In 1997 a review of the financial health of English county cricket highlighted strategic weaknesses within the professional game, principally an over-reliance by clubs on the annual grants provided to them by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Without such grants the teams, in general terms, would be insolvent. Using the financial statements of the First Class Cricket Counties, this paper explores how the financial position and performance of the county game has changed, 20 years on from the seminal study. A series of structural changes to the game had been made, yet financial problems are still evident. Counties are as reliant on central grant income as they were in 1997, although there are cases where clubs have made strategic enhancements and are becoming self-sustainable as going concerns. Rather than the ECB directly funding county revenue it should be working in collaboration with individual clubs to achieve developments in the game from the grassroots upwards, in order to help clubs grow their own revenue streams.
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