Ahead of Sussex CCC’s 175th anniversary season in 2014, the club has posted its financial results along with notice of its AGM to club members.
The club increased operating income to £5.5m, up from £5.2m in 2012, though this was not enough to prevent an operating deficit of some £65k after adjustments for interest income and legacies.
Chairman Jim May said: “There was a lot to be positive about in 2013, especially the strong County Championship performance, and there is also plenty to be optimistic about coming into our special year ahead.
“However, running a profitable first class cricket club is exceedingly challenging. The financial outlook for 2014 is very challenging but we are working extremely hard to improve the position.”
Off the field, the club has developed first rate facilities and has succeeded in growing corporate business to match this.
Led by chief executive Zac Toumazi, the club will now be delivering on a business improvement plan (financed by a £1m ECB loan), which includes investment in better systems to secure further improvements in other areas.
The plan covers efforts to increase membership numbers and hospitality sales, market non-match facilities and improve the profitability of the catering operation. It involves a new partnership with a PR company and a digital agency.
2014 will see a new structure for English domestic cricket. The four day LV=County Championship will predominantly be played starting on Sundays, with Sussex beginning the season at Hove, against Middlesex on Sunday April 6.
One day cricket will revert to 50-over matches with the Royal London Cup being played in the school holidays.
The revamped NatWest T20 Blast will run over the high-summer with the majority of matches taking place under lights on Friday evenings.
May added: “This is going to be a special year as we will celebrate our 175th anniversary as the oldest county cricket club in England & Wales.
“Under the first rate leadership of Mark Robinson and Ed Joyce we have a very competitive squad with five current internationals.
“I know the players cannot wait to be back out in the middle. We are looking forward to welcoming fans, new and old, to The BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground.”