Cricket Business: Pakistan Cricket Board also decides to cuts jobs amid Covid19 pandemic

First Cricket Australia (CA), then New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and now the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has started the cost cutting measures amid Covid19 pandemic. According to a report published by Dawn, PCB has terminated services of some of its employees by putting them on one month notice for period ending June 30th. 
Unlike CA, NZC and couple of other cricket boards all around the globe the PCB spokesperson has claimed that the decision to cut jobs has not been taken due to financial constraints caused by Covid19. PCB spokesperson rather gave a bizarre reply to Dawn when asked what is the reason for retrenchment decision ?

According to the report, the PCB spokesperson in a reply said as the staff in the PCB is surplus already, they decided to retrench some of their employees. The PCB spokesman further said that the step had been taken since the new financial year of 2020-21 was to commence from July 31 and things had to be reviewed.

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When asked if a three-month extensions could have been offered to the sacked employees to help them cope with these tough times, the spokesman said it was an administrative decision and was taken after keeping all aspects in the account. It is learnt that the PCB had made an amendment in its services act on May 15 for which it had taken an approval of the Board of Governors through a circular resolution. After that amendment, the PCB has started to cut down its staff.

Meanwhile, the PCB spokesman said that he had no exact figures of the retrenched staff but he could share that the staff belonged to all cadres.

The report has further mentioned that the PCB has possibly the largest set up among the cricket boards of the world as far as its staff strength is concerned. The total staff strength of PCB according to the reports has been estimated at 800 employees. The incumbent PCB body has already cut down the staff strength to some extent by abolishing the regional body system, where nearly 260 employees including groundsmen, curators besides office clerks were working and getting some portion of their monthly salaries from the PCB besides from their respective regions.

PCB on cost-cutting spree but claims ‘financial health fine’

Though PCB has refused to acknowledge that the retrenchment in PCB has been done due to the financial constraints, the board has been cutting costs on various fronts. The PCB, in a bid to deal with a possible funds’ crunch because of the Covid-19 pandemic, has decided not to spend on the infrastructure at its stadia and save in the region of $29Mn according to a recent report by ESPNCricinfo. The report quoted PCB chairman Ehsan Mani. 

“Our No. 1 priority is to protect the players and staff,” Ehsan Mani, the PCB chairman, said in a podcast on Tuesday. “Realistically, we won’t make any plans that aren’t attainable, but our message is clear with assurances that we will protect you as much as [we] can. We will safeguard the interest of the cricketers. There will be a cost impact, but there won’t be any unusual cuts”

PCB is currently without Media Rights Partner & Team Sponsor
PCB already has lost some revenues from the gate receipts and sponsorships on account of PSL season getting called-off middle of the tournament. Other than this according to their own acceptance $3-4Mn has been lost due the the cancellation of the series against Bangladesh. But the biggest worry for the Pakistan board is, they currently do not have broadcast and the team sponsorship (shirt sponsor) deal in place. PCB’S CEO Wasim Khan in a recent interview admitted that if these deals does not get locked soon, the board will get in tight position. 

“We incurred losses from the gate receipts and sponsorships,” Wasim said. “I was roughly calculating that it could be around the 200-million-rupee mark in terms of gate receipts that we actually lost on our revenue. This is something we will have definite numbers for in the next couple of weeks, and we will provide the details of where we made the greatest losses.

“So we are in a fortunate position in the fact that the only immediate loss we have is the the Bangladesh series. We lost three to four million dollars because we are not playing the Test and and ODI. Apart from that we have two things: one, our shirt sponsorship is up for taking, so we are not losing money on that, and we are looking for a new sponsor, and secondly, our broadcasting rights are ending and the Bangladesh series was the last of the Ten Sports deal that we currently had.

“Our finances are okay but like any other country if this continues for few months, then we will start to see a real challenge in our finances”.

Thus this explains, the recent retrenchment of employees by PCB.