70% of counties could go bust if Hundred payments are halted

ECB warned that 70 PER CENT of counties could go bust if they don’t receive their full instalments for the Hundred

  • The ECB are under immense pressure to save counties amid coronavirus crisis
  • They are under pressure to pay counties their full instalments for the Hundred
  • Counties were promised an annual £1.3million each when tournament launched
  • So far the counties have been paid half of that sum by the governing body
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

The ECB are under pressure to save counties by paying them their full instalments for the Hundred despite the competition’s imminent postponement.

Counties were promised an annual £1.3million each when the ECB launched their widely criticised 100-ball format and they have so far been paid half of that.

But they do not know if they will receive the remaining £650,000 once this year’s Hundred is called off, with one chief executive warning 70 per cent of counties could go bust if the payments stop.

The widely-criticised Hundred tournament is set to be postponed due to the coronavirus crisis

The county chief told Sportsmail: ‘In our budgeting, we have assumed the full £1.3m from the Hundred will be paid for the full year. If we lose half of that, it would make it tight for everybody —and that would be a problem.

‘Every single county would have issues. If that £650,000 didn’t land, I think 17 out of 18 counties would have a negative cash flow.

‘There are 18 counties and we are talking £650,000, which is around £12m. I don’t think the ECB are going to let 50, 60 or 70 per cent of counties go under for the sake of £12m.

‘In the context of a £1.3billion television deal, we are not talking about a lot of money. If it’s £12m to keep everybody afloat, I hope that £12m will be found.’

Counties received their first Hundred instalment in February and the ECB expedited the monthly payments up until July as part of the £61m rescue package they announced last month.

But a decision to delay the Hundred’s launch is set to be ratified at Friday’s ECB board meeting.

And the ECB hinted over the weekend they may not be able to distribute the rest of the owed money due to the drop in income they are set to suffer themselves.

Counties were promised an annual £1.3million each when the ECB launched the Hundred

Last week, all 18 counties submitted their financial models for the season to the ECB based on various scenarios, including the worst case of no cricket being played at all this summer.

As well as the Hundred payments, they fear a major loss of revenue if the T20 Blast is not able to take place this season.

Friday’s ECB board meeting is also likely to decide that the tournament, which was due to start on May 28, is being postponed until later in the summer.

The county chief added: ‘Everybody is desperate to get a Blast season in because that is the cricket that will generate the most revenue. It becomes really difficult if there is no Blast.

‘It will be very challenging. We would be OK, but I can’t say that would be the case for all the counties — the Blast revenues for some counties are enormous.’

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