The South Australia Cricket Association has become the first state cricket association in Australia to react to the financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic by laying off a significant chunk of its staff, including the general manager of their BBL franchise, the Adelaide Strikers.
Steve Baldas was among 16 staff members, in addition to seven contractors, who lost their jobs, as the association faces massive financial losses in the face of the pandemic. The SACA announced its cost-cutting move to its members on Thursday night.
“These decisions have not been made lightly – people are our number one priority,” Andrew Sinclair, the association president, said in a message to members. “However, we need to act in the best interests of SACA as we face one of the toughest times in our 149-year history. We will continue to plan for next year’s cricket season, with the hope that we can all return to normality as soon as possible.”
The association has chiefly been hit by the suspension of the Australian Football League, which has hit the revenue of the multi-purpose Adelaide Oval stadium. The ground is jointly managed by the SACA and the South Australia National Football League (SANFL).
“It is now apparent that SACA’s financial operating position has been, and will continue to be, severely affected as this situation continues,” Sinclair said. “While we are now in the cricket ‘off-season’, the shutdown of Adelaide Oval (and all associated match/event revenues) impacts us significantly as a fifty per cent joint-venture partner in the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority.
“As a response, SACA has been forced to implement significant cost-saving measures. The focus of these measures is to ensure that we can continue to operate and that we can get back to our role of providing cricket programs and matches across South Australia when conditions improve.”
The association has also moved to cut its remaining staff’s salaries by 20%, while the hunt for a new coach for the Redbacks, following the exit of Jamie Siddons, has been halted.