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Kent Cricket Chairman George Kennedy thinks club are on threshold of success after series of positive developments

06 March 2014
by Alex Hoad

Kent chairman George Kennedy

Kent chairman George Kennedy

Kent Cricket chairman George Kennedy is confident the club is “on the threshold of returning to where it belongs” as a wave of positivity washes over The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

The last 10 days have seen the club announce the signing of Australian bowler Doug Bollinger as the 2014 overseas player, player-of-the-year Darren Stevens become free to resume his Kent career after being acquitted of any involvement in corruption and on Tuesday, the disclosure of much-improved financial figures for 2012/13 which gave real hope of a return to profit this season.

EBITDA –  earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation – profits for the year to October 31, 2013 were £156,778. 

That figure is up more than £400,000 on the previous year and the fifth straight year of EBITDA growth, with a rise of around £800,000 in total since 2009.

Overall, the club did make a post-tax loss for the year of £98,576, although it was a vast improvement on the £628,054 loss in last year’s figures.

Mr Kennedy could not hide his positivity on the eve of the new LV= County Championship, Division 2 season and delight at the success of redevelopment work at Canterbury.

He said: “When we reappointed Rob Key as captain, he said it was time the team started performing to match the level of work the committee have done in getting the ground right. That was a tremendous thing to say.

“In turn, we’ve backed him, signing Bollinger and a couple of other decent players, that aligned to the conversion rate of youngsters coming through, is quite remarkable.

“I believe we are on the threshold of really returning Kent to where it should be.”

Kennedy added: “The players are coming back soon - this week we’ve had good results coming out, Bollinger signed from Australia and Stevo off the hook and free to play.

“If I was a player coming into the dressing room I’d really feel pumped up. Imagine if things had been the other way round - ‘oh no, what are we going to do now?’

"I think there’s every chance Rob, (coach) Jimmy Adams and the others can lift the players and we do have a great chance this year.”

Chief executive Jamie Clifford said: “We all agreed that we need to do all we can do to make the team successful. Considered thought has gone into how we get the best out of the cricket side of the business.

“We can’t hide away from team performance – it does affect people coming and watching. Winning is important, we can’t lose sight of that.”

The club’s annual meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 2 at The Spitfire Ground. Members will receive the financial accounts and report this week.

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