Meeting planned to decide future of First Class County Durham cricket

Sussex's Andrew Hodd in action during the LV County Championship, Division One match at the Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street.

Sussex's Andrew Hodd in action during the LV County Championship, Division One match at the Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street.

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A financial rescue package designed to secure a future for First Class and international cricket in County Durham will be discussed by councillors this week.

On Wednesday, Durham County Council’s cabinet will make a decision on a request from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to convert its outstanding loans of £3.74million to the county’s cricket club, into redeemable preference shares.

The package would also see a pause on repayment of these loans.

Together ECB say these measures would offer the newly formed Community Interest Company (CIC), which will run Durham’s cricket club in the future, the strongest start.

The request from ECB is part of ‘an all creditors solution’ designed to give the new club the best chance of a profitable and lasting future.

It is also described as offering the council, and other creditors, including the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, the best opportunity to get their money back.

In exchange for converting the balance of the council’s loans to Durham County Cricket Club (DCCC) into shares, ECB has committed to a financial model which offers the county council the possibility of full repayment of the loans over time.

Ian Thompson, corporate director for regeneration and local services, said: “We received a letter from ECB on October 6, outlining the request that we support an ‘all creditors solution’ and we have now had time to consider the detail and the implications.

“It’s clear that without an agreed rescue package Durham County Cricket Club faces insolvency and we would almost certainly lose our investment if that was to happen.

“This financial package, together with the ECB’s conditions of a new Chairman and board for the CIC, would secure a future for First Class and international cricket and give us a very good chance to get our money back in full over time.

“The Emirates Riverside club and grounds are an important part of our rich cultural and sporting offer but without the acceptance of this deal we could lose it, I don’t think that’s in anyone’s interests.”