We will not be bullied by CPL
THE CLOSER I LOOK at the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) request (or demand) for the Barbados Government to inject $2 million into the local franchise, the more I see another REDjet-type scenario.
Barbados has more potential to develop the CPL brand than any of the Eastern Caribbean islands. It is a much bigger cricketing market and has a richer history.
The sold-out matches and excitement at the four matches are evidence of that success. The Tridents are defending champs and are on course for a repeat.
St Kitts and Nevis is of course pumping large sums of money into the CPL franchise. Ten matches are scheduled there during the six-week championships. Bringing cricket commentators and physios from around the world, while marginalising regional professionals, contribute to increasing the costs of staging the matches. That can be reviewed in the short- to medium-term to reduce costs, and expand into extraregional markets in the long-term.
The CPL is a private business undertaking that sets ticket prices and enters multimillion-dollar television broadcast rights contracts around the world.
An analysis might show that the matches have a high elasticity of demand and ticket prices could be increased without a decrease in attendance.
There was no mention of governmental or private sector support – similar to REDjet – when the franchise commenced operations two years ago. Sponsors will come on board as they determine the benefit(s) to their companies and with skilful negotiations, but they will not be bullied into doing so.
Already the Barbados Government has granted full waivers to the CPL to stage the matches on the island. Guess everybody likes the feel of real money in their hands. Local hotels that have been around for decades are still complaining over waivers and promised concessions. The CPL owners got theirs, immediately.
These slick talkers possess a similar modus operandi as with the former Irish owners of REDjet – promise of exposure, increased visitors, jobs and no governmental support needed until they become entrenched in the society.
The CPL needs the bigger cricketing markets of Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica for its financial viability and future existence more than those islands need the franchise.
If the owners of the CPL franchise believe they can survive by moving operations to islands where the stands will be half-empty, then good riddance. Barbados and the Tridents refuse to be bullied or held to ransom