Majority of Sussex Cricket staff now furloughed as bosses try to protect jobs

Sussex cricket bosses say they have now furloughed the majority of their staff - playing and non-playing - as they cope with the coronavirus lockdown.

Sussex are waiting for the day they can return to action at Hove
Sussex are waiting for the day they can return to action at Hove

In a message to staff and supporters, CEO Rob Andrew said the ECB and Professional Cricketers' Association had been very supportive, and it remained the club's aim to protect jobs and keep the business in as healthy a state as possible for when playing and other activities could resume.

Andrew said: "As we approach Easter, and what should have been the start of the 2020 cricket season on Easter Sunday with the visit of our friends from Durham to The 1st Central County Ground, I wanted to bring you all up to date with how the current COVID-19 crisis is affecting Sussex Cricket.

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"Since 31 March, the ground at Hove has been shut down for everything other than essential health and safety maintenance, and essential ground-staff work. We are also continuing essential work at Blackstone (The Blackstone Academy Ground, sponsored by Hurstpierpoint College) and BACA (Brighton Aldridge Cricket Academy – and home of Sussex Women’s cricket).

"Despite the closure of our ground, offices, and reception and club shop, our website and social media channels will continue to provide updates relating to Sussex Cricket, and we are processing online orders on a weekly basis. We are also doing our utmost to respond to any emails received to our [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] mailboxes, which in itself helps us stay in touch with members and supporters.

"We have now furloughed the majority of staff, both playing and non-playing, and retained a core essential team across all departments to ensure the business can be effectively managed through this next phase of the crisis.

"It is clear there is going to be very little of what we might term ‘normal business’ between now and the end of May. The Board of Sussex Cricket, with the support of the executive leadership team, are making decisions in the best interests of everyone’s health and in order to protect everyone’s jobs when we do return to normality.

"I would like to thank all our staff, including the playing squad, who have responded incredibly professionally to all of our discussions over the last few weeks. Everyone has agreed to play their part, whether furloughed or not, as we look to reduce costs in the short-term and wait for further developments on how the season might look.

"The ECB and the PCA have been very supportive as the game of cricket comes together to work on solutions to the operational and financial challenges facing the game. I have been very encouraged by the collaborative approach across the game as we face one of the biggest challenges possibly in the history of the game.

"I would also like to thank all of our members, supporters and commercial partners for their patience and understanding at this difficult time for both the club and yourselves. Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to provide you with as much information as we can and that we have in our possession on the next steps.

"We are still very hopeful that there will be some cricket later in the summer as the coronavirus crisis subsides and the Government decide on what we are allowed to do. The ECB and 18 first-class counties are working on many scenarios from June and July onwards.

"In the meantime, please keep safe and healthy, and stay at home where you can to ensure everyone connected to Sussex Cricket can assist the amazing work of our NHS staff at this very challenging time. We will be in touch with more information as soon as we can. Take care and best wishes to you and your families."