Their annual meeting was held via Zoom on Tuesday evening, with the adoption of the club’s accounts, proposed rule changes and elections on the agenda.
Members voted to adopt the accounts for Sussex Cricket Ltd for the year ending 31 October 2020, which showed an operating loss of £26k, compared with an operating profit of £408k in 2019. These figures are for the consolidated accounts which include the activities of Sussex Cricket’s charitable arm, the Sussex Cricket Foundation.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including playing the 2020 season behind closed doors, led to reduction in turnover of over £2m.
Much of this was mitigated however by the generosity of members and supporters in donating their membership and Blast Pass fees, of corporate partners in deferring their sponsorship benefits and of both playing and non-playing staff in accepting temporary salary cuts, as well as significant operational savings and the receipt of government grants, including via the furlough scheme.
Proposed rule changes relating to subsidiaries of Sussex Cricket Ltd, standards of governance and the board of directors were all approved by members.
Sir Rod Aldridge was re-elected as president for 2021/22 and the re-election by the board of directors of Bob Warren as chair for a further 12 months was announced. Two new vice-presidents were also elected, Christopher Bidwell and Amanda Bridson.
Following the evening’s formal proceedings, Jon Filby, chair of Sussex Cricket Foundation gave a presentation of the Foundation’s activities during the past year, before members had the opportunity to ask questions of the board officers, chief executive Rob Andrew and the cricket management.
Commenting on the past 12 months at the end of the meeting, Warren said: “The last year has been a major test for the organisation, the players and the staff. However, all have come through relatively unscathed thanks to the collective and selfless contribution that makes Sussex such a special club. I would like to thank our members and partners for being part of that. I am proud of how we have come together during this extremely challenging time and am looking forward to a much more productive year, both on and off the pitch.”
Andrew added: “‘The efforts made by all staff and players last year were fantastic. For many people it has been a very challenging 12 months, and sports clubs are no different. We set out early in the pandemic to protect the long-term health of our people and the business. I am pleased that we have been able to achieve that and set our vision for the next few years both on and off the field.
“I am very optimistic about our future with a very talented group of young players and the exciting construction of phase one of our masterplan for the 1st Central County Ground. Just as importantly, our community cricket activities continue to go from strength to strength, making a huge impact across the whole county. We are all looking forward to a packed summer of cricket and bringing smiles back to people’s faces.”
Reflecting on the work of the Sussex Cricket Foundation during the pandemic, Filby said, “The last year has shown that cricket has such an important part to play in bringing communities back together. We are looking forward to another exciting summer of cricket for all in cities, towns and villages across Sussex.”