Former International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed reckons that the CEO of Cricket Australia, Kevin Roberts has failed to explain how finances in Australian cricket have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and also said that any CEO must work to build respect rather than popularity.
Cricket Australia is going through a major financial crisis, which has already put 80% of its staff on 20% salary till the end of June, while a few others, including the executives, remained on 80% pay. The move was criticized severely due to the fact that CA had some AUD 90 million ($58.15 million USD) in reserves at the end of March (2020), including AUD 36 million ($23.26 million USD) in stock investments.
Malcolm Speeds, who served as CEO of CA between 1997 and 2001 himself, said that Kevin Roberts still had a lot of explaining to do. Speeds pointed out how the organisation was still apprehended to have lost massive amounts of money in the stock market, when in fact it has seen an initial investment of AUD 22 million ($14.21 million USD) in 2012 rise to around AUD 45 million ($29 millon USD) earlier this year before slipping back to AUD 36 million due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While speaking to SEN Radio, Speeds said that the situation has been messy. He added that he read an article recently saying cricket has lost millions of dollars in the stock market. He also said that before it lost millions in the stock market it made millions of dollars and its lost part of its profits, but it hasn't lost anything yet because it hasn't sold. That was an issue. He opined that Australian cricket's financial issues have been explained very well as they're quite complicated and he thinks Kevin Roberts has stumbled through that and tried to clarify the issue, but it's very difficult to follow.
Speeds also said that there have been a lot of surprises and the CA staff seemed to be surprised that they were stood down by the board and added that they didn't see that one coming. He further said that he thinks there's still some explaining to be done there. Speeds also mentioned that he would not be very surprised if Kevin Roberts lost his job as a result of the mess the board is in and added that he had been surprised by a couple of the other things that have happened.
Prior to his role as the CA CEO, Kevin Roberts as the board's executive general manager (GM), had created controversy as many Australian players such as Steve Smith and David Warner had revolted against his move of the national team's players not receiving their fixed share of board revenue with 'grassroots cricket development' being cited as a reason by Roberts. The Australian team nearly conducted a player strike on the eve of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, before an agreement was reached on the same.
IMAGE COURTESY: CRICKET.COM.AU