The pandemic forced us to borrow money to pay staff, players: Cricket West Indies
West Indies Cricket President Ricky Skerritt, who is aiming for re-election after a two-year term, has revealed the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to borrow money to pay player and staff salaries, but the board’s debt was reduced to one-third in its tenure.
Skeritt will fight for re-election against Guyana Cricket Board secretary Anand Sanasie.
Speaking about the state of the CWI’s finances, Skerritt said they have improved dramatically since he took over.
âThe biggest problem we faced was that all of our future money was announced before we even got it. We were living on future borrowed income. So we had nearly $ 20 million in institutional debt. And we were borrowing to pay off the lenders.
âIt was all smoke and mirrors. And that’s understandable on short term strategies when there are hard times for cash flow. But it had become rampant, âSkerritt toldâ ESPNcricinfo â.
The CWI boss went on to say that the board had to borrow to pay staff who received a 50% pay cut as a result of the pandemic.
âSo we had to tighten our belts, focus on cash rather than profit and loss, and get rid of all kinds of unnecessary costs. And we have reduced our debt by at least a third after less than two years.
âAnd, with some difficulty, we improved our ability to meet our obligations, we just couldn’t meet most of our obligations (before).
âWe were borrowing money to pay salaries. We did this during the first year of my mandate. Until early summer of last year, we literally had to borrow to pay players and staff, âhe said.
The West Indies team were the first to tour amid the pandemic, flying to England for a series of tests in July last year.
Regarding the impact of the health crisis on gambling, Skerritt added, âThe pandemic has made everything more devastating. But it also gave us an opportunity and an excuse to focus on what we really needed to focus on … making all stakeholders understand that this would require sacrifices from all of us, including a 50 percent pay cut. for everyone.
âThe pandemic has forced us to do more with even less. And I think that in the final analysis, we will emerge from the pandemic more informed and more aware of what is needed for the future. “