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Leatherdale optimistic on County finances
10:00am Monday 16th July 2012 in WCCC
WORCESTERSHIRE admit the poor weather this summer has hit their profit margins but say they remain in a sound financial position.
Cricket has taken a battering by the elements with Glamorgan losing half of their 10 Friends Life t20 games to rain and Warwickshire’s Edgbaston home suffering seven wash-outs from 12 national and international fixtures.
New Road has seen its fair share, too, with games disrupted in all forms of the game. This month alone has seen the FLt20 clash against Northamptonshire abandoned and the LV= County Championship match with Durham interupted.
But, compared to the 2007 floods that ended up costing the County £1million, chief executive David Leatherdale is much more upbeat about the situation.
Only one match has had to be switched to Kidderminster’s Chester Road — the Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture against Holland in May — and there are still four four-day games to come at headquarters.
Worcestershire have also made changes to their business structure in the wake of 2007 and are making strides off the pitch, with the hotel development set for later this year.
Leatherdale said: “It’s concerning in that we hoped to make good profit but nobody can control the weather. The balance on the other side is that we are trying to mitigate that by looking at the things we put in place that help us make that profit.
“Investing in the non-cricket side of the business is key with the hotel development which eventually feeds back to cricket because that’s what we’re here for.
“We’re better able to cope with it than we probably were three or four years ago.
“It’s being able to try and manage to cope with these things. If you have a good run of fixtures and a good run in a competition, which generates money, then that all becomes a bonus.
“We feel as a club we are probably a little bit ahead of the game compared to some of the other counties.”
Although more than 3,000 fans witnessed last week’s FLt20 defeat to Somerset, crowds have not been as high as hoped for.
“The big area that has fallen down is the walk-up trade,” Leatherdale said.
“We would normally get some good crowds if the weather has been nice for a day or so before and people plan to come to the cricket. But it’s just not happened this year because if we haven’t had rain every day, it’s not been particularly warm and pleasant.
“While we’ve had poor weather so far, we hope it might pick up which will kick a few people into gear when August comes round. It’s nothing like 2007 and hopefully that won’t happen this season.”