CSA ‘must restructure because franchises never became self-sustaining’

Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe.
Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Cricket South Africa chief executive officer Thabang Moroe has said that restructuring of the domestic game has been informed by the financial burden the franchise system has put on CSA.

When the franchises were formed in the 2003-04 season‚ there was an expectation on them to be self-sustaining after a three-year cycle.

According to Moroe‚ this hasn’t been the case and with the provincial affiliates also being funded by CSA‚ the 20-team structure (six franchises and 14 affiliates) was becoming unsustainable.

The 2019-2020 season will be the last one to have franchise cricket‚ with domestic cricket returning to its previous structure of 11 unions with South-Western Districts joining the fray as the 12th side.

Mpumalanga and Limpopo will join the domestic first class scene at a later stage.

“When franchise cricket was started‚ they were given R4-million each and that amount was supposed to decrease to a point where they could operate by themselves. We’re at a point where we're giving each franchise R15-million with nothing in return for CSA‚” Moroe said.

“Not only are we funding franchises‚ we must pay for productions for the competitions that you see on TV and there’s nothing coming back. Even when the CSA T20 Challenge had a sponsor‚ CSA were still making a R22-million loss.

“If you look at the franchise system‚ it’s become a heavy burden on CSA. We’re saying that let’s not wait too long to reset. Let’s reset now because change is needed.

“We should have made a call on the franchise system around 10 years ago.”

CSA’s chief operating officer‚ Naasei Appiah‚ said the national body aren’t going to be impacted significantly as the shredding of the franchises means the there will less teams for CSA to service financially.

“The cost containment isn’t around player remuneration‚ but it’s in regards with the logistics of the system‚” Appiah said.

“When you have 12 teams playing against each other‚ you have 132 matches‚ and when you have two extra teams entering‚ the number of matches increases.

“When we remove the franchise layer‚ it’s not from a franchise perspective‚ but from a logistic and travel perspective. The cost was always there with the 11 teams because they continue to play their various forms of cricket.”

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