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No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: BarmierKev (IP Logged)
Date: 24 July, 2020 21:06

I am disappointed that all our matches of the Bob Willis trophy are behind closed doors.

I find it odd that gyms, cinemas pubs are open yet they cannot arrange for any spectators whatsoever in an open space in what is a sedate environment.

I'm considering asking for a refund of my membership. I will keep my sponsorship of my player shirt going.

Hope to catch some Club Cricket.



Barmy Kev
I'm only here for the tele



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2020 20:28 by BarmierKev.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2020 00:26

The fact that spectators seem unlikely to be admitted to any Bob Willis Trophy matches on the county circuit is mainly attributable to the government, as I am sure that the counties must feel heavy-hearted at making it clear that matches will be played behind closed doors.

The issue of spectators being able to attend matches can be added to a few other issues whereby the term ‘one-size-fits-all’ could be used to describe the government’s response to the issue, as although it might be impractical to admit spectators to international cricket or at football grounds which are usually filled to capacity (due to this raising questions about who gets to attend and who misses out), an exception could be made to Bob Willis Trophy matches at most grounds considering that social distancing and observation of other measures could be achieved with little exertion considering that spectators naturally spread themselves at County Championship matches played at headquarter venues or at some of the outgrounds Middlesex use.

I am confident that a long list could be compiled of activities which are currently permitted despite the risk of coronavirus being caught and/or spread being greater than that posed by attending first-class county cricket.

If the admission of spectators to the forthcoming Surrey v Middlesex and Warwickshire v Worcestershire friendlies (as well as at the World Snooker Championship and Glorious Goodwood) gets by successfully, then maybe the government will decide that grounds can admit spectators earlier than the planned date of October, hopefully at the very least in time for the T20 Blast, or maybe even in time for some Bob Willis Trophy matches. However, as Middlesex’s two Bob Willis Trophy home matches will be at Radlett, I am not sure whether I would take any opportunity to attend.

Lower Mound (my dad) has suggested this as a subject to be discussed between Mike O’Farrell, Richard Goatley, Angus Fraser and Stevie Eskinazi at the coming week’s virtual forum, although they might opt against this on the basis of it not really being a Middlesex or ECB decision. If the issue does get discussed, maybe they will claim that allowing spectators to attend would risk players and officials catching coronavirus or in the virus being given an unnecessary opportunity to spread amongst those in attendance and consequently anyone who attendees subsequently come into contact with.

As I am not really a fan of the idea of sitting in front of a computer screen all day to watch cricket, I don’t anticipate myself watching much of Middlesex’s Bob Willis Trophy campaign.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Old Enfield Colt (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2020 06:48

I presume Kevin Hand will be allowed in to provide the comms on the BBC internet service, so at least the games can be followed in that way.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2020 10:32

You would not have thought that there could be many Kevin Hands in the world but one cropped up the other day in a documentary about Pluto (the demoted planet, not the dog) - Professor Kevin Hand, astrobiologist and planetary scientist. Same middle initial too but Peter rather than Patrick.

I did wonder whether he was moonlighting but he would have been bigging up Pluto's chance of being promoted to the big time again.

Small world,eh? Just like Pluto.


Adelaide

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: tallliman (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2020 14:53

I'm disappointed but also I'm thinking that its the only press release that could be made at the moment. If the trials games go well, I'm sure there will be representations to allow limited admittance to the games. If so, I fully expect we'll see some cricket.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
Date: 26 July, 2020 00:46

An article in the Mail on Sunday says that there is a private hope amongst the counties that if the forthcoming test events at The Oval and Edgbaston are successful, then spectators may be admitted to matches as soon as the Bob Willis Trophy starts next week. However, my enthusiasm about this is dampened by the fact that the word ‘trials’ is used to describe any initial Bob Willis Trophy matches to be played in front of spectators.

It would certainly feel strange if no-one is allowed to attend a highly-meaningful Surrey v Middlesex match at The Oval that carries first-class status the week after spectators had been permitted to watch the same two sides play a match at the same ground with little in the way of meaning or observation to the laws and traditions of cricket.

Surrey received 12,000 calls inside five hours to enquire about tickets for the warm-up match, while Middlesex’s allocation of 100 tickets were snapped-up in around five minutes, so I fear that even if 6,000 spectators (which is the figure the article gives as The Oval’s maximum capacity for matches played under coronavirus measures) are permitted each day for the following week’s Bob Willis Trophy match, it might be difficult to obtain tickets.

On the subject of Surrey v Middlesex matches at The Oval, I opened my bank statement on Saturday to find that Surrey had automatically issued me with a refund on 30th June for the ticket I had purchased for this Twenty20 fixture scheduled for 28th May. Still, I was hopeful that they would have waited until they knew whether or not this fixture could take place after all in 2020 at a full Oval, or that they would have given me a credit against a ticket for the corresponding fixture in 2021.

If spectators are permitted at Bob Willis Trophy matches at any point, then sport would be well on the way to allowing people to attend T20 Blast matches, international cricket and other sports.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: wembleylion (IP Logged)
Date: 26 July, 2020 11:30

BK's opening post regarding asking for a refund raises some interesting issues. As members we are entitled to attend, free of charge, all Middlesex home matches. If we are not allowed to that implies that the club has not fulfilled its side of the contract and the members would be entitled to refunds. The fact that the club were unable to admit spectators, rather than choosing not to, would presumably not free it from the liability to refund as the contract is not deliverable and therefore void. I heard a Yorkshire official discussing this very subject on the radio and he was very concerned that members would be denied any cricket this year and would be seeking refunds, a very significant cost to the club. The counties will certainly have incurred costs this year but will also have saved significant sums as a result of not staging matches, furloughing etc. No doubt many members will donate their subscriptions in any case. It will be interesting to hear what line the club will take on this, clearly they are in an unenviable position.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Surbiton crusader2 (IP Logged)
Date: 26 July, 2020 12:27

And why should that be?

Despite the lousy weather yesterday the Surrey cricket championship started with spectators allowed to watch

County championship matches at Lords to not exactly attract the multitudes do they

I arrived at Esher yesterday afrer Sunbury's game finished early. The previous two Saturday's Sunbury played two warm up matches to fair sized crowds

SC2

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Seaxe_man1 (IP Logged)
Date: 26 July, 2020 18:56

It certainly questions the exact point of the covid-19 tests held at the Oval and later Edgbaston.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Ab195 (IP Logged)
Date: 26 July, 2020 23:01

Is there any news on refunds of memberships? It’s really simple for me: either I get a refund (or partial refund if there’s a bit of cricket) or I don't come back in future (and I trust someone with more resources will test the lack of refund in court).

I won’t be the only one and I fear for the club if it comes to that.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 26/07/2020 23:03 by Ab195.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: dnb (IP Logged)
Date: 27 July, 2020 08:17

Those members wondering about refunds should listen to the financial statement made by David Kendix at the 156th AGM on the members only section of the Middlesex website ( it was about a month ago). It runs from ca 6m to ca 15m on the U tube video.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Old Enfield Colt (IP Logged)
Date: 27 July, 2020 13:57

For those unable / unwilling make the labyrinthine trawl through the web site to find David Kendix's [ well made ] comments, the short answer appears to be no refunds.

My own take on this fwiw is that you've just got to roll with it. Money spent in February is a sunk cost, its gone. Live with it, hope that County Cricket survives in some recognisable form to re emerge in 2021 ( which might not be the case if wholesale refunds have to be made ). Membership of a club is part to guarantee cheap / priority admission to games, but it's also to support the game we love, which needs all the help it can get right at the moment. Of course I really feel for those who have made a big sacrifice to find the membership fee, or who are newish members, but this, I think, is the reality of the situation.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Sussex Seaxe (IP Logged)
Date: 27 July, 2020 17:48

I'm inclined to agree with Old Enfield Colt. I do sympathise with those whose discretionary spend is hard to come by and we are all, of course, disappointed not to be able to attend cricket (apart from club cricket, of course). On the other hand, I suspect most of us are not spending the money we would have on a whole variety of things - holidays, transport, theatre visits etc etc - so may have a bit more cash than we expected. I absolutely accept that this does not apply to anyone in danger of losing their job. My general view is that membership of a club is just that; membership. We pay it to support the game and in particular the team we follow. It is not a season ticket.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: BarmierKev (IP Logged)
Date: 27 July, 2020 18:02

I am beginning to come round to this point of view. I am still annoyed at how other sources of entertainment can now happen that appear to be infinitely more risky than a day of cricket at Radeltt.



Barmy Kev
I'm only here for the tele

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 27 July, 2020 21:22

I think it would be more reasonable to offer discounts on next season's membership to those who have got next to no cricket for their dosh this year. That would reduce the number of members so hacked off that they don't renew without knocking an immediate hole in the financial position.

Obviously there would be a financial loss in the future through offering the discounts but would this be any greater than that incurred through hacked off members deciding not to renew?

I have no special financial interest, being a lifer, at least not beyond wanting the the club to outlive me (many years down the line, I hope) rather than the other way round. If I were an annual member I would not be looking for a refund but then I am retired and my finances remain much as they were. If I had lost my job, or (probably more likely right now for many) I was worried about losing my job in the next few months I might well have different feelings.


Adelaide

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: tallliman (IP Logged)
Date: 28 July, 2020 06:36

Notts have offered members the option of a refund or a donation for this season.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Ab195 (IP Logged)
Date: 28 July, 2020 12:10

The club has to decide whether it wants to alienate those of us who simply won’t come back if we don’t get a refund (or at least an active choice). Not offering that choice feels brave, when other clubs are doing exactly that. Many of us were introduced by cheap first year memberships via our unions and the like, and picked Middlesex because Lords is lovely. We don’t have a long lasting relationship with the club and we are very happy to join the crowds at the Oval.

Oh, and a club that expects me to delve into the details of the AGM, and sit through a video, to get answers to an obvious question like this is perhaps not a club with a bright future anyway. Certainly implies it doesn’t care about members once’s they’ve paid.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 28/07/2020 12:15 by Ab195.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: wembleylion (IP Logged)
Date: 28 July, 2020 12:41

Agree with Ab195, other Counties seem to have been much more sympathetic to their members than ours. I really do wonder if the hard line announced by the finance man would stand up in court. Are our top officials still receiving their full salaries? They can't have been that busy this summer. What other major expenses are the club incurring? It will be an insult to our members if they simply keep our money and do nothing/say nothing.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
Date: 28 July, 2020 20:01

I think the club’s justification for not intending to refund members is that they claim that they are giving members value for money by providing live streams of matches (although this cannot be considered a members’ privilege unless I am incorrect in saying that it is free for everyone, and it is of little use to those who lack the technology or desire to spend long periods staring at a computer screen), by providing a few features on the members’ portal on the official website, by posting interviews of members of our executive board, and by doing standard things such as allowing members to participate at forums/AGMs and offering discounts with club partners. In other words, the club are likely to argue that when a membership is purchased, the member is paying for more than just attending cricket.

However, a lot of members will have great justification to disagree with the club’s stance considering I imagine that it will be the case with a lot of people that their overwhelming motivation for becoming a member was so they could attend as many as 39 days of Middlesex’s home matches mainly at Lord’s, and that they were not attracted by any of the aforementioned privileges. The fact that the likelihood is that the only cricket we will play at Lord’s this season will be a handful of evenings of Twenty20 matches in front of little or no supporters and that our only home matches in many members’ preferred form of cricket, first-class, will be a maximum of 8 days at Radlett which members may not be allowed to attend means that many members will not get anywhere near as much from their membership compared to what they initially expected.

Re: No County Cricket for me this year
Posted by: MiddleToWest (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2020 08:50

I'm torn.

I hadn't considered that some people are members mainly because it's a cost effective way to watch cricket in a pleasant setting; I assumed people were members because they wanted to support their county. You learn something new every day.

Living 90 miles from Lord's, I very rarely attend enough cricket to get financial 'value' for my membership - Radlett and MTS might as well be in Oslo for the ease of getting there. That said, the distance means I get country rates so we're only talking a tenner a month spread over the year.

I'm happy to let the club keep my money as my main drive is to support Middlesex cricket. Others might feel differently; especially as the first 'benefit' of membership is listed as "OVER 40 DAYS OF MIDDLESEX FIRST XI CRICKET".

Perhaps it would be good if the club offered some incentive - like a partial refund or a discount on next year.

It's a tough one for all.

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