The recent ECB job specification for a newly appointed senior manager, clubs and leagues, referred to developing a ‘Club of the future’ strategy. What might a ‘Club of the future’ look like?
If ECB and Sport England funding in the short to medium term, at the very least, is focused on supporting club Covid recovery, where else are clubs able to turn to finance their development plans?
And if those development plans are required to embrace Net Zero commitments within their lifetime, where would you start?
They are questions we will be addressing in our next virtual Network Forum on Thursday May 27 (7.00-8.30pm). Back to the future: building a sustainable club looks beyond Covid-19 emergence and the Build Back Better mantra to the challenges facing recreational cricket clubs in the short, medium and longer term.
The LinkedIn event page can be followed here and details will be updated as arrangements progress. You are also able to invite your club colleagues and other local club leaders who are not members of the Network.
To register for the event, please click on the blue button below and spend 30 seconds adding your details.
Presumably you have heard the Build Back Better mantra? What does it mean?
Are you expecting the world to change as a result of events since March 2020? Or do you think things will look pretty similar to 2019 once we get coronavirus under control or at least learn to live with it?
Some things have changed for certain as far as recreational cricket is concerned. The game will be grappling with the financial impact of Covid-19 for some time. That probably means less money available for clubs unless ECB can capture a sizeable chunk of the £300 million HMG funding for sport recently announced……and see investment in the recreational game as a core priority. So what other options are there?
Many clubs…..or at least forward thinking people within clubs…..are beginning to embrace Build Back Better. Can you use it to galvanise a broader commitment to create a sustainable long-term future for your club?
What might that look like? Does it go beyond short-term financial solvency? Revisiting plans for your facilities and, perhaps, becoming more ambitious? Fundamentally reviewing your business and operating model? Assessing how fit-for-purpose your ownership structure is? How can you future-proof your sport, recruit and better retain players, given the foreseeable challenges from within and outside cricket?
Are you considering you could well be asked within the next 5 years to develop a Net Zero Club Development Plan? Not a high risk yet, maybe, but still significant. At a more immediate practical level, if you have to plan replacement of your heating and hot water boiler, what are you going to do? And while climate change is already having an impact – just ask your groundsman (and your insurance company) – are you going to actively think about water harvesting, renewable energy, and travel to away games? And not just as risk issues, and potential costs, but as a business opportunity, too?
All of these issues will be included in a wide-ranging Network forum session on May 27 designed to stimulate thinking as preparation for a practical discussion on core elements of Build Back Better. Indeed, to begin scoping out the ‘Club of the future’ agenda with which we are likely to become very familiar over the next few years.
This is the first in a series of online Network forums focused on key club development issues, identified by Network members, on February 25 starting at 6.30pm.
This event explores the future of Clubmark following recent developments and will update participants on what is happening and why. It will also share understanding of the purpose and practical implementation of the Safe Hands Management System.
Beyond Clubmark, we will focus on some critical club development challenges that repeatedly emerge from the Network’s online discussions: applying leadership skills, identifying strategic priorities, delivering plans, getting and keeping others involved.
However, this is not about warming-up well rehearsed problems but seeking solutions and different practical approaches. Some will be presented to the session, others will be teased out of the discussions.
We are delighted, therefore, to have some great speakers and contributors.
Be warned, though, there’s heavy emphasis on attendee participation with posted discussions on the main issues both before and after the event, allowing us to weave your comments and questions into the agenda.
As well as our members’ LinkedIn group page we have set up a Network event page with more informationhere. This allows members to invite club colleagues and other club leaders who are not members of the Network.
On the back of the successful Covid-19 support webinar series over the summer and the new found universal passion for Zoom (or equivalents) we wanted to gauge the appetite for further virtual sessions on a range of club development issues.
So if you have yet to give us 2 minutes of your time to complete a quick survey, please click here and tell us NOW.
If there is sufficient interest, and it looks as though there is already for at least a few of the topic areas, then we will pursue discussions with the cricket bodies, outside providers and potential guest contributors to Network hosted events to look at doing something over the winter.
And please also tell us if you’re NOT interested so we don’t get carried away with the response from a skewed sample of the Network membership. We know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
The focus has to be on short punchy sessions with maximum participation – our sharing knowledge and learning ethos – which adds value to you as a club leader; delivering practical things you can do that you’re not already doing in areas that present the most challenge or where there is scope for deriving the most benefit for your club. This is not about training but quick wins.
Allocated responsibilities for delivering the plan to those with the right competence/skill sets
Can anyone genuinely respond 1,2 3 and 4 and claim that commitment to the vision is largely unquestioned, all who need to buy in to the strategy have bought in, the plan is guiding everything the club focuses time on, and you and your committee are leading – that is inspiring, engaging, guiding, supporting, coaching, mentoring and occasionally directing – and not just managing yourselves or the few involved in delivering?
If yes, then what’s your secret?
I have had some very interesting conversations on the back of the ECBCA Zoom calls over the summer. Primarily around the role of leadership in clubs………………..
The poll has closed with nearly 750 club responses – around 40% of all Clubmark clubs – in little over a week.
58% of you want to get the game on and, if league cricket is now unlikely, you’re looking for guidance on what’s possible to deliver meaningful cricket at some point this summer. The ECB Routemap published last night sets out what progress might look like.
However, nearly 30% of respondents are keen to play whatever form of cricket, whenever that is possible. And that might be ahead of or without official guidance, if it comes to it, so long as legal and insurance requirements are met.
13% of respondents think the practicalities of putting the game on make meaningful cricket unviable and we should focus instead on keeping the family silver safe for a return in 2021.
These are the questions uppermost on people’s minds and the focus of the next Network webinars on Thursday 11 June at 4.00pm and 8.00pm.
The webinars will cover some key issues:
The Playing in 2020 poll results and why people voted the way they did
Where are we with getting back on the field, what are the main challenges, and what might the game look like?
What’s stopping us getting the game on, now, and can clubs really ‘go it alone’?
Is no cricket in 2020 an option?
How do clubs participate in the decision making and what can we contribute to the recovery
I am delighted we will be joined in the 4.00pm session by guest contributors to help frame the discussion:
Richard Cox is ECB’s Head of West Midlands region, former CEO of the Dutch Cricket Board, and integrally involved in cricket’s response to the crisis
Alastair Symondson is Head of Media at CricketWorld and has published challenging digital articles advocating an early return to the field
Colin Mico is a member of the Network’s advisory board as cricket development lead at Caterham CC and one of the leading club insurance experts
The 8.00pm session will reflect on what we heard and broaden the discussion.
We want to ensure the sessions are as interactive as possible and draw on the wealth of evidence and views already on show in Network discussions.
If you want to join one of the webinars, simply post a comment with the time you prefer to attend – 4.00pm or 8.00pm – on this post in the LinkedIn group. We will add the simple joining instructions there ahead of the events.
If you haven’t already spent the one minute responding to the Poll – and over 730 clubs have to date – you have until midnight tonight and you can find it here.
With league cricket looking increasingly unlikely, leagues and clubs are already exploring other options.
That, of course, is dependent on the development of appropriate playing conditions to comply with government guidelines.
To gauge a club view, we have put together a one question poll with three options and asking you to identify which option best fits with how you see your club’s view on its appetite for cricket in 2020.
There are a few identifying questions – name, club, county, league(s) – but, as usual, the results will only be published in aggregate and anonymised form