Some of them emerged on Monday, with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age told that CA had $97m in total reserves at the end of last month, a figure that includes $36m in shares. CA has been slammed for the level of its exposure to the stock market but it is less than had been assumed because of a confusing description in last year’s annual report that suggested $90m had been parked in investments along with $26.6m in cash.
According to a CA source, $12m has been stripped from the peak value of its investment in equities, which was said to have reached $48m in February.
Roberts told players last week that urgent cost savings were needed because of $20m to $25m in projected lost revenue during the winter, a figure that takes into account shares going down, the cancellation of two ODIs against New Zealand in March, the propping up of the Twenty20 World Cup organising committee and unpaid money from debtors.
Already at a low point of its four-year revenue cycle, Roberts feared the cash would run out by August.
The standing down of staff is saving CA $3m – not including the 20 per cent pay cuts taken by Roberts and the executive team and their forgoing of bonuses – and there is further uncertainty on the horizon, with permanent job cuts in the works.
The states, who were asked to take 45 per cent reductions in their grants from CA but refused and are now looking at the prospect of staggered decreases, do not believe the situation is as bad as has been portrayed and that last week’s brutal cost cutting was unnecessary.
While money was lost on the ODIs against the Black Caps being called off, CA also hasn’t had to fork out for men’s teams travelling to New Zealand and Bangladesh because those tours were abandoned, a limited-overs trip to England in June is in serious doubt and the women’s side didn’t travel to South Africa as scheduled.
The result of the last week’s developments has been a renewed erosion in trust with the game’s head office after nearly three years of relationships attempting to be rebuilt since the pay war of 2017. Devastated staff, meanwhile, have had their lives turned upside down while Roberts, who is on an estimated base of $1.2m, plots the way forward.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association, which clashed so bitterly with Roberts during that dispute when he was deputy to James Sutherland and the CA front man in the negotiations, have also been asking for more detailed financial figures for weeks as well as for an update on where the game is at in securing a $200m line of credit.
Roberts is due to speak to media on Wednesday and there will be no shortage of questions.
Chris Barrett is Sports Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.