CA is beginning to face backlashes on its current stand off against cricketers on the pay dispute. After the MoU with players expired, several cricketers are on the way to accept sponsorship from brands not related to Cricket Australia. Even if the players are out of contract, their global sponsorships are not affected a bit. For instance, Mitchell Starc recently signed the contract with an Audi dealership. However, CA has been with Toyota, which means players associated with CA are not allowed to deal with Toyota’s competitor. The end of MoU has rendered such rules invalid with no restrictions on players to end up with any brand. This will further damage CA stance with sponsors, which is certain to have a massive adverse impact on its finance.
Previously, CA warned players foreboding them from sponsorship contracts out of their ambit. However, Mitchell Starc’s deal with Audi is a straight out-lash on such warnings. While, CA is turning up to sponsors to fund ODI and T20 matches, it is losing them to players rapidly. This will bring a serious degradation of the board. Meanwhile, the Players Association could grow as an alternative to the Board.
CA already faced the wrath of curtailed sponsorship before, which was the reason of their decision to makeover the pay model. Several brands including Network Ten, Channel Nine and Star are on the verge of ending their deal by next year. If CA cannot come to an amicable conclusion with cricketers, there is a chance that it might lose these television broadcasters as well. CA also lost sponsors like Commonwealth Bank previously.
At present, more than 230 Australian players are out of contract, including star players like Captain Steve Smith, Vice-captain David Warner and Mitchell Starc. These players are among the most notable ones in international cricket circuit, which means, they are also the target for top brands around the world.
It is time for CA to realize the commercial impact of impasse and adamancy against players. It is not the players who are supposed to stand by any board, in fact, it is the board, which is supposed to stand by players. Because, cricket is not a game played by a bunch of retired players and administrators, it is a game played by cricketers who is good enough with the bat and the ball.
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