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Middlesex hit by ECB sanction for breaches of financial regulations

County Championship action at Lord's, home of Middlesex CCC
Middlesex are battling to avoid relegation from Division One of the County Championship

Middlesex have been sanctioned by the England & Wales Cricket Board for breaches of its financial regulations.

The decision comes following an ECB investigation into funds provided to the Middlesex Cricket Board (MCB) and Middlesex County Cricket Club.

The club have been handed a points deduction across all formats, suspended until October 2025, while payments from the ECB will be reduced.

Meanwhile, the ECB will also oversee Middlesex's financial plans.

A statement said the club are "extremely disappointed" with both the outcome of the ECB investigation and the sanctions which have been imposed.

However, Middlesex accepted the club have "historically, under previous administration, been poorly financially managed over a number of years".

Middlesex said "serious administrative irregularities" with the club's pension scheme had resulted in a significant impact on their financial position, leading to the ECB launching an investigation into the club's wider financial governance.

Amid the sanctions, the parties have agreed that a written business plan, which includes a sustainable financial plan - along with a governance plan that separates the core business of MCCC and MCB - will be prepared for approval and monitoring by the ECB.

The financial plan will include budgets up to the end of October 2025 which should "show a sustainable year-on-year profit" and "limit spending on players".

The governance plan should include the separation of the governance and financial oversight of MCCC and MCB, along with "understanding of the shortcomings in governance that has given rise to the failings identified by the ECB investigation".

A points deduction - equivalent to the maximum points for one win in each of the County Championship, the Metro Bank One-Day Cup and Vitality T20 Blast - is suspended until 31 October 2025.

The ECB will also reduce payments to the club by £150,000, of which £100,000 will be suspended until October 2025, because of breaches of the governing body's County Partnership Agreement (CPA) and financial regulations.

Both sanctions will only be imposed in full should Middlesex not uphold and deliver the business plan as agreed with the ECB, or should there be any further breaches of the CPA or financial regulations.

"We have agreements in place with all our county cricket clubs and county cricket boards to ensure that ECB funding is used appropriately and for the purposes in which is it intended," ECB chief executive Richard Gould said.

"Where breaches of our regulations and agreements take place, it is right that we take appropriate action.

"We will work closely with Middlesex CCC and MCB in the period ahead to ensure the conditions we have agreed are met."