At the recent virtual AGM an MCC Member raised the question of whether the latest Accounts gave a “true and fair picture” of Club affairs to which the answer was “at the time they were signed on 12 March 2020 – yes”. Three months later a scene of economic pandemonium was in existence.
I suspect the Questioner was anxious to learn more about the implications of what the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were likely to have on MCC Members and their subscriptions. Members have always underwritten any losses at Lord’s and here was something a little bit different in which one year’s income was going to be trashed! Had tbc MCC Committee acted prudently and made the necessary insurance arrangements?
Wimbledon and the Jockey Club had taken out the necessary “Cancellation Contingency” All Riske Insurance to cater for a catastrophic cancellation of their respective sporting events to name but two related activities but apparently the MCC had not! Is this not just “unfortunate” but negligent?
I understand that seven years ago the Jockey Club reviewed their sovereign risks (Derby, Grand National, Royal Ascot and Cheltenham) and decided to end a “Captive Insurance” arrangement that was judged to be totally inappropriate for a Royal Charter Company. To continue with such an arrangement was declared “imprudent” and “irresponsible”. Arrangements made through Lloyds of London to underwrite the risk premiums paid for new Policies that covered the losses of cancelled fixtures for whatever reason were immediately put into place.
And so we are left with the question – “if the Sports of Racing and Tennis have been responsibly insured by their Governing Bodies (Jockey Club and All England Tennis Club) who have acted prudently and responsibly, why has the governing body of Cricket (ECB) and Marylebone Cricket Club not acted in similar fashion?
There has been a deafening silence on the matter from Lord’s but some clues can be found. In June 1993 Derbyork Trustee Company was Registered at Companies House with three Shares being Issued to MP Murray (born 1930) DRW Silk (b 1931 now deceased) and AC Smith b 1936). The Company Secretary was listed as CA Barker and this was in the days of the TCCB. On 22 November 2003 the Officers were BA Havill (FD ECB), T Lamb (CEO ECB), FD Morgan and DP Stewart.
On 17 December 2016 TW Harrison (CEO ECB) was declared to be the Person with Significant Control (PSC). In January 2018 the Company was dissolved.
Who or what is the Company that the DYT Shareholding relates to? It is an offshore (Guernsey) captive insurance Company Reigndei Ltd that originally provided “pluvial insurance” for lost Cricket Match days in Big Matches (Test Match Cricket) owing to adverse weather conditions. In recent years it appears to cover any loss of Ticket Income at TMG’s for whatever reason. So now the big question arises – “Who is liable for the catastrophic loss of all Ticket income and the attendant catering hospitality income on Big Match Days at the various TMG’s?”.
The only other clues that exist are to be found in the 2018/2019 ECB Financial Statement on Page 36 that records financial transactions with Reigndei Ltd in which the 18 FCC’ s, MCC and MCC have a “beneficial interest” and an entry in the Kent CCC latest Accounts at Note 13 “Investments” declaring a shareholding (30K Shares) in Reigndei Ltd.
With no mention whatsoever in the latest MCC Accounts, the mystery deepens as the A/c’s do not appear to be “true and fair” in the absence of a full disclosure of the shareholding in Reigndei. Interestingly the MCC Accounts of 1993 Note 5 show ‘Rent Rates and Insurance 1992 £252K and in 1993 £70K. Was this very significant reduction due to the introduction of the Reigndei Captive Insurance? It seems more than just a coincidence.
The following excerpt from Sussex CCC Annual Accounts 2018 refers to Reigndei Ltd
The club has an investment of 30,000 ordinary £1 shares in Reigndei Limited, an unquoted company registered in Guernsey, established in order to provide insurance cover for rain affected domestic and international matches. In common with other First Class Counties who have similar investments, these shares are being held by England and Wales Cricket Board Limited as Trustees for the club. The fair value of this investment is deemed to be £nil (2017: £nil). ”
Nigel Knott (Dr)
13 July 2020