THE county’s professional cricket club has taken a nearly £2 million hit during the coronavirus pandemic, but says it has a plan to emerge securely.

Worcestershire County Cricket Club chairman Fanos Hira said the club had “not faced the challenges it has faced this year ever before” and that the effects of Covid-19 had meant a £1.8 million decline in anticipated commercial revenue.

He told members of the devastating impact of both the coronavirus pandemic and the flooding earlier in the year at a video meeting.

But he said he is “comfortable” with the plans in place to help the county through the current situation – in 2021 and beyond – and said they are “on top of things.”

Mr Hira said: “This club has not faced the challenges it has faced this year ever before, not just in terms of record floods but the impact of the ongoing global pandemic.

“But we are very comfortable with the plan we’ve got to see us through this and, whatever is thrown at us, we will be able to manage it and guide our way through this on behalf of the club – not just next year but beyond as well.

“The stark reality of the impact of Covid-19 hit home at this week’s board meeting. The impact on our commercial revenues has been quite severe. We are talking about £1.8 million as a decline relative to what we were assuming.”

Mr Hira added that membership has halved (rolling forward to 2021) due to the club playing behind closed doors. This, he said, contributes to around half a million pounds in memberships and tickets.

Despite this, Mr Hira said plans are in place to help the club recover, with new sponsors having already been signed up, adding he feels the club’s management is “on top of things”.

He said: “It is also fair to say we’ve taken a number of pre-emptive steps. We’ve updated members in March about some of the policies we were implementing.

“We were very quick to bring the whole club together, whether in admin or a professional cricketer, and we took the whole club together on the furlough scheme. That has been an enormous help to us, in order of around half a million pounds.

“We can cope, we have plans in place and all the staff have been adaptable and flexible and worked tirelessly. This is a club with an abundance of impressive people.”