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Special BPL edition may deplete BCB’s coffers

  • Published at 12:14 am October 9th, 2019
BPL

Despite arranging separate meetings with each of the franchises, the governing council of BPL could not make an amicable settlement of this dispute and was also unable to bridge the gap between the two parties, as they are yet to take care of the observations that have been shared by the franchises in the aforementioned meetings

Profit sharing was one of the main agendas that had led to a rift between the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the majority of the franchises in the Bangladesh Premier League T20. 

Despite arranging separate meetings with each of the franchises, the governing council of BPL could not make an amicable settlement of this dispute and was also unable to bridge the gap between the two parties, as they are yet to take care of the observations that have been shared by the franchises in the aforementioned meetings.

As a result, the BCB came up with a revamped model of the tournament for the current season by ruling out the franchises and bringing in “team sponsors” instead, and the announcement of holding a “special edition” of BPL T20 to commemorate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. 

The gala event will be “managed” by the board single-handedly.

Over the years, the franchises provided the fuel for this cash-rich tournament by injecting loads of money to form sides featuring the best cricketers from around the globe, but the BCB has been reluctant to share the revenue that has been generated from the tournament. 

This time around however, the organization has decided to change their stance for the special BPL. 

The BCB has urged the sponsors to come up with money to form teams and has also indicated to subsidize from their own funds if the teams require extra money in order to operate. 

The BCB, in September, circulated an Expression of Interest of team sponsorship rights for BPL 2019.

Following the deadline, the board claimed that at least six organizations have shown interest in participating as the sponsor of a team in the tournament this year.

As per the guidelines of the EOI, the floor price for the financial offer of team sponsorship rights for the season was set at Tk6 crores but it has been seen over the years, that the costs for team operations such as players’ and team management staff remuneration, logistics, accommodation, team kits and so forth will require more money and that, the cost may have to be borne by the BCB.

“It is yet to be decided. The sponsors are participating in the tournament based on a floor price. The expenses of running a team will be more. So many things are to be decided in meetings with these sponsors (to be held soon). We will have to see if the board will contribute financially for the teams and how it can be done,” BCB director Jalal Younus told the reporters at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Monday.

The prospect of the board sharing the burden of team’s financial expenses has raised questions within the cricketing fraternity. 

Although this arrangement is applicable for this year only, it is a bit weird to see the same organization that has been unwilling to share the revenue despite having the opportunity of depositing a hefty amount in their accounts, is actually going to subsidize the same tournament.

As per the previous editions, a BPL franchise, in order to maintain a minimum standard, had spent at least Tk14 crores. 

Even to run a team of minimum standard, at least Tk10 crores is required and hence, the BCB may have to top-up a minimum of Tk4 crore on each team this season. 

This includes the remuneration of overseas marquee players. 

This is likely to find BCB spending around Tk28 crores or more as expenses, only on the teams this season, if at least seven teams take part in this edition of the tournament.

The BCB made approximately Tk22 crores as net earnings during the BPL 2018-19 season. 

So, even if the tournament generates the same earnings this year, the BCB is likely to lose Tk6 crores from its own coffers rather than profiting. 

It has been learned that a majority of the BPL T20 franchises have asked for 50% of the profits generated from each BPL season. 

Considering the demands put forth by franchises, the income and expense trajectory strongly reveals that the BCB could still have made a handsome amount in net earnings every season – in the case of season 2018-19, it would have been some Tk11 crores. 

This means, the positive 11 may turn into a negative six this year. 

The BCB’s gallant move to leave out the franchises for the season that is set to start on December 6, and boast about their intentions to pull off a “special edition” is led by the board president Nazmul Hasan himself. 

However, only time will tell how successful the season will be that is being said to have shaken the stability of one of the most followed T20 leagues in world cricket.

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