Worcestershire back in the black

Worcestershire have announced a profit of £103,627 for the financial year that ended on September 30.

The surplus for 2010 follows a six-figure loss in 2009 and was achieved with some drastic cost-cutting, including lopping around £300,000 off the playing budget of director of cricket Steve Rhodes.

Losing some high earners after the 2009 season – including former England fast bowler Simon Jones, off-spinner Gareth Batty and paceman Kabir Ali, who controversially joined Hampshire after he missed pre-season training and was subsequently released – helped Worcestershire’s cost-cutting exercise.

The county went back into profit despite suffering a reduction in attendances during last summer’s Friends Provident T20, which clashed with football’s World Cup.

“Some difficult decisions and sacrifices have had to be made, both on and off the field, over the past 18 months and also going forward into 2011,” said Worcestershire’s new chief executive, David Leatherdale.

“Despite reductions in most income streams during 2010, with twenty20 ticket sales hit particularly heavily during June and July due to the football World Cup in South Africa, reductions in expenditure have given the Club a stronger base going forward.

“The Club has a long history with a loyal following and it is evident that the development of younger players is of key importance to members and supporters as the present positive response in terms of membership renewals for the 2011 season demonstrates.

“The last few seasons have been an up and down affair and while the economic climate is likely to be difficult going forward, it is vital we ensure the Club has a future which is both viable and sustainable.

“First Division cricket will test the squad and retaining this status beyond 2011 will be a major achievement. There is no doubt the playing squad has the potential to perform well at this level and we all look forward to an exciting summer ahead.”

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