fundamental in my view as to whether the decision of the General Committee is sound.

Fourthly, the statement refers to,

“considerable unease and concern of our General Committee in regard to some potential longer term implications of this decision”,

What were these concerns, and why, given they were “considerable”, did the General Committee think they were worth overriding and on what basis? In my view members should be given more information on this since the decision made in spite of the considerable concerns is said to have been taken because:

“Somerset wants to see 18 thriving Counties and not an elite group of 8 with 10 stragglers trailing in their wake”.

and it would be helpful to know how the general Committee thinks the decision achieves this because:

1) The competition may well be owned by the ECB in the form of the MCC and the 18 Counties each with a vote. However, if the new competition is successful there must be a real concern that power will flow to the Clubs hosting the competition and therefore providing all the facilities and therefore primarily responsible for generating the income. Governance rules can be changed as this vote demonstrates and against "considerable unease and concern".

2) The best players may well drift towards the Clubs hosting the competition. This is precisely what has happened between Second and First Divisions in the CC meaning it is now very difficult for Second Division Clubs to establish themselves in the First Division. The structure being put in place may be designed to try to minimise this possibility but see 1) above. If that happens the hosting Clubs may well begin to question why £1.3m p.a. of the proceeds should continue passing to small clubs providing fewer and fewer players. The governance rules of the competition may be designed to prevent that but see 1) above. Further if the drift of players does occur, and I can see no reason why it would not, then this will add force to the dynamic in 1) above.

If 1) and 2) occur, and unforseen circumstances arise, and the assurances and expectations are not set in stone, then I am concerned that the votes of the 10 may turn out to be sandcastles in the face of an incoming tide and the eventuality which the General Committee is determined to avoid may turn out to be what it has opened the flood gates to.

I could say much more about whatI consider to be the flawed thinking behind this proposal (and did when I submitted my thoughts ahead of the Area Committee) but the decision has been made so the time for that is past. What is important now is to know on what basis the Club has received assurances and on what it bases its expectations.

I say this as someone who enjoys T20 (although less than 50 over and considerably less than the CC), is a Platinum member for that reason and have been to four T20 Finals Days. T20, to my mind, is a highly skilled game, essential to the future of cricket and its finances and it is not the issue here. The nature of the proposed competition is and there was in my view a perfectly viable and much safer alternative.

Sorry for the essay Grockle, and thanks to anyone who managed to get through it, but you did ask!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2017 12:53 by Farmer White.

Re: Club Statement
Grockle (IP Logged)
11 April, 2017 12:45
I'm not particularly bothered about how informed the opinion is Farmer.

But I know Mr Nash does read opinions here because they are explained/informed. Facebook gives him 'HOORAY' or 'GRRRR' and very little else. We give him something and the reasoning behind it and then we expand the issue amongst ourselves and tease out the issues even more.

Especially when we get well expanded essays from some parts that show someone has really thought this through.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2017 12:45 by Grockle.

Re: Club Statement
AG on apple (IP Logged)
11 April, 2017 13:08
Realistically, the heavily-indebted (badly run?) Test counties have been pushing for something that would allow them to enrich themselves relative to others for a long time. And I'm sure they believe that they have a divine right to the bulk of the income, the best players etc. They will certainly be hoping that the scenario outlined in FW's scenario 2), above, comes to pass. And I firmly believe that the likes of Graves are, privately, hoping for the same thing. They hope that this new competition, based at only some grounds, will provide an inexorable logic that will lead to an eventual 'rationalisation,' of the 18 counties for all competitions.

Re: Club Statement
Following on (IP Logged)
11 April, 2017 16:35
As I understand it, the issue is that the popularity of cricket has diminished since a high point of public consciousness following the 2005 Ashed series, this is as a direct result of the Sky paywall. The game has largely been financed by high TV rights deals for international cricket driven by demand from India - but this income stream is failing due to India being obsessed with T20. Eight of the thirty eight games is to be on free to air, but that does not seem enough to cultivate the new fan base that needs to be found, yet free to air TV will not pay sufficient money to bring cricket back from behind the paywall.
Somerset are coping well, financially, as a team and are very well supported, but we don't want to have to play Surrey every week as they are the only county left apart from us!
I appreciate that Somerset are on the outside of Test ground cabal, but have sympathy for the officers responsible for making the decision as for us there seems very little upside, except if it works, and it is to me a massive IF, the county championship will be funded for a few more years.
I can't see the T20 Blast surviving as it has to be classed a second rate competition to the new T20, also it's played out of the prime weather window and in a block doesn't work for supporters. The 50 over comp will be quasi 2nd XI and it's survival must be a doubt.
My preference would have been for a two division T20 Blast with promotion and regulation. I attend T20 cricket at Taunton, but would not consider crossing the road to watch the 8 team comp. At least I now know from attending the members consultation that the club know that few members will be watching the new comp. There does seem to be a very strong chance that the baby is going out with the bath water. I wish I had the answer
I suppose we have three more seasons to enjoy what we currently have and then just have to hope it works so that County cricket can survive.
I am grateful to Andy Nash for providing the information to this forum that he does.

Re: Club Statement
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
11 April, 2017 18:39
To really get noticed cricket needs to be on BBC1 or 2.

I can't see BBC1,or 2. or ITV, and probably not Ch 4 being interested.

Why not? Well, same problem you always have with cricket. Uncertain ending time (could over run if a late start due to weather)- or an 'on off' weather ruined game- or rained off altogether, and the need to replace with something else. So- it might be 'free to air' as in ITV2, 3 or 4, or something like that, but I can't see any of the main channels being willing to disrupt their prime time evening schedule for a weather dependent event that may, or may not take place. That in turn suggests that the terrestrial rights won't be worth much to the ECB- so they are gambling on BT and Sky getting in to a bidding war for the other matches. But what if they don't? What if one of them decides they are not interested in bidding? Like any auction, it needs at least two bidders who really want it- otherwise it won't be wort a lot.

New fans will only be gained if it is on one of the main channels. Hiding it away on ITV 2 (which is probably the best they can hope for) isn't going to get many casual viewers stumbling on it by accident.

Re: Club Statement
AG on apple (IP Logged)
11 April, 2017 19:07
Completely right.

Re: Club Statement
Slow Left Chinaman (IP Logged)
11 April, 2017 20:07
I can't believe we've voted for this, like turkeys at Christmas.

It seems obvious to me that (tin foil hat) this is part on a long term plan to centralise control of the counties under the ECB. So the statement says we're allowed to bid for matches? Big deal! They might throw us a bone in year one or two, but gradually they'll reduce our matches until we don't get any and it's just the big city grounds that have them.

Right now, we have these "assurances", but we know how easily fundamental rules like the insistence on 18 counties can be forced through, so I don't hold much faith in vague promises. How much resistance will counties put up once they're already used to spending the 1.3m from the ECB each year?

The other aspect is that if this does catch, it leaves little for the counties to compete in. The County T20 will be second tier, compared the well marketed franchise competition, the 50 over comp will have half second team players, leaving just the CC.

Obviously most of us on here love the CC above all the others, but how are we expecting the next generation to come in? If they support Bristol/Cardiff in T20, are they going to turn up to watch us shorn of our best 5 players in the 50 over? No, they're just going to support Cardiff, if that.

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