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Lease helps Gloucestershire to record profit

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Tom Richardson with Gloucestershire's pavilion mid-redevelopment © Gloucestershire CCC
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Gloucestershire have had their financial belts tightened to the point of suffocation in recent years but a sign of more breathing space was delivered in financial results for 2012.

The playing budget was squeezed to the extent that the coach, John Bracewell, was contemplating the prospect of having to use amateurs last season but such worries were allayed with the granting of planning permission for the development of Bristol.

The renovation has skewed the finances dramatically, with a record surplus of £2.9 million being almost entirely down to by a £2.8 million lease of the Ashley Down End of the ground to a property developer.

But take away that significant income and the club's financial performance was still very good. A trading surplus of £108,000 was the best result since 2007. That was despite the poor weather, which reduced gate receipts by £57,000 and membership by £30,000, although they were aided by a one-off £200,000 grant from the ECB.

Gloucestershire are now looking forward to a new pavilion being completed in July - immediately increasing its allure as a conferencing centre - and the whole development being finished in time to host England against India in an ODI in 2014.

The purse strings have already been loosened, with the signing of Australians Michael Klinger and Dan Christian for this season. Last year, only bit-part deals for Kane Williamson and Rob Nicol were possible in conjunction with New Zealand Cricket. Muttiah Muralitharan also played the second year of his T20 deal.

"This has been an exceptional year for the club, with the start of our long-awaited development and the financial impact this has had," outgoing chairman, Rex Body, said. "Stripping out the surplus on the lease it was our best performance since 2007 despite the effect of the dreadful weather.

"But there is still more to do. We are committed to substantial continued development spend as well as increased playing squad expenditure so we will continue to exercise financial prudence. Nevertheless, these results augur well for the future."

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