Great Britain

Coronavirus: Shepherd Neame withdraw Essex League sponsorship

All recreational cricket is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

All recreational cricket is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

The Essex Cricket League have revealed that long-time sponsor Shepherd Neame have been forced to withdraw their support for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

A lengthy statement from chairman Tom Clarke explained the current situation and gave thanks for their backing in recent years.

He said: “All businesses are under pressure and it was no surprise that we have heard from our main league sponsor Shepherd Neame that they will not be able to support us in 2020 or 2021.

“The challenges facing their industry are obviously unprecedented but we are obviously hugely indebted to them for all their support over the previous years.

“We are going throguh all our finances following this to make sure that they are watertight and future proofed.”

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The competition will continue to be named the Shepherd Neame Essex League for the 2020 season, but Clarke warned clubs to expect some kind of disruption to the planned schedules.

The statement added: “As we stand we are not rearranging, postponing or cancelling any matches, we are waiting for further advice and updates from the ECB.

“But again we are being realistic and we want clubs to be fully aware of the current situation. All English professional cricket has been postponed until May 28 and, along with vulnerable people being told to self-isolation for 12 weeks, I think clbs should once agani be ready for a shortened season.”

The league’s executive committee met via conference call on Wednesday to discuss various matters, with suppliers said to be very helpful in accomodating requests for assistance.

Invoices will not be sent to clubs until the season has been completed, in the hope of easing the pressure on finances, and Clarke also stressed the importance of club’s carrying out their own health checks on finances, members and liabilities, speaking to landlords and insurance companies.

Clubs were also encouraged to make contact with Clarke to discuss any issues or ideas they might have, either by email at tpc1981@hotmail.com or phone 07763 607076.

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