Kent cool on members’ reform plans

Kent have reacted philosophically to the stated intention of two of its membership standing for election to the club committee on a ‘reform’ ticket.

Disaffected members Graham Holland and Nigel Williamson announced after day one of the 160th Canterbury Week festival that they will put their names forward at the next club elections in March 2012. They are demanding greater accountability and transparency in the way Kent’s business is run, and have released a detailed manifesto of their aims.

But Kent chief executive Jamie Clifford, who met with Williamson at the St Lawrence Ground on the opening day of the current County Championship match against Surrey, said: “We are a members’ club and as such welcome the views of all those who want to get more involved in taking Kent cricket forward.

“We are all passionate about Kent’s future, and what needs to be done to ensure a successful future both on and off the field, and a lot of what Graham and Nigel are saying is already being done, or is on the club’s wish list.”

Holland and Williamson are chiefly concerned about Kent’s financial problems in recent times, which has seen the club sustain operating losses of £2 million over the past three years and a projected £400,000 loss this year.

Redevelopment work, however, has been ongoing at Canterbury since last October, as a result of the sale of two plots of land at the St Lawrence Ground for £4.2 million, and the club is beginning to see an improvement in both cash flow and new revenue streams.

But, in their manifesto for change, Holland and Williamson make it clear that they do not trust the present management of the club. They say: “A lack of transparency has left members in the dark over the future of further progress on the ground redevelopment and unclear on the extent of the club’s indebtedness – or how that debt will be serviced.

“The problems off-the-field have been reflected on it: Kent are already out of both one-day competitions and at risk of finishing bottom of the County Championship.”

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