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Sight Screen

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Matter of money

This used to be an annual preoccupation for Rediff till the BCCI wised up and put its annual financial statements out of reach of the journalist. Now it is the turn of the Economic Times to take a look at the balance sheet (knowing how the BCCI operates, I'd be surprised if the document was readily available; more likely, someone in the current regime bootlegged a copy to the journalists). Interesting -- if not entirely surprising -- findings in the story:
But the expenditure pattern is not very encouraging. Its spends went up by 70% last year. Now sample this: BCCI spends Rs 5.02 crore for running the day-to-day affairs. And it bled by Rs 3.47 crore last year by way of legal expenses, which is more than twice the amount that it paid former coach John Wright.

Contrast that figure -- the board's expenses on day to day running (keep in mind the BCCI has a token office with minimum permanent staff; most of its activities are run by 'honorary' officials) with what it spent on cricket development, as exemplified by the National Cricket Academy:
The board spent Rs 16.39 crore on domestic tournaments, Rs 27.13 lakh on the National Cricket Academy and Rs 88.02 lakh on the zonal cricket academies.

An interesting item in the expense sheet, when it comes to back room personnell, is this:
Former coach John Wright got paid Rs 1.5 crore in fees and expenses, the team physio Andrew Leipus was paid Rs 74 lakh and the board forked out Rs 49 lakh for the trainer. The team consultant, Sunil Gavaskar, drew Rs 10.29 lakh in fee.

Did you know Team India actually had a 'consultant' -- and if yes, what his duties were?
When Sharad Pawar took over, one of the first things he said was that the board's finances had to be redrafted; that it was pointless to keep earning money and putting them in various accounts, where they did nothing but accumulate interest, and that the board needed to look at ways to make the money work for the game. In that context, consider this:
The board’s profit was, however, just Rs 4.8 crore in ‘04-05, up from Rs 4.01 crore last year. According to the balance sheet, the board transferred Rs 26.26 crore to the general reserve, out of which the income was Rs 4.78 crore, and the remaining Rs 21.48 crore were transfers from its seven earmarked funds such as infrastructure development fund, curators training fund, Ranji Trophy fund and pension fund, among others, to the general fund, swelling it to Rs 157.58 crore.

Did you, for instance, know that there was a curators' training fund with a few crore tucked away in it? This is what Pawar was talking of, actually -- the practise, down the years, has been to create a series of funds: ground development fund, cricket development fund, stadium development fund, infrastructure development fund... dozens of such; and to keep dumping crores inside these funds. Then, at the end of the year, blocks of money are shuffled around among the various funds, and from there to the general reserve, to present a fiscal picture that is largely smoke and mirrors.
Good work by the Eco Times here; if the reporters now dig a bit deeper, into the breakup say of the Rs 5.02 crore spent on running the BCCI, much fun will result.


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