Accrington Cricket Club



PRESENT: Peter West, Peter Westwell (Trustees), Peter Barratt (President), Alven Burrows (Management Chairman), David Barratt (Management Secretary) and over 70 members in the room.

Alven Burrows welcomed members to the meeting and advised that this meeting would be chaired by Peter West.

APOLOGIES: Arno Stark, Nigel Stockley, Terry Neville, Ian Wilson, Matt Wilson.

Peter Barratt outlined the financial situation that the club was in which was detailed on sheets distributed at the meeting. Although all sections had monies in their accounts these monies are spoken for and the cricket account had only enough money to run for a month or two, and would show a significant shortfall of around £10,000 by the end of the season. Peter went through the costs of staging cricket matches to illustrate this point.

Brian Prickett asked if the cricket account is the main problem and who / what is responsible – Peter B replied that cricket is the problem and that rising costs and decreasing revenues, especially bar receipts were the general problems. Brian noted that professional costs are now £15,000, up from last year. Peter B stated that we had re-signed the professional to try to get some continuity and improved performances on field. The old contracts used to be all inclusive but it is very difficult to achieve this now as professionals are more demanding. David Hargreaves stated that the professional costs were known when he re-signed. Alven replied that we had hoped to raise the money over the winter, but this had not happened. Ted Marshall stated that these days it doesn’t matter who you sign as it will have very little effect on attendances.

David Lloyd stated that we need to look at the way forward from here, sponsorship needs a major drive, and we need to attract other winter sports, even reducing the size of the square to fit if needed, to fit on football pitches. Malcolm Pritchard stated that the council has now provided free football pitches for junior clubs, and questioned whether such clubs would pay to play down here. David L also stated that we should look at using some of the land for housing if possible, and contact developers to look at this. Malcolm confirmed that the council would consider housing plans. Malcolm asked if David L would be able to get memorabilia for a grand raffle or auction. David stated that he could but we need to look at long term plans and sponsorship, not single hit solutions.

Peter West put it to the meeting that we had two issues, the immediate shortfall and the long term view. Peter West asked why the rugby club had left – Alven replied that they had left for better facilities elsewhere, they had problems with the pitch at Highams with many games being called due to the state of that pitch.

Bill Rawstron stated that the key to the way forward is to have a business plan, which he is willing to help with, but he cannot see anything in place at the moment. Peter B replied that the same people are doing many jobs, and we need new volunteers so that we can restructure the committees and let people specialise in certain areas. Dave Hargreaves asked that with reference to a business plan had we set up different sections. Rod Kenyon replied that we already have many sections but when we have tried to increase numbers people have been unwilling to join these committees.

It was suggested that to increase the bar revenue during the winter that we should contact Accrington Stanley to get the away fans parked down here and the bar open. Christine Sneddon stated that Burnley C.C. already do this, but Peter W advised that Burnley have a different type of bar licence. Rod stated that we had tried to arrange this last season and had been let down by the police, who decided against diverting traffic down here.

At this point the secretary read out a letter from Grahame Ashworth with some suggestions on how to raise money. Peter West announced a break in the meeting at 8:35 for people to recharge their glasses, the meeting re-commenced at 9:00.

Peter West started the second part of the meeting by posing the question as to whether the club can survive as a cricket club alone. We need to raise about £25k a year for cricket, and Peter W doesn’t think that other clubs would necessarily bring that money in. David Lloyd stated that winter sports would at least bring money behind the bar and possibly attract new members. Rod Kenyon brought up the idea of netball but the tennis courts are not big enough without extension. There has been talk previously of tarmacing the car park to provide a surface for such activities, but this has not happened due to the lack of money.

Russ Cuddihy asked if we had clubmark as yet, Peter B replied not as yet, Russ said it was important as grants have been freely available at clubs with clubmark.

Peter W asked for any offers of help. David Lloyd agreed to help raise the profile of the club and said that he could be contacted for press or radio items. Danny Kegg from Nelson stated that he thinks offering life memberships would be a worthwhile exercise. Perv Ali offered to help market sponsorship boards and was asked to contact Rod Kenyon for details. Marion Ormerod stated that we need a list of volunteers to help us survive, and urged people to come forward tonight. Peter Westwell offered his services to the management committee and asked if anyone else would come forward, but no one appeared willing to do so.

Bill Rawstron offered to help with the business plan as will Steve Davis.

Peter West informed the meeting that he had received a pledge of a substantial donation to the club, any members wishing to make a donation should contact Iris Barratt who has a list of donors. Rod Kenyon announced that an anonymous donor will cover the projected shortfall this year.

Brian Prickett stated that the cricket committee should look at signing an affordable professional for next year or just pay an amateur. David Lloyd said to contact him when signing a professional as he has contacts around the world.

There being no further business Peter Barratt thanked all present for their attendance and the conduct of the meeting, and promised that the committees will take on board as much as they can and will do their best to progress the club.



The Club