Ken Gordon's WICB Progress Report
Wed, Feb 8, '06
(The following is a prepared statement read by the West Indies Cricket Board president at a news conference on Wednesday, February 8, 2006).
At my first media conference some months ago, I made it clear that what is ahead of us is a marathon. Not a sprint.
I identified at that time (that was some time in September last year) the following priorities: Addressing the Lucky Report; resolving the impasse with the players; developing a plan through a specially appointed committee to address the WICB deficit; getting the best team from the Caribbean to Australia; meeting all Caricom Heads of governments to brief them on our plans to go forward; and winning support for putting the players under retainer contracts. We have done all these things.
What we have not done is to finalise the retainer contracts and we are currently awaiting a response from WIPA to our proposals. We hope that this will be finalised in the near future.
We are also taking a hard look at the WICB's Managerial structure and with the help of our finance committee have already been able to reduce our targeted operating expenses for the year by more than US$3M. Strong progress is being made on that front and already we are seeing dramatic results in controlling costs.
In October through December 2004, our loss for that period was US$1.8 million. In the identical three-month period for 2005, the loss was reduced to US$681,000.
In other words a reduction of more than US$1.1M for that three-month period. And this pattern continues. The exercise to review our management structure also continues.
But even with such progress we remain in a severe cash bind. We are now about to move into a new gear that will generate revenue. We have developed an action plan for that purpose. Plans are now well advanced for the launching of a PowerBall Lottery which we hope to commence in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Leewards. We are also optimistic about Barbados but this is yet to be finalised.
Thereafter, we shall seek to have a Caribbean-wide lottery. It is expected that this will become operational by the end of April 2006.
Another, major project contemplated is the West Indies Cricket Corporate Honour Roll. Major Caribbean corporations will be invited to participate as members of the Honour Roll, for which they would receive significant benefits. The team spearheading this is headed by Mr Peter Ganteaume of Guardian Holdings and it is expected that this project will be launched in the near future.
There are a number of other initiatives. I would prefer to defer comment on these until they are more advanced.
But these efforts will all be in vain if they do not result in improving the quality of our cricket.THE BENNETT KING PLAN
Hand in hand with raising revenues will be the launching of a Regional Cricket Development Plan which has already been prepared and is currently being referred back to the six Territorial Boards for their approval.
Once forthcoming, we will then have a wider seminar inviting major Caribbean cricket personalities to participate and critique the document. The objective would be to come up with a document in which there can be general "buy in" and for which there will be widespread acceptance.
It is contemplated that there will be 96 players, 8 coaches and 8 trainers employed year-round and they will work on a number of modules developed by the team operations unit.
The aim of the programme would be:
* To address the amateur approach to the game. (become more professional).
* To prepare players who are capable of performing successfully at international level.
* To significantly improve the quality of regional cricket.
* To provide a meaningful avenue for cricketers to earn, while learning.
* To provide a group of trained coaches/trainers for the region.
Once we get this going forward -- together with the retainer contract programme for our first line international players -- then we would have begun to seriously address present and future cricket development.
I am also pleased to announce that the WICB has recognised the importance of injecting additional representation on its Board. The Territorial Boards have given approval to proceed with amending the Memorandum and Articles of the WICB to accommodate up to four additional Directors. That process will commence almost immediately.
Meanwhile two specialist committees will be appointed, one headed by Dr Grenville Phillips who will address the restructuring and finance problems of the WICB. The Terms of Reference of that Committee are:
1. To guide the financial recovery and the restructuring of WICB's finances with particular reference to the outstanding deficit.
2. To closely examine the options available for addressing our deficit though pursuing the recommendations of the Grenville Phillips Report, the Stanford prospect, or other avenues; once settled to implement as early as possible.
3. To over look the Financial Management and Accounts of the WICB and to ensure that performance is in accordance with the highest standards.
4. To work with all relevant parties to develop new revenue streams.
CLIVE LLOYD - CRICKET COMMITTEE
The other will be a strong Cricket Committee which will become the principal advisor to the WICB Board on all cricketing matters. The Terms of Reference of that Committee are:
1. To keep all matters related to Caribbean and International Cricket under ongoing review and, to offer expert opinion for the guidance of WICB decision making.
2. To be responsible for advising the WICB on the selection and conditions of employment of the coaching staff and to be the senior coach's principal point of contact with the Board.
3. To keep the performance of the coaching staff under review and to guide the WICB accordingly.
4. To approve and monitor the effective implementation of the West Indies Cricket Development Programme.
5. To work closely with the WIN WORLD CUP Committee, the Territorial Boards, Stanford's 20/20 initiative and, all other events which impact on West Indies Cricket.
Mr Clive Lloyd has been invited to be the Chairman of that committee and he has indicated positive interest in doing so. He is now seeking the required clearance from his employers in London.
Two other eminent gentlemen have been invited to join us in the capacity of Advisors to the President. They are Sir Alister McIntyre, former Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and Mr Allen Stanford. I am pleased to confirm that they have both also accepted our invitation.
Finally, the WICB has set the following objectives for the period January to June 2006:
1. Finalise retainer contracts for players.
2. Restructuring of Board.
3. Annual Report/Accounts - Publication.
4. Cricket Development plan for WI Cricket.
5. Integrate Stanford 20/20 Initiative into WICB.
6. Launch Lotto Visa Card programmes.
7. Launch fund raising drives.
8. Achieve break even on Profit/Loss.
9. Leadership training programmes for future captains.
We shall continue to outline our objectives and report back on what has been accomplished in six-month cycles. This will afford you the opportunity to determine whether or not we have re-established our credibility.