Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave confirmed yesterday that payment salaries of players and other staff for the month of November has been delayed due to short-term cash-flow issues, adding, however, that the CWI has rectified the situation and is expecting payments to go out from today.
Grave, responding to a question from the Express about the payment of players this year, said that before November, all players’ salaries would have been paid on time this year, except for June when the payments were a few days late.
He also noted that the payment for November had been “unfortunately” delayed. However, he said, “We expect all players to be paid this week.”
The Englishman said the players were informed of the delay and that the CWI was working towards rectifying the short-term cash-flow problems.
“We have written to all of our players and our regional franchises to inform them all that unfortunately, due to unavoidable delays in securing a short-term loan, their November salary payments will be delayed,” he said.
“CWI has worked tirelessly over the past few months to significantly improve the financial position, including reducing our borrowing by over US$11 million and now, (we) only have a US$3 million overdraft facility.
“However, with our new media rights agreements only due to start in January 2020, we are experiencing a short term cash-flow issue impacting players, staff and suppliers. We are working on short-term options that will ensure all of our players and staff can be paid soon and that our finances will be stabilised from January 2020 onwards,” he added.
Grave was spoke on the Sportsmax Zone yesterday where he went into more details about the ongoing situation, calling it “a cash-flow crisis” rather than a profit crisis.
“We haven’t disbursed any of our monthly outgoing, including the franchise operational payments due at the end of November and that is what we expect to be going out from tomorrow (today),” he said on the regional cable TV sports program.
“It is a timing issue, effectively,” he added, explaining that November was the most expensive month of the calendar for Cricket West Indies with the senior men and women on tour and the regional Super50 being played.
In terms of fixing future cash-flow issues, Grave said the CWI had commissioned an independent financial review and the findings and recommendations were expected to be discussed by the Board of Directors at a board meeting in Saint Maarten tomorrow and Friday.
“That will look at the structure of our organisation from an financial point of view, making a number recommendations that I hope we can implement immediately. So that is the longer term view.
“I would say the second point is that we are in a unique position in that our seven-year media rights deal ended at the end of August with the men’s home tour against India. That seven-year agreement is now up for renewal and we are busy in all markets all over the world, securing our new media rights agreement which we expect to be in place in the next few weeks and we’re doing those on a five-year basis,” Grave continued.
“In the last six to seven months we’ve paid back a lot of debt so we paid back in excess of probably US$15 million worth of bank borrowing and we have reduced our financing cost significantly.
“This is a cash-flow crisis, not a profit crisis or anything else. We’ve just come off the back an audited financial year where we made an US$18 million profit with lucrative tours of England and India...this is very much a timing issue and it is something we’ve been planning and desperately trying to avoid but, unfortunately, the money has just come into the organisation that allows us to meet those end of month payments for November,” he said.