Worcestershire CCC will be facing Durham and not Hampshire in Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship next summer.
Durham have been relegated from Division One after accepting an offer of significant additional financial support from ECB in order to manage current and historic debt and revenue issues.
The conditions and sanctions that have been agreed within the new financial arrangement include Durham dropping into Division Two and starting the 2017 campaign with a 48 point penalty in this competition.
As a result of this decision second from bottom Hampshire will remain in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship in accordance with the ECB’s competition regulations.
Durham will also start next season with a four-point penalty in the NatWest T20 Blast and a two-point penalty in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
In addition, all non-player related ECB competition prize money due to Durham for the 2016 season is to be refunded to ECB or withheld until all debts owed by the club to ECB have been settled.
The club will also not carry out any future capital redevelopment works without ECB’s prior agreement.
Durham are also to be subject to a revised salary cap from April 2017 to April 2020 under the ECB’s Team Salary Payment (TSP) Regulations, set at a level to be determined annually by the ECB Board.
Within the package, the ECB Board has agreed to set off £2 million of the club’s existing debt to the ECB after the club accepted it would no longer be eligible to apply to stage Test Match cricket at Emirates Riverside.
The club will continue to be eligible to host one-day international and T20 international cricket.
The ECB has been working with the Board and Chief Executive of the County and its stakeholders throughout 2016 in order to ensure that Durham could address their financial issues.
This support has included advancing an annual fee payment of £1.294 million. There has been no direct investment to date.
The £3.8 million financial aid package – which has been approved by the ECB Board and accepted by the Board of Durham CCC – will allow the club to meet on-going salary, HMRC and operating costs, settle a substantial debt to a secured creditor and focus on the restructuring and future sustainability of the County Cricket Club.