Nelson Cricket general manager Dave Leonard. Photo: Supplied.

Nelson Cricket’s financial woes

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Nelson Cricket is in financial strife with the organisation reporting a loss last year of $74,000 – much of it owed to the Nelson City Council.

The situation prompted a review of Nelson Cricket Association’s (NCA) finances and led to an internal report entitled ‘What Happened?’, which has been obtained by the Nelson Weekly.

According to the report, conducted by Central District Cricket, various factors have caused the deficit as the organisation looked to expand the game throughout the region.

The report attributes poor financial administration, inadequate reporting and lack of oversight for the position the organisation finds itself in.

It says this resulted in too many surprises and no warning signals, which made it difficult to see the full financial picture.

The report comes as Nelson celebrates Saxton Oval getting another international match – between the Black Caps and England later this year.

However, the report says that profits from One Day Internationals haven’t risen as the association has needed to absorb more of the costs when hosting international fixtures. Hospitality numbers have also been down on previous years.

Nelson’s new indoor cricket centre at Saxton Fields is cited as one of the major contributors to the loss. The centre cost $200,000 which NCA funded from its reserves.

However, the investments haven’t proved as profitable as initially hoped with budgeted returns well down.

NCA says usage of the facility through holiday and coaching programmes was not as high as expected.

Nelson Cricket general manager Dave Leonard did not respond to requests for comment and instead directed all questions to the interim chair Nettles Lamont.

It is understood she took over the role two weeks ago after former chair Rod Baxendine stepped down.

She says the Nelson Cricket Association recently undertook an independent review to identify areas where it could improve its financial and governance performance.

This included a look into how the game is supported at community level, and how Nelson Cricket could best position itself for success in the future.

“The review was wide reaching, and a number of recommendations were proposed. The board of NCA are currently working with CD Cricket on the implementation of those recommendations. This outcomes of the review will not in any way jeopardise the ability for Nelson to host international and domestic first class cricket. Further details will be made available once all recommendations have been worked through and solutions put in place.”

Nelson City Council is understood to be a major creditor and a council spokesperson said that it would be working with NCA to ensure the debt is paid.

Strong investment into the community game over the past three years has also come at a cost.

The “Club Hub” programme was introduced to Nelson’s top clubs in 2016 with the aim of strengthening the game’s long-term health within the region.

NCA invested a total of $150,000 into the programme as it looked to connect the region’s clubs and build a stronger association.

The NCA says it is a larger business than it’s ever been in the past.

“We are delivering more and getting some great outcomes, and we believe the current structure provides a strong base for NCA to grow,” the report says.