As England’s players face up to the reality of pay cuts, Stuart Broad says it would be wrong for the squad to remain on their current pay given the ECB is looking at a loss of more than 100 million pounds this year because of COVID-19 and, as a result, is having to make more than 60 staff redundant.
The latest batch of ECB men’s central contracts took effect on October 1 and although the terms of those contracts have yet to be finalised, it is certain that they will not be on the same level as last year. At the start of the summer, the England squad collectively donated 500,000 pounds to help with the ECB’s financial position and Broad says the players are happy to contribute to cost savings once again.
“I think 100% there’ll be pay cuts,” Broad, who won the Test player of the Summer award at this season’s NatWest Cricket Awards, said. “The players are very aware of the situation. With the ECB having to potentially lose 60-odd staff, it would be wrong that the players stay on a similar pay. I’ve not heard any official sort of numbers.
“The players are very open to that sort of thing. I don’t think you’ll be getting any players complaining about taking more pay cuts because it’s sort of in line with the world, isn’t it? It would be a really average feeling to have that we were not making sacrifices like the rest of the world. So I don’t think you’ll get too many people complaining of whatever comes our way.
“At the end of the day we’re just lucky and fortunate that we got some cricket in this summer to get the ECB in a position that it can keep supporting the whole of cricket in the future. If we hadn’t got any cricket this summer, the whole game would have looked a complete mess. So yes, the players are fully aware of our responsibilities and will be very open to anything the ECB offer.”
What level of pay cut is agreed remains to be seen but Ashley Giles, director of men’s cricket at the ECB, said on Wednesday (September 30), that the cuts would have a “material” impact on the game’s finances. The Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) is the body that negotiates the terms of the men’s central contracts with the ECB on behalf of the players and a statement is expected in due course, confirming the final terms.
“Although the players have been in a bubble for the majority of the summer they are not blind to the reality of what is going on in the world,” Giles said. “The players have done a huge amount this summer, saving a lot of money for cricket across the board and, in some aspects, keeping the lights on across the country in cricket.
“But we are mature and realistic about what is going on and revenues are likely to be less in future and that has impact on everyone. We are going through our own redundancy process at the moment which is particularly tough for those going through it. We are the ECB as one and it is right that we share the load.”
As Giles suggests, playing 18 men’s international matches this summer ensured the ECB retained vital broadcast revenue which, in turn, has reduced the financial impact on the game in England and Wales. The success of the ECB’s bio-secure bubbles has also given a template for the rest of the cricketing world to follow. If England do play any cricket this winter – they currently have planned series against Sri Lanka and India in the new year – that template will likely be followed.
“To be honest I wouldn’t have concerns about going away to a bio-secure bubble because I’ve seen it work so well this summer, how the ECB have put that on,” Broad said. “It’s felt very secure. We’ve had teams fly over and come into our bubble and seems to have worked really well so if the likes of the IPL continue to work I don’t see a reason why we can’t do these bio-secure bubbles all around the world to get cricket on the screens.
“I personally would be happy to go to anywhere as long as it was a bio-secure, safe environment to play some cricket because it gave everyone a boost this summer. It felt safe and I know Tom Harrison [ECB chief executive] and Ashley Giles at the ECB who control these things would never do anything to put the players or support staff in harm’s way. So if we got the go-ahead from the ECB, which I hope we do because I’m desperate to play some cricket this winter, I’m sure the players would be fully supportive of that.”