The BCB wishes to clarify the true picture regarding the status of umpires' fees in cricket this year, particularly in the light of the incomplete statement issued by the BCUA this morning.
- The BCB do not determine umpires fees. The BCUA issue a schedule of fees payable by the clubs for their services. As a free service to the BCUA, the BCB invoices and collects umpire fees from clubs on the behalf of the BCUA.
- On receipt of the proposed fees for 2008 the BCB requested a meeting with the BCUA to discuss the merits and demerits of the proposal.
- In the meeting with BCUA President and BCUA Treasurer the BCB representatives pointed out that the fee for the 20-20 games was disproportionate to the time of work when compared to all other fee rates. For example, for a 50 over game the rate is $125. This would imply a fair rate of $50 for a 20 over game.
- In the meeting it was emphasized to the BCUA that the CLUBS are not wealthy institutions and that many of them struggle to pay umpires fees. The BCUA release claims that this statement was attributable to the BCB which is not true.
- On Friday April 25, at 1050am BCUA Richard Austin requested a meeting with BCB officials at 1pm that day. He was told that Neil Speight was definitely not available until at least 7pm that night and that it would be doubtful at that stage to organize a meeting with Executive members at short notice.
- During that telephone conversation, Mr. Speight explained that if the BCUA wished to charge $100 for a 20/20 game then they should deal directly with the clubs for those games. In no way could the BCB endorse or support a fee of $100 for a 20/20 game. The BCB would continue to provide its free service for the other matches.
- Additionally, during the conversation, Mr. Austin explicitly confirmed that in no way would the BCUA consider a reduction in the 20/20 fee even if a meeting could be arranged. Therefore, any meeting would have been irrelevant to this particular matter.
- The BCB were unable to meet at short notice with the BCUA.
- The BCB states unequivocally that the decision by the BCUA not to provide services on April 26th was a decision that the BCUA made unilaterally and has nothing to with the BCB. Any attempts to deflect criticism or adverse reaction from the BCUA's decision not to umpire on Saturday by apportioning blame to the BCB are completed unfounded and misleading.