ECB defends crisis actions

The comms chief at the England and Wales Cricket Board has told how he acted quickly in a bid to keep negative stories in check this week.

Under fire Engish cricket
Under fire Engish cricket

The ECB faced mounting criticism Wednesday over its links with controversial tycoon Allen Stanford, with whom it ceased negotiations Tuesday amid allegations of massive fraud.
 
ECB head  of comms Colin Gibson insisted: ‘We immediately issued a statement to announce the suspension of negotiations and the chairman Giles Clarke faced all forms of the media written, agency, website, TV and radio within minutes of the statement.’
 
But M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment MD Jamie Wynne-Morgan said: ‘The ECB’s reputation is taking a battering and it’s creating a lot of negative coverage for the sport. Purses are already tight and sponsors won’t want to be involved in any bad publicity.’
 
Former ECB head of comms John Read added that the allegations against Stanford had damaged the English brand. Read, now CEO at International Insights, said the allegations had negatively impacted on the ECB’s reputation. ‘It was always a dubious decision to get into bed with Stanford,’ he said. ‘It was obviously appealing to make big amounts of money but it was a serious error of judgment.’
 
The allegations are the latest scandal to hit the cricket board after England captain Kevin Pietersen resigned and coach Peter Moores was sacked following a falling-out last month.
 
‘The handling of that situation was not done well and the due diligence of Stanford has also been handled extremely badly,’ said M&C’s Wynne-Morgan.

The England team is currently playing a test series in the Caribbean, where much of Stanford’s business is conducted.

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