ECB sever all ties with Sir Allen Stanford
Friday 20 February 2009
The England and Wales Cricket Board have terminated all contractual links with Sir Allen Stanford.
The Texan was on Tuesday charged with an alleged US dollars nine billion fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission in America.
All negotiations between the ECB and Stanford were immediately suspended, and English cricket's governing body today announced they would not play any further Stanford Twenty20 matches in Antigua and had also shelved plans for the Quadrangular Twenty20 events - the first of which was due to take place at Lord's this May.
ECB chief executive David Collier said: "ECB was shocked by the charges filed against the Stanford organisation and personnel earlier this week by the SEC.
"Within minutes of the announcement, ECB determined to suspend any further discussions with Stanford and the board has now agreed to terminate the ECB's agreements with Stanford."
Under the deal struck between the ECB and billionaire financier Stanford last summer, England were due to play four further US dollars 20million matches in the Caribbean, while the proposed Quadrangular events were scheduled to take place annually from 2009 to 2011, with each edition worth around US dollars nine million.
However, Collier reiterated at yesterday's Executive Committee meeting that the termination of that particular revenue stream would not affect the funds made available to counties this year.
"Given the uncertainty of the financial markets and the sponsorship dispute between Digicel and the West Indies Cricket Board over the matches in Antigua in 2008, the Executive Committee and board, when setting the 2009 budgets, took a prudent position in creating a contingency in case the Antigua matches did not proceed," Collier said.
"For that reason, ECB was able to confirm immediately to counties and the Recreational Assembly that there would be no impact on fee payments in 2009."
Essex chief executive David East added: "(Confirmation) that the termination of the Stanford agreements would not negatively impact our fee payments was a great relief to all counties.
"This fact allows counties to move forward with their 2009 budgets given that, for some counties the ECB fee payment accounts for the majority of their income."
The fact that the domestic game has emerged unscathed from the Stanford debacle will do little, however, to ease the embarrassment of the ECB.
Last summer's tie-up with the Antigua-based businessman drew widespread criticism - Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove branded it "a tacky relationship with a tacky person" on Wednesday - and the manner in which events have unfolded since has placed ECB chairman Giles Clarke under huge pressure.
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