Australian cricket’s players union has “little confidence” in forecasts of the sport’s revenue dropping almost 50 per cent because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The players’ union is criticising a lack of detail in fresh financial outlooks presented by Cricket Australia (CA).
The union, the Australian Cricketers Association, says the revised forecasts outline a possible 48 per cent reduction of the sport’s revenue for 2020-21, to $239.7 million.
The following year, there could be another drop of around 20 per cent, the ACA says.
Michael Page Australia has been delivering personal development webinars to players throughout the recent player leave period to help players gain key skills required to enter the job market post-career.
— Australian Cricketers' Association (@ACA_Players) May 25, 2020
The ACA board met on Thursday to examine CA’s new financial projections that assess the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ACA expresses a lack of confidence in these re-forecasts,” the association said in a statement.
The revised forecasts “do not appear to be reasonable or consistent with an obligation of good faith”.
“From what the ACA has been able to determine so far, cricket is yet to suffer a significant adverse revenue event and the outlook for the game remains positive,” the union said.
“The re-forecasts appears inconsistent with CA’s own public assurances that a $300 million Indian tour is a ‘nine out of 10 (likelihood)’.
“They also appear to run counter to CA’s recent public announcement of its international schedule.”
The ACA said the fresh forecasts could reduce the players’ adjustment ledger by up to $86 million “with a knock-on effect to player payments, benefits and funds”.
The ACA must now commence a more formal process of due diligence via good faith negotiation dispute resolution mechanisms.
“The process is designed to shine a light on CA’s re-forecasts and forecasting process so that a clearer and more reasonable formulation of them can be established.
“To not follow this process would be to risk further damage to cricket, the game we all love, and its otherwise bright future.”
CA has stood down about 200 staff and asked state associations to take a 25 per cent cut in grants from the governing body – a move being resisted by NSW and Queensland.
CA chief executive Kevin Roberts last week warned of an $80 million hit to the sport’s coffers this summer.
Roberts said CA stand to lose $20 million from not hosting the Twenty20 World Cup as per schedule this October and November.
The tournament is expected to be postponed until next year.
CA would also suffer a further $50 million blow from the likelihood of not having crowds attend international games in Australia this summer.
And CA would likely spend around $10 million on biosecurity measures to ensure international teams can play in Australia, Roberts said.