Report on Club Convention
Plans for a three year funding programme to enable the LCU to expand its development work was presented to the clubs attending the convention. There was general endorsement of the efforts of the LCU to expand this work.
In terms of the costs involved in undertaking this development work, which were estimated at €10,000 extra per annum over the next three years, it was agreed that in the absence of major sponsor that this should be paid for by all clubs affiliated to the LCU, with the costs spread proportionately across the clubs.
The convention heard details of the work that is ongoing in relation to the search for a sponsor for Leinster cricket. Although there has been some success in attracting sponsors from within the cricket community itself, it has not proved possible in the current environment to attract commercial sponsors. It was acknowledged that without a Leinster team [something which is part of the medium term plans of the LCU] there are limits to the value of the brand, Cricket Leinster. Work will continue to try to identify sponsors for 2012 and there was general agreement that the success of the new CL website represented an opportunity to interest sponsors and advertisers that did not exist before.
A revised fees structure for Leinster clubs was outlined to the meeting. There was general support for a fair and transparent system with the larger and better funded clubs paying proportionately more. This new structure will be based on breaking down the subscriptions paid by clubs into three components, a membership fee [applicable to all clubs affiliated to the union], a payment based on the number of teams entered into club competitions and a charge based on the number of registered [adult] players who participate in club competitions. It was also agreed that there should be a built-in financial incentive to encourage clubs to pay the LCU on time or on a regular basis through a Standing Order.
The main part of the evening consisted of a discussion on various proposals for raising income or reducing the costs that clubs have to bear through improved co-operation between clubs and union by taking advantage of economies of scale, the sharing of income and the provision of services such as the new ‘Trailer Scheme’.
The general mood of the meeting was that while these proposals should be pursued, that where additional services to be provided by the LCU were justified the additional costs should come out of general club subscriptions and that thereafter clubs should be able to pursue opportunities, inter alia, through shared income from sponsorship, advertising and the promotion of affinity schemes on the CL website, to reduce subscription levels. It was acknowledged that fund-raisers would inevitably put club before union and that the best way forward would be to ensure that clubs should be able to share income with the LCU.
The Executive and the other relevant LCU Committees will consider the feedback from the clubs with a view to putting in place a new funding structure for next year. In the meantime if any club has ideas for raising money, securing advertising, finding sponsors etc., they should contact the LCU [through the Honourary Secretary].