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Author Topic: The decline and fall of a cricket club...  (Read 3798 times)

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tim2000s

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The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« on: September 13, 2016, 08:57:58 AM »

This is a cautionary tale of why managing your club carefully is important and taking into account the people, far more so.

A few years back, our club had 5 saturday teams, 2 sunday teams and a thriving colts section, playing midweek and weekend mornings. The firsts comfortably won the league and got promoted. It was a relatively young team and high performing.

Then the club management started to make some odd decisions. In spite of the colts thriving, due to poor cost management and lack of willingness to commit time, a decision was taken to hand the colts section over to another local team. For the new league season, they also made the decision to pay a number of new players in the higher league.

Unfortunately, that year turned out to be tricky:
  • With no colts section, the 5th team struggled for players. It had been the feeder team where Colts moved into adult cricket.
  • The paid players only ever turned up to play - there was no give back into the club, coaching the lower teams, and as there were no colts, there were no youngsters to coach.
  • The youngish first team players got itchy feet. The best still played firsts. Those who weren't so good got pushed down the the 2s. I'm good enough to play 2s, so this was a bit of a downgrade for them
As the season progressed, the first team didn't perform anywhere near as well as they had the previous year, narrowly avoiding relegation and having little to no team spirit. The numbers issue started to affect the 4th team as well, which regularly had to turn out with 10 men. At the end of the season, many of the former first teamers elected to leave the club due to not getting the opportunities over the summer.

Fast forward to the AGM, and the position of the club wasn't great. The lack of first team performance meant there was no vote to keep the paid players going. The lack of team integration generated a massive them and us culture. Instead of one club, it became much more like 4 individual clubs using the same facilities.

The following year, without the paid players and with a fair number of the former first teamers no longer playing, the firsts sucked up the seconds, and the hoover worked its way down. By the end of the first month of the season, it became clear that we were struggling to get 4 teams out regularly. The 4ths were rarely getting more than 9 and the Sundays were 9 pretty much every week, with only one team.

Mid-season, the third team captain resigned due to regularly losing all players and as the summer progressed, many 4th team matches were called off due to there being not quite enough players for three teams. By the end of the season, most of the club management committee had resigned and the AGM was going to be a bloodbath.

From thriving with loads of teams to struggling with what would end up as three.

The combined triggers of dumping your colts and moving to pay players rapidly destroys the soul of a club. And in this case it was no different.
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Stuey

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 09:15:54 AM »

Handing over the youth is a very strange decision, a death nail in today's environment.
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iand123

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 09:50:42 AM »

The colts decision is insane, how are the club doing who took the colts on? I presume they are reaping the benefits
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Blank Bats

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 09:59:30 AM »

Very strange decision indeed, but did they have the volunteer base to run the teams.
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hopwoodbear

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 10:27:31 AM »

how on earth do you have the idea that its in the clubs best interest to pay players over funding the production line of talent into a 4/th 5th team

the members have to share some of the blame for agreeing at AGM to discard the youth section

if you havnt got the people to run the youth section then pay some coaches to do it not players in the 1stXI
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 10:29:27 AM by hopwoodbear »
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Calzehbhoy

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 10:32:49 AM »

An example of a club trying to force an elevated position for the first team.

For a club to thrive and be strong it has to have all it's XI's playing at a level that feed each other to allow the (when they have them) colts to progress through and push themselves at each level.
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Seniorplayer

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 10:44:31 AM »

Dispite having excellent faciilities and  players paying what they can afford My club as  lost players  over number of years very few players have had transfers we have gone from 2 teams Saturdays 1 team Sundays and 1 midweek to one team on Sat and only had 11 for one match this season also you need your own transport to get there as the ground is in the countryside.
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trypewriter

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 10:50:39 AM »

That's a very sad story Tim. Not that I'm an expert but I don't know of many 'successful' clubs who don't have a colts/junior section.
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ppccopener

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 11:11:58 AM »

Yes sad read this...it takes commitment to run colts, I've tried on our committee to get expenses and some perks for those people who give up their time. I couldn't see us letting go of our colts(we have four teams) and at the same time I fully understand the effort our coaches put it- it's a lot of effort and commitment

our first eleven have been relegated(we have lost players) so there is a debate currently to get players in. We would not pay anyone to play, we might consider a coach who could also play for our firsts.

In our league there are players who get paid or have their fees cancelled so it's free. I don't agree with it myself but it goes on, hence attracting new players is very very difficult.

It's def getting harder to get decent cricketers in...some of our club want us(the committee) to pay people.

So far we have resisted that idea....for many of the reason mentioned by Tim.It will be over my dead body anyone is paid to play at my club(just players I mean not coaches)

I do hope your club gets back on track but it will take a big effort. The one thing you need is like minded people running the club-their goals and aims for the future...If your split on the Committee it's a nightmare

good luck, sorting it out is a long long process
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FattusCattus

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 11:29:39 AM »

Our club has put a huge amount of effort into our colts, with games through the week and weekend, and some 120 kids plus, out on the field being coached on a Friday night.

The bar is open and fully staffed on a Friday night and we take far more money then than the rest of the week combined.

This has put the club on a firm financial footing and has meant over the last 3 years a flow of young players into our 4's, 3's and 2's. This year our 4's and 2's got promoted and our 3's were runners up.

Interestingly we don't pay players in our 1's or an overseas (he gets half his flight paid, free accommodation and we help him find paid work). Our 1's struggle at the moment and need a couple of quality players, but we as a committee have confirmed no paid players, and that we will wait another couple of seasons if we have to for the youth to work it's way upwards.

Getting people to take on colts teams is difficult, but if you can, it has to be worth it.
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Stuey

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 11:38:37 AM »

We are very fortunate that currently we have club members willing to run our youth teams (U9-U16), they are the lifeline of our club, both through the income they generate (in addition to our bar) and providing players (including some parents) to our 4 Saturday teams. We do recruit new senior players in addition,  but not in the number to keep running 4 or even 3 teams regularly. We do offer small incentives to youth managers, like a couple of free pints after youth training, but nothing more substantial. We also run a summer camp in the school holidays (3 days) which is well attended and we do pay younger senior club members to help out (funded from the Camp income), but youth managers like myself tend to take time off work (again we do get the odd free pint or 2 for doing this).  We are also looking to run an U19 side this year to keep players between 15-19 interested, which we hoping to play on Sundays (mainly) to help fill the void left by the lack of Sunday cricket (no interest), along with a local T20 senior comp.
We have had overseas players, mostly good but some not, this year we (1st XI) were relegated and have taken the view to employ a full time coach rather than an overseas for 2017, to raise the standard of all players in the our club. Hopefully a majority of playing members will buy in and we can improve the performances of all players on mass. We'll see how it pans out. All this is a lot of hard work, but a few committed members can drag a club in the right direction. 
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JTtaylor145

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 11:53:07 AM »

This is a huge worry for our club as we enter the East Anglian Premier League next year. The clubs colts section is perhaps not as good as it could be and coaching within the club needs an overhaul. I'm worried that the club may become totally 1XI focused. How do we avoid this?

Calzehbhoy

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2016, 11:58:24 AM »

This is a huge worry for our club as we enter the East Anglian Premier League next year. The clubs colts section is perhaps not as good as it could be and coaching within the club needs an overhaul. I'm worried that the club may become totally 1XI focused. How do we avoid this?

You guys win the Norfolk league?
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Biggie Smalls

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 12:19:08 PM »

My new club has had the opposite evolution . A few years back i was playing at a different club and the club im at now was looked on as a no-hoper of a club which was run like a shambles . Then this crappy club merged with a juniors association and fast forward a few years and they have a better culture than my old club (even though my old club still regularly wins the club championship ) . The merger , which provided a continual flow of youth into the seniors ranks , was a lifeline and a total club culture changing event .
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Stuey

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Re: The decline and fall of a cricket club...
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 12:19:39 PM »

This is a huge worry for our club as we enter the East Anglian Premier League next year. The clubs colts section is perhaps not as good as it could be and coaching within the club needs an overhaul. I'm worried that the club may become totally 1XI focused. How do we avoid this?
Do you have someone overseeing all youth cricket on your General committee (i.e. a Youth Manager) ? We have a Youth Manager and a Cricket Chairman (moi) to oversee Youth and Senior cricket respectively and work collaboratively. Senior Cricket tends to be 1st XI focused, but Youth cricket can sit side by side.
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