iddlesex have been hit with a £50,000 fine and a suspended points deduction over the “historic financial mismanagement” of the club.
The England & Wales Cricket Board have handed down the punishments following an investigation which exposed the county’s failure to comply with financial regulations.
The ECB will reduce its annual dividend to the club by £150,000, though £100,000 of that hit is suspended until 2025, while points deductions worth 24 points in the County Championship and two points in each of the T20 Blast and One-Day Cup will also be suspended for two years.
In addition, Middlesex will be forced to submit a business plan to the ECB which shows “sustainable year-on-year profit” and limits spending on players. The investigation found money from the governing body intended for use on development and recreational formats had been spent on the first-team.
“We have agreements in place with all our county cricket clubs and county cricket boards to ensure that ECB funding is used appropriately and for the purposes in which is it intended,” ECB chief executive Richard Gould said. “Where breaches of our regulations and agreements take place, it is right that we take appropriate action.”
Middlesex posted a record loss of £952,000 to the end of 2021, following an internal investigation into what it has called “serious administrative irregularities into the club’s pension scheme, which when rectified, resulted in a significant impact on the club’s financial position”.
That finding prompted a wider review into the club’s mismanagement under its previous leadership, led by new CEO Andrew Cornish, who only took over the role in mid-2021.
“Naturally, we are extremely disappointed with the outcome of the ECB’s investigation and the sanctions which are imposed upon us moving forwards,” the club said in a statement. “However, today’s announcement from the ECB draws a line under the matter, and we accept their findings that historically, under previous administration, the club has been poorly financially managed over a number of years.”