I have now been in post for four weeks and am beginning to understand what makes the club tick.
Firstly, I would like to apologise to all of you for the manner in which we have dealt with this year’s allocation of season tickets and car park passes. While the vast majority were issued without a problem, for some there have been significant issues.
I am not going to defend the Club, we have not performed as we would have liked but I would ask that you judge me and the commercial team on how we handle this next year.
This season there is very little we can do to right this wrong but we have learned from our mistakes and assure all of you the service will be vastly improved next year.
When I was approached by the club my brief was firstly to put in place a business structure to take us forward for the next five years. My other key priority is to improve the clubs financial position which has underperformed in recent years.
I am endeavouring to improve our balance sheet and at the same time respect the club’s history and its loyal supporters. Like many of you, I am a lifelong supporter and passionate about our club – however, we cannot stand still and ignore what is going on around us.
We developed the Basil D’Oliveira stand, the Graeme Hick Pavilion and The View, all in a very short period of time and, given the size of the Club this was both forward thinking and hugely ambitious.
Further plans to develop the New Road stand are underway and this will provide a facility for the City and ultimately will secure the Club’s financial security for many years to come both on and off the field.
It has become increasingly clear that the 18 counties must manage their finances better in order to become sustainable businesses.
Cricket alone will not guarantee the future of Worcestershire County Cricket Club – we have to promote and provide commercial opportunities to bring businesses and supporters to the Club whether it is to watch cricket or to benefit from the facilities.
Projects such as the development of the New Road stand have very high build costs and before commencing such a project we must have a healthy bank balance in order to meet all eventualities with little or no risk attached.
It would be wholly irresponsible to begin this project without some degree of financial security and it is my intention, with the Board's approval, to get to that point before proceeding.
There will be change at the Club and this will not impact on our history or the way we do things but, from time to time, if there is a business case that says change is for the better, then we will do it.
I have received numerous messages covering a variety of topics. One related to signage, as a result I walked the ground and authorised the replacement of a number of outdated signs. We are looking into improving the website and Wi-Fi cover and establishing a picnic area to encourage more families to visit the ground and finally repairing the leaks in the D’Oliveira stand!
I have made it clear to everyone that New Road must remain the best provincial ground in first class cricket – be assured, investment in our ground is a key priority.