Why Durham probably won’t be relegated following a points deduction

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Winsford Rock Salt Mine (CC licensed by Rhodian via Wikimedia)

Cricinfo are reporting that Durham face relegation if the ECB decides to impose a points deduction for their financial troubles. We can’t see it happening.

It’s not that we don’t expect them to be docked points. It’s just that they finished 45 points ahead of Hampshire in the top half of the table. We’re not sure what the going rate is for points deductions, but 45 would seem a lot in a sport that’s generally wedded to minimising ripples through compromise.

It would seem strange to do this retrospectively as well. Surely it’s more likely they’ll impose a fine for next season. In that eventuality, Durham might well have issues what with most of their top order having caught a train to Surrey at the end of the season.

Then again, giving everyone a whopping great head start while shorn of two of his best batsmen should elicit maximum grit from captain Paul Collingwood. If that’s how things pan out, the wiches of Cheshire should be able to slow production ahead of next winter.


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  1. It’s a bit strange how getting relegated is considered the main implication in most of the coverage of this, rather than, say, the existential threat posed by having insufficient revenue to avoid having to tap up the ECB to help pay the bills.

  2. …but if events don’t pan out well, so matters go yet further south, presumably Durham would end up at Loggerheads with the ECB?

  3. Surely a Club has to live within its means?
    It has put Durham at an advantage, against the rest of Division One.
    I am a Hampshire Fan, and we have had our financial pressures in the past, but I don’t think we ever had to go Cap in Hand to the ECB?
    Durham must make a fair whack from the 5 day Tests every year – something Hampshire don’t get by the way.
    Relegation might even the bias perhaps?

    1. Maybe they would, if they didn’t charge prices requiring you to remortgage your house to buy them, in advance, for all days of the test.

    2. It’s not quite so cut and dried as mismanagement though.

      Durham were asked to develop an international-standard ground to secure first-class status. Back when international matches were just allocated, this was one thing, but in recent years counties have had to bid for the right to host matches. Durham have then found themselves bidding against other grounds to even be in with a chance of recouping much of the money they were obliged to spend.

      Durham has a population of about 50,000. There is a train from Newcastle once every couple of hours. It is a hard ground to fill and for the same reasons they don’t really have the option of making money from concerts and the like, as the Rose Bowl (which is also a Test venue) does.

      Very few counties live within their means. That is the nature of county cricket. Several have bigger debts than Durham and there is heavy reliance on handouts from the ECB. Durham were also instructed to live beyond their means by the governing body, which is why we can’t buy this notion of bias.

      It’s hardly like Durham are hoovering up all the best players anyway. They didn’t have an overseas pro and they aren’t managing to hang onto their home-grown players.

    3. You have a short memory. Did not Eastleigh CC buy the ground from Hampshire in order for them to pay off £6.5m debts of club. If only Durham CC would do the same for Durham!

  4. Lots of sour grapes from Hampshire just shows them in a bad light. How did Durham’s ECB – created debt problems (temporarily) being shored up make them play better? Try hosting a Test against Sri Lanka in May, one week after the same contest in Yorkshire, and make a profit! Durham make a virtue of their situation by nurturing and playing young talent, mostly local, not poaching other counties’ players like some rich counties I could mention. And England benefit as a result.

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