ECB terminates Stanford contracts

The ECB today served notice that it was terminating, with immediate effect, its contracts with the Stanford group and would therefore not be proceeding with any further Stanford commitments.

At a meeting of the ECB Executive Committee held on February 20, ECB chief executive David Collier confirmed the notice sent to counties on February 19 that the Executive Committee and ECB board, during the budget process, had taken a prudent view to income from a number of sources.

As a result, the termination of the Stanford agreements had no impact on the projected Fee Payments to counties nor the Recreational Assembly.

John Pickup, chairman of the Recreational Assembly, commented: “At a time when the global economic climate is putting great pressure on sponsorship and finances for club and community sport, the ECB has taken a responsible and prudent attitude to its financial planning.

“The report from the chief executive demonstrated the wisdom of this approach and it is pleasing to receive confirmation that the commitments from ECB within the memorandum of understanding for the Recreational Assembly are to be fulfilled.

“Over the past four years we have made great strides in the funding for the recreational game and the certainty of income has been a key factor in the game being able to deliver increases in participation numbers in excess of 20% in each of the past two years.”

Two members of the Executive Committee, David East, Essex chief executive, and Jim Cumbes, Lancashire chief executive, said: “The communication from ECB yesterday that the termination of the Stanford agreements would not negatively impact our Fee Payments was a great relief to all counties.

“Today the further confirmation of this fact allows counties to move forward with their 2009 budgets given that, for some counties the ECB Fee Payment accounts for the majority of their income.

“The economic climate is very difficult at present, in particular in the area of sponsorship and corporate hospitality, and therefore a solid income base through the ECB Fee Payments is critical to all counties, which is why we were anxious to receive this confirmation.

“The Executive Committee fully supported the board's decision to terminate the Stanford agreements.”

Collier added: “ECB was shocked by the charges filed against the Stanford organisation and personnel earlier this week by the SEC (the United States Securities and Exchange Commission).

“Within minutes of the announcement, ECB determined to suspend any further discussions with Stanford and the board has now agreed to terminate the ECB’s agreements with Stanford.

“Given the uncertainty of the financial markets and the sponsorship dispute between Digicel and the West Indies Cricket Board over the matches in Antigua in 2008, the Executive Committee and board, when setting the 2009 budgets, took a prudent position in creating a contingency in case the Antigua matches did not proceed.

“For that reason, ECB was able to confirm immediately to counties and the Recreational Assembly that there would be no impact on Fee Payments in 2009.”

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