Moorfield Quit Liverpool Comp; Conflict over Cricket Club's Management
Byline: JAMIE BOWMAN
A FEW years ago everything seemed rosy for Moorfield Cricket Club.
Promotion to the Bridging Finance Solutions Liverpool Competition in 2009, was a fine reward for a club which prided itself on recruiting the majority of its players from the near their base on the eastern side of Widnes.
Tireless cricket chairman, Mike Drane had a knack for securing funding and despite suffering from unexpected renal failure in 2008, he played a major part in Moorfield becoming one of the first clubs in the north west to achieve Clubmark accreditation from the England Cricket Board.
It was a shock then to read a recent statement on the LDCC's website which confirmed that Moorfield, who had been rooted to the bottom of Division Two, were to resign from the league "with immediate effect".
Drane, who resigned from his post in April, "due to a conflict of interest with the club's management," was unequivocal in what was to blame for the club's demise.
"In the past we had been managed by well-meaning volunteers, but by the early 2000s we had the usual problems with debts and were told the administrators were going to pull the plug," he said.
"We had run along as a true community club and membership was strong - you could walk in there any time and have a few beers and a chat.
"Sadly being a friendly club does not help the finances and in 2006 we realised we did not have the expertise to run the club profitably."
It was at this point that Route Organisation, a contract management company based in Warrington, got involved with running the back of house operations at the club, a move which, despite clearing the club of debts, Drane claims brought about a change of atmosphere at the club.
"I was voted in chairman in 2007 and we raised about pounds 90,000 through grants which paid for things like new nets, a score box and digital scoreboard," said Drane.
"Things were so bright and breezy and the atmosphere was electric when wewerepromotedtotheLDCC,butthe problems started when Route Organisation wanted to do away with the volunteer culture of the club."
A groundsman was introduced under a contract and Mr Drane alleges the fees for this went from pounds 3000 per year to pounds 9000 per year in the space of three seasons. …