Modest profit as county defy the wet weather
THE promised small surplus on the 2012 Derbyshire balance sheet has been confirmed.
The county cricket club were in the black by £23,310 last year. That figure is up on the £20,215 surplus from 2011 and it is the sixth time in the last seven years Derbyshire have met their target to balance the books with a bit to spare.
The only considerable blip on that record of good housekeeping was the £187,037 loss in 2010.
Set against the backdrop of an exceptionally wet summer in which Derbyshire had to compete for public attention with the Olympics, European Championship football and the Queen's diamond jubilee, this is another very good financial result for the club.
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Other counties have struggled badly. Leicestershire announced a loss of £254,215 and Warwickshire were a calamitous £2.1m in the red last year.
Derbyshire have been a model of how to manage a club on a modest budget but 2013 will see the club up the stakes following promotion to Division One of the LV County Championship.
By committing more expense to recruiting a high-profile overseas player in Shivnarine Chanderpaul, as well as signing Billy Godleman and Richard Johnson and rewarding the current squad with improved contracts, Derbyshire have taken a calculated risk.
They have gambled on being able to bring more revenue into the club and chairman Chris Grant knows that will not be easy.
"The good news recently with increased membership bodes very well for this year but it will still be all hands to the pump between now and the start of the season," he said.
"I cannot say hand on heart that we will be in surplus again this year because we have increased expenditure on the playing squad to prepare for the challenges of Division One. We still have a lot of hard work ahead of us.
"I'm still confident we can attract extra money into the club and, moving forward, we are in a strong situation relative to other counties because we don't have debt."
Derbyshire are to post out to members this weekend an outline of their plans for the future, which includes taking on what Grant calls a "controlled level of debt" as part of their ground redevelopment proposals.
The members are being asked to vote on changes to the way the club is governed, with a reduced management board of nine taking over from the current 15-man committee, to enable the club to press ahead with a £2.5m redevelopment of the County Ground.