Cricket Australia board chief Roberts defends staff pay cuts
Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive Kevin Roberts says deep staff pay cuts were necessary to shore up the game's finances amid the coronavirus shutdown, despite the governing body holding tens of millions of dollars in stock investments.
RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT VIDEO SHOWS: VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL WITH CRICKET AUSTRALIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE KEVIN ROBERTS, FILE FOOTAGE OF AUSTRALIA AND INDIA PRACTISING SHOWS: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 21, 2020)(CRICKET AUSTRALIA - ACCESS ALL) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CRICKET AUSTRALIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, KEVIN ROBERTS, SAYING: "It wasn't an over-reaction because we're dealing with a situation that's hitting us unfortunately at the low point of our cash cycle over four years.
We reach a point in September, early September where if there's more shocks as we've had over the last month or more that our reserves were very thin and in fact effectively would chart a path to zero if we weren't to take drastic aciton.
Then you layer on top of that the possible... the possibility of the international season doesn't go ahead and that's an issue of hundreds of millions of dollars (Australian dollars)." 2.
WHITE FLASH 3.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CRICKET AUSTRALIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, KEVIN ROBERTS, SAYING: "We're estimating that we've taken a 20-million-dollar impact thus far and we have to anticipate given the unknown nature and fast-moving nature of this situation that there will be more risks than that 20 million dollars.
So, 20 million would take us from a low point of 40 million dollars in cash and investments and any further shocks would take us far lower than that.
And then if you contemplate the prospect of the international season in particular being affected, we have an issue of hundreds of millions of dollars on our hands.
So, it's very important that we plan proactively for that, we do everything possible to stage the season and to navigate our way through this as we go.
We certainly hope the situation doesn't go that deep and we'll be doing everything we can to prevent it but if it goes there and we haven't taken pre-emptive action beforehand we have nothing to fight it with." 4.
WHITE FLASH 5.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CRICKET AUSTRALIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, KEVIN ROBERTS, SAYING: "We're working through the detail of player payments with the ACA (Australian Cricketers' Association) and obviously respecting our obligations to keep our senior players informed as well.
And so that's a matter for us to keep discussing with the ACA and the players but what we've all seen and heard in terms of the leaders of Australian teams - who are just such high quality young Australians - they're acknowledging that everyone has a role to play here in helping fight this situation including the players in Australia's national teams - male and female - and we just respect their commitments so much.
We respect their desire to help so much and therefore we'll be respecting them in the way that we move through this situation together with the ACA and agree some creative solutions to deal with an unprecedented situation." 6.
WHITE FLASH 7.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CRICKET AUSTRALIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, KEVIN ROBERTS, SAYING: "At this point we won't rule anything out in terms of the Indian series.
Along with the BCCI and the Indian players and support staff we want to stage a series that inspires the cricket world whether or not there's people at the venue or not sitting in the stands.
And so we'll explore all viable options; many of which wouldn't have been contemplated until now but we're in a different world where all of a sudden we're being grateful for the things we do have rather than lamenting the things we don't and we need to face into all possibilities and fortunately we have a little bit of time to work through the different scenarios for the India series but we're not ruling out any possibility for that at this point in time.
It's all about inspiring cricket fans around the world with a great series and making sure that we can do so in a way that respects and manages the health and wellbeing of everyone from our players to India's players to support staff and fans to the extent that fans are able to attend those matches." LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - AUGUST 13, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 8.
AUSTRALIA BATSMAN STEVE SMITH AT PRACTICE SESSION 9.
NET SESSION 10.
SMITH AT PRACTICE 11.
MATTHEW WADE AT PRACTICE 12.
AUSTRALIA CAPTAIN, TIM PAINE IN NETS 13.
OPENING BATSMAN CAMERON BANCROFT TALKING MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA (FILE - JANUARY 13, 2020) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) 14.
INDIAN CRICKETER, JASPRIT BUMRAH WALKING 15.
INDIA CAPTAIN, VIRAT KOHLI ARRIVING FOR TRAINING SESSION/KOHLI WALKING ALONG WITH INDIA HEAD COACH, RAVI SHASTRI 16.
KOHLI BATTING IN THE NETS 17.
INDIAN CRICKETER SHREYAS IYER CHECKING HIS STANCE 18.
INDIAN CRICKETER, ROHIT SHARMA JUGGLING CRICKET BALLS AS INDIAN CRICKETER, RAVINDRA JADEJA SMILES STORY: Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive Kevin Roberts has said deep staff pay cuts were necessary to shore up the game's finances amid the coronavirus shutdown, despite the governing body holding tens of millions of dollars in stock investments.
CA announced plans to furlough almost 80% of staff last week, putting them on 20% pay until June 30 when it is hoped more will be known about how long government curbs to control the coronavirus will last.
The cuts, which will save A$3 million ($1.89 million), have drawn criticism from media pundits, given CA had some A$90 million in reserves at the end of March including A$36 million in stock investments.
Roberts, however, said CA had to be prepared for further blows to the game's finances if a sustained shutdown put paid to all cricket in 2020, including the Twenty20 World Cup on home soil in October and hosting India in a lucrative test series.
"It wasn't an over-reaction because we're dealing with a situation that's hitting us unfortunately at the low point of our cash cycle over four years," Roberts told reporters in a video conference call on Tuesday (April 21).
"In early September ... if there's more shots (to CA's finances) as we've had over the last month or more, that in fact would effectively chart a path to zero if we weren't to take drastic action.
"Then you layer on top of that the possibility that the international season doesn't go ahead, that's an issue of hundreds of millions of dollars." Roberts said the shutdown had already cost Cricket Australia A$20 million.
Players, who are paid a share of total revenues generated by the game, also face significant pay cuts if the shutdown continues deep into the year.
Roberts was CA's lead negotiator in acrimonious talks for a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union in 2017, and was ultimately defeated in his attempts to have them agree to abandon a long-standing revenue-sharing model.
He declined to confirm whether CA would ask players to take pay cuts even before the full extent of the financial impact from the shutdown is known.
"We're working through the detail of player payments with the ACA (Australian Cricketers' Association)," he said.
"What we've all seen and heard ... they're acknowledging everyone has a role to play here in helping to fight this situation, including the players in Australia's national teams." Roberts added that all options were on the table for domestic and international cricket, including playing the entire India entire test series at a single venue or at closed stadiums, if required to manage the health risks.
(1 Australian dollar = $0.63) (Production: Ursa Presern, Tim Hart)