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Eating away over the winter

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Re: Email from our CEO...
Jonathan Winsky 21 August, 2020 21:44
Richard Goatley hinted that Middlesex will look to “reward” anyone who purchased a membership for 2020, so I would like to think that everyone will look back and say that the outcome was to everyone’s benefit. If the club are not going to issue refunds, then I suppose the next most obvious way of compensating those who purchased a 2020 membership would be to allow them to purchase a membership for 2021 at a reduced cost (something Goatley suggests the club may also do for subsequent seasons) while charging anyone who didn’t purchase a 2020 membership full cost.

Throughout this pandemic, I have paid close attention to the amount of deaths in England each day from coronavirus. Therefore, it looks like progress that the government’s dashboard currently (a word I have to use, as I think the figures can get revised) says that the amount of deaths between 14th and 21st August is down to 52 (albeit 52 too many), with the figure being in single figures on five of those days. By comparison, there were 3,956 deaths from 7th to 10th April. Many hospitals have reported a dramatic reduction in the amount of patients requiring treatment for coronavirus. This progress leaves me wishing that spectators may be allowed to attend some cricket before the season finishes, especially as people seem to be permitted to go to other places of leisure and no longer advised against boarding public transport in which social distancing may or may not be possible. I was hopeful that the Surrey v Kent match starting at The Oval tomorrow would be used as another attempt to stage a pilot match with spectators. After all, I have heard county cricket being described as ‘made for social distancing’, which I have to agree with considering there are plenty of places where it is harder to maintain social distancing than at a first-class county match. However, whereas deaths and hospitalisations have gone down, a figure to which I admit having not paid much attention appears to have increased in recent weeks, with that figure being the amount of cases of coronavirus, which appear to have returned to the level of May. I suppose that until that figure comes down again, it would be inadvisable to ease the lockdown too much, as cases can easily translate into any combination of deaths, burden on healthcare and further infections.

Re: Email from our CEO...
chunkyinargyll 21 August, 2020 21:56
It seems our problems may be unique (not owning our ground making matters financially worse than other counties, not better)

An appeal to those considering not renewing-

If you do that, it will reduce the amount of money the club has to retain our best players, thus making the decline worse than it would otherwise have been.

Most years members 'win'- that's to say they see cricket at a cheaper price than if they had paid at the gate for each day attended.

For those that live near enough to attend regularly, this will be the first time you have 'lost' on the investment, but over the years you will still be up on the deal, and should be next year as well.

Re: Email from our CEO...
PaulR_enfield 21 August, 2020 22:19
Chunky, in principle I agree with you, for 3 seasons in recent years due to family illness I was unable to watch any cricket in person but kept my membership going, that was my choice, but I strongly resent being taken for granted and the tone of the email has really annoyed me, if as an organisation/business etc you are struggling for support or help you should ask and not dictate as the email does.

Re: Email from our CEO...
chrisha123 21 August, 2020 22:51
Thank you PaulR_enfield, this is exactly how I feel and have tried to portray in this thread. Imagine if British Airways, who cancelled flights through no fault of their own or any other major company just said 'we simply don't have the level of cash reserves to afford refunds' - there would be understandable uproar. So I think at the moment Middx are getting this wrong, dictating to us that they will keep our money and offering nothing in return (apart from content I can stream free on Youtube). I'm actually a little bit amazed at some members attitudes on here allowing yourselves to be treated this way, classic case of emotional / love of the club getting in the way of correct decision making and the club perhaps taking advantage of this. Perhaps there's a silent majority who agree with me, will be interesting to see how many do renew next year.

Re: Email from our CEO...
RH2boony 22 August, 2020 06:53
I tend to agree that it is a statement that will annoy quite a few in both its tone and content.
Judging by the attendances most people simply do not use their memberships that much and may take a view that whilst possibly an inconvenience ,it would be cheaper to just turn up and purchase a general ticket in future.
If there is any chance with a second wave of this virus that next season may also at risk then I would anticipate a substantial number of members will not renew.
The club needs to reward those who have effectively paid for nothing or they may find that this may backfire badly.

Re: Email from our CEO...
chunkyinargyll 22 August, 2020 07:40
Does Seaxe_Man know what sort of a state MCC's finances are in after this season?

They have the upkeep of the ground, but they don't have a squad of 25 professional cricketers to pay.

Any chance they could be more generous with the deal they have with us next year, to help us make up some lost ground?

Re: Email from our CEO...
Seaxe_man1 22 August, 2020 09:05
What they have said done chunky is as follows. Furloughed staff. No refunds of the 600 quid fee. With no play and staff furloughed overheads much trumpeted will be minimal with no play and the ground shut. In addition queue jumpers, 300, are in for 17000 to 27000 depending on age. So a nice sum there say six million. A further tranche of queue jumpers, numbers not known, are available for 85000. This then gets MCC through Covid 19. And they are likely right and in the black. Doubt they will wave our rent of facilities used and we also have overheads at the Academy, Radlett and inner city Mx hubs. Putting all of our eggs in one basket, ok in the distant past, unadvisable now on the finance front. Ok some contracts can be offloaded but they have to be replaced to remain competitive. Picking a team to win the next match better than worrying about potential England DNA.

Re: Email from our CEO...
chunkyinargyll 22 August, 2020 09:11
Of course, MCC can afford a 'no refunds policy' because anyone who fails to renew will be replaced by the next one on the waiting list.

So their membership income is guaranteed.


Waiting list 29 years!

Re: Email from our CEO...
Seaxe_man1 22 August, 2020 09:22
Very true chunky. However, that doesn't make them happy with their lot. Next year, Covid permitting, they have six weeks of the Hundred to look forward to.

Re: Email from our CEO...
BeefyRoberts 22 August, 2020 09:32
The mcc are a totally different club, and nothing to do with us.
We have to pay them rent etc for the parts we use, bit like a house or business really, Middlesex is a buisness and members cricket club.
If those dont pay the get evicted!
Those with memberships...they do use them at many days/games during the season, so, I'm not taking that at all. Yes, some do use Middlesex membership to get onto the international ticket list, as they go to Lords for tests etc, and find that a 'convenient way' to get their tickets. Ok, if they dont use their membership for watching our county, so be it, but it's still valuable money into the account.
The club have said mid-September an announcement will be made.
It's on the email!
Why some are this, do that, do the other is beyond me.
Let's wait and see!
Oh, by the way, I had to wait 119 days for my flight refund from Virgin Atlantic!
But they are international huge companies, we are talking about Middlesex, a county cricket club.
There are 17 other counties going through exactly the same, and numerous other cricket clubs.
Clubs obviously talk to eachother all the time, especially through these times that nobody expected and of course, were not ready for.

Re: Email from our CEO...
SJPG 22 August, 2020 12:08
Jonathan Winsky
Richard Goatley hinted that Middlesex will look to “reward” anyone who purchased a membership for 2020, so I would like to think that everyone will look back and say that the outcome was to everyone’s benefit. If the club are not going to issue refunds, then I suppose the next most obvious way of compensating those who purchased a 2020 membership would be to allow them to purchase a membership for 2021 at a reduced cost (something Goatley suggests the club may also do for subsequent seasons) while charging anyone who didn’t purchase a 2020 membership full cost.

When was this "hinted"? As a member since 2003 I've been really disappointed by the quality of the club's communication since the restart in July. Prior to that it was really good and although I'm not in this category I appreciate their efforts with phone calls to elderly members.
Then nothing apart from this email yesterday which I found patronising in tone and one I would expect from Ryanair rather than a members club like Middlesex. I can only guess Mr Goatley's comments were a stressed reaction to the pressure he is inevitably under.
I have written off the 2020 fee and in truth have probably saved the equivalent in travel, food and drink from not attending matches.
I'm particularly disappointed as someone with a 9-5 Monday to Friday job I would have able to see far more play than in previous seasons where I have barely broken even. However that's just bad luck.
I would have a appreciated a conciliatory message thanking me for ongoing support at this difficult time etc. As an Arsenal member for example I got something along these lines and an offer of 10% off merchandise. Very different organisations of course but the message was right.
I intend to continue as a member but I will be writing to the club suggesting communications over this matter have fallen far short of expectations.

Re: Email from our CEO...
BeefyRoberts 22 August, 2020 12:33
Imagine if there was a league made up of club earnings through a year, including other sports as well, but not including this of course.
Where would not just our club, but all county cricket clubs be? Probably taking up the bottom 18 places.
Cricket has always been the 'poor mans game' where income and profit comes onto it, if only each county had the riches of football, golf, tennis, rugby and the rest. It just wont happen.
As I put earlier, you can all thank graves and his puppet harrison for basically doing their best to ruin county cricket by chucking multiple millions into the 💯 franchise rubbish.
Already those two, and others at ecb are saying, according to press, a MINIMUM loss of £106m this year due to lost ticket, TV, hospitality and other things.
If they hadn't chucked all the county cash into the 💯 franchise rubbish, this would not be the case.
So, that's where a cash problem lies, firmly at the doors of graves and puppet harrison.
The figure is probably more, but what would you believe when graves opens his mouth?

Re: Email from our CEO...
Jonathan Winsky 22 August, 2020 13:11
When I wrote “Richard Goatley hinted that Middlesex will look to “reward” anyone who purchased a membership for 2020”, it was a reference to the passage of the email which says “We expect to know in mid to late September what impact this season will have on the ECB payments made to each county. This in turn will allow us to calculate what we can afford to do in terms of providing some form of compensation, such as a reduction in subs for 2021 and perhaps beyond. It simply would not be prudent to make any commitment before we know what our future cashflow is likely to be”.

I am hopeful that spectators will be allowed into sports grounds with little or no restrictions by the time the 2021 cricket season starts, and that fears the situation come next April will be little better or maybe worse than at present will be unfounded. Otherwise, I can see some counties struggling to sell membership packages. If attempts to get spectators into football, rugby and other sports this coming winter is proven to be a success, then cricket would be excellently-placed to admit spectators in 2021. However, a second wave would be a big blow. I feel worried that anyone hoping that cases of coronavirus will go down in the coming months is swimming against the tide due to the possibility of a second wave and due to people appearing to gradually return to their lifestyle of pre-lockdown. It is just a shame that I am presently not permitted to return to my lifestyle of attending sport, whereas many other people are allowed to perform their favourite non-essential activities.

Thankfully, no reliable person has suggested that some or all English cricket in 2021 will be played behind closed doors. I know that Colin Graves has envisaged the possibility of next season’s Hundred being played in these conditions, but he is not a reliable person!

Re: Email from our CEO...
chrisha123 22 August, 2020 13:19
Hopefully the Hundred is played in empty stadiums as people didn't buy tickets!!

Re: Email from our CEO...
Trainspotter 22 August, 2020 22:15
I am a Life Member so this isn't of such impact. I am also a Surrey member and am planning to write off my outlay this year, for the reasons given by Middx members in this email. However, I do think the tone of Richard Goatley's communication is very poor indeed. I also think the BA analogy is a good one too. He should have been more consensual and without the hint of arrogance. I also make the comparison with Surrey where the communications tend to be more customer centric. It is wrong also to assume that everyone has the same emotional attachment as we do. There may be wives or husbands who have bought as an Xmas present membership for their loved one on the back of them suddenly getting into cricket - we should not just assume they will happily agree to what Richard is dictating and be sanguine about what might constitute a big outlay from their "leisure budget".

Okay, let's hope that the Club does offer something fir 2021 in return and give them a chance .... but Goatley's email rankled with me (and I would have no qualms writing off my membership fee) - the tone is very poor, very "managerial" and I am surprised someone on the Exec committee or maybe our Comms person did not counsel against him sending it in that form.

Re: Email from our CEO...
Seaxe_man1 23 August, 2020 08:37
What Covid 19 has underlined is that Middlesex County Cricket Club needs to be looking at additions to its revenue streams as a matter of priority. At the moment finances have the look of a hand to mouth existence.The current arrangements have got us this far just, but optimistic to think it will suffice indefinitely.

Re: Email from our CEO...
Seaxe_man1 31 August, 2020 07:56
Chrisha123 is right, personally I found the tone of the email arrogant and presumptive, more so coming from a management that has continually handed most of it's revenue streams to another club which never seems to reciprocate in any way for our benefit. As I've said before, if asked I'd previously probably have agreed to contribute my membership fee for this year but would have liked to be given the option.
We appear to be in the ridiculous situation that Surrey have made more effort for our members to watch cricket this year than our own club or our masters from MCC.
Will wait to see what is offered, if anything, come September but probably done with county cricket now after 50+ years, much as I distrust the ECB and find the franchises/Hundred abhorrent, covid may well have proved that county cricket in it's current format is unsustainable but that's probably a discussion in itself.

Re: Email from our CEO...
Seaxe_man1 31 August, 2020 08:08
Your not wrong Paul. We used to have a fifth revenue stream. A share of the Lord's advertising. This ended in 1999 when the former England captain A.R.Lewis did his stint as MCC President. He discovered that MCC had no website and short of dough. So his eye fell on mx to pay. He cancelled our share of advertising revenue which during the nineties produced 500000 for Mx. I checked. He was able to do this as it was a verbal not written agreement. Amateur. I raised this at 2015 AGM so is minuted. The response from top table was a shoulder shrug more or less.

Re: Email from our CEO...
Seaxe_man1 31 August, 2020 09:41
I forgot on Mx Lords overheads. The Seaxe Box in the Tavern Stand and the Box in the Mound Stand. We pay rent on both.

Re: Email from our CEO...
Jonathan Winsky 10 September, 2020 21:07
In today’s Middlesex Matters email, Richard Goatley wrote that an online focus group will take place on Tuesday 22nd September in which those who successfully apply to take part will be allowed to express their views on ideas which the Senior Management Group have proposed in regards to rewarded those who purchased a membership for the 2020 season.

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