Published: 00:00, 30 March 2017
The controversial subject of the ECB’s proposed T20 franchise competition dominated Kent’s 2017 annual meeting on Tuesday night.
Kent and Surrey are the only two counties to publically question the introduction of an eight-team, city-based competition, set to launch in 2020 and which the ECB claim will provide each of the 18 counties with a £1.3m share of TV revenue each year.
In his final act as chairman before handing over the reins to former treasurer Simon Philip, George Kennedy and chief executive Jamie Clifford attended an ECB meeting about the plans in London on Monday.
Mr Kennedy told members at Tuesday’s packed meeting: “We turned up expecting a debate, but we didn’t have a debate, we were lectured to. It wasn’t particularly satisfactory.”
He however added: “We can fight them as much as you like, but it’s very difficult for a club this size in a David and Goliath situation.”
Mr Clifford added: “From what we have seen, there is an inevitability about this. We as a county have been less enthusiastic about the proposals than others, and at times struggled to see why they were necessary.
“But we have made our point – we now have to work out how best to position ourselves to ensure Kent is not prejudiced against in the future.”
He added: “We have to get the best from the situation. It’s not all bad, this club will receive more than £6m between now and 2024, significant sums of money with which we hope to be able to do some very exciting things.”
In answer to question from the floor, he added: “We aren’t thrilled but we will seek to influence what happens next.
“We have voiced (our) concerns but the ECB are very confident of their plans and respond by saying ‘you’re being compensated.’ For many (counties) it’s a solution that appeals.”
Members were also told about three separate battles with the ECB in 2016 with Mr Clifford claiming: “We locked horns with the ECB on regular occasions through the year and there were no shortage of matters on which we found a difference of opinion.
“In all the cases we didn’t come off on the right side, but we tried to maintain a constructive relationship with them.”
The first case regarded the washout at Worcester, another was a suspension for Matt Coles and finally the controversial reprieve from championship relegation for Hampshire, instead of promotion for Kent, which ended with Mr Kennedy discussing legal action.
He admitted: “Threatening to take the chairman of the ECB to court is not an easy thing to do.
“We spend £10,000 of the club’s money and got absolutely nowhere. I did not believe it was in members’ interest to continue to spend money on a case we’d probably lose in the end.”