Lancashire partners with Metro Bank in debt-consolidation move
Lancashire County Cricket Club, one of England’s 18 professional cricket teams, has signed up as a commercial customer of Metro Bank, the UK high street bank, in a debt-consolidation arrangement.
The agreement will allow Lancashire to consolidate its finances by reducing its annual interest payments, and “align its debt repayment profile with its long term business plan", and "enter the next phase of its growth." the club announced on Monday.
The club has previously been supported and funded by five money-lenders in Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Trafford Council, Macquarie Bank, NatWest Bank and a Cricket Bond.
This borrowing structure was based around redeveloping its Old Trafford ground, which included building a conference and event facility called The Point, as well as an on-site hotel, which have both opened in the last decade. The total redevelopment cost around £60 million ($77.8 million), and the ground's capacity has now increased to 23,500.
Partly a result of the redevelopment, Lancashire has seen its operating profit grow from £750, 000 ($974,000), in 2015 to £2.4 million ($3.11 million) in 2018.
A lucrative 2019 is expected, with Old Trafford hosting six matches at the ICC Cricket World Cup, as well as an Ashes Test between England and Australia.
Lancashire chairman David Hodgkiss said: “We’re delighted to have agreed and secured our long term financial position. We have security and consistency now in place for the next 10 years, which allows us to make the relevant and appropriate decisions in line with our vision for cricket in the North West, and our desire to grow the sustainable commercial model.”
In first-class cricket, the team currently competes in Division Two of the County Championship, having been relegated from Division One at the end of last season.