Somerset and Sussex have both announced that they will furlough sections of their staff to protect jobs.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused severe disruption to the landscape of English cricket; on Tuesday the ECB announced a £61m package to help first-class counties and recreational clubs cope with the ongoing financial fallout. No professional cricket is to be played before at least May 28, with the ECB assessing start dates for the season in June, July and August.
Sussex have decided to furlough “the majority of its non-playing staff” under the UK government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.
“The shut-down of cricket and with it nearly all the club’s commercial activities until the end of May at the earliest means that we were faced with no alternative but to furlough as many staff as possible during this period,” said Sussex chief executive Rob Andrew.
“The decision has been taken with one thing in mind, which is the protection of everyone at Sussex Cricket’s jobs once we emerge from these extremely challenging times.”
Somerset “have taken the difficult decision to furlough a significant proportion of its staff”. The club has not specified whether this includes members of the playing staff.
“By taking advantage of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, we are able to preserve jobs at the Cooper Associates County Ground during such a difficult financial period for the Club,” wrote chief executive Gordon Hollins. “It also ensures that we will be in a strong position to face the opportunities and challenges that will lie ahead once we have overcome this pandemic.”