Cricket Business : Bad News for Australian cricketers, big salary cuts imminent

Australia’s cricket board have projected a nearly 25-30% plunge in revenue that underpins player payments as the domestic game struggles to cope with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, local media reported on Thursday.

A 25 per cent reduction on the pre-pandemic revenue figure of $407 million would take it down to about $305 million, just below the initial $323 million expected before the $1.2 billion TV deal was signed in 2018. This would see players lose $28 million in payments. 

Why Cricket Australia’s revenues matter to the players ?

It has been agreed between the players and Cricket Australia in 2017 that board will share 27.5% of its total revenues with the players. The total revenues or Australian Cricket Revenue (ACR) constitutes of money earned from broadcast deals, sponsorships, percentage of gate and other revenue streams for CA. Players earn 27.5 per cent of ACR. Now with the new revenue projections presented to the Players on Wednesday, player salaries will be impacted majorly. 

The players union, the Australian Cricketers’ Association, confirmed to Reuters that they had received revised revenue projections from CA and would hold a board meeting to discuss them later on Thursday.

CA Chief Executive Kevin Roberts said last week the board was facing a shortfall of about A$80 million in revenue due to COVID-19 and there was a high likelihood Australia would not be able to host the Twenty20 World Cup in October-November. The bleakest scenario looks to have been avoided, however, with India’s lucrative four-test tour, worth an estimated A$300 million in revenue, set to go ahead in the home summer.

CA had more than A$90 million in reserves at the end of March but furloughed about 80% of its workforce in April to save some A$3 million in costs, a move that drew widespread criticism.

Several of Australia’s state associations have also made deep staff cuts in recent weeks.

Roberts last week flagged another round of cost-cutting, saying no part of the game would be “untouched”.

$1 = 1.4497 Australian dollars