Middlesex respond to reports club could leave Lord's

The club have called the ground their home since 1877, but the challenges of that arrangement have been laid bare in recent years, with the financial difficulties caused by not owning their own venue


Middlesex have insisted that they are "not about to leave Lord's" following reports that the county were in talks around the possibility.

The club have called the ground their home since 1877, but the challenges of that arrangement have been laid bare in recent years, with the financial difficulties caused by not owning their own venue.

"This poses many challenges, not least of all that we have severe restrictions on the growth potential of the club, with little or no opportunity to secure additional revenues from the ground we play at," said Andrew Cornish, the county's chief executive, in a statement given after he'd told the Sunday Times of talks with "several groups of potential investors" around the potential development of a ground elsewhere.

That has long been touted as the sensible play: Middlesex's current economic predicament means that – in a cost-saving effort – they will play two T20 Blast games at Chelmsford rather than traditional outgrounds Merchant Taylors' and Radlett.

"The reality is that Lord's cannot accommodate all our home games and that is only likely to get tougher," added Cornish. "London needs another elite cricket facility."

But finding land in the area and finding the money to pay for it, particularly without the capacity to sell an existing ground, represents a major challenge.

"As a board, we are duty bound to do all in our power to ensure Middlesex Cricket not just survives, but grows in this rapidly changing cricket landscape. In order to achieve this, the board and executive team need to explore multiple options, both short and long-term, that can then be discussed with members.

Related: Will Brown confident in Gloucestershire future despite county posting £1.2m losses for 2023


Lord's has been Middlesex's home for well over a century (Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

"We continue to explore numerous options, but to put minds at rest, Middlesex Cricket is not about to end its long-term relationship with Marylebone Cricket Club and is not about to leave Lord's.

"First and foremost, the club is not in a financial position currently where it can even consider this as an option, secondly, we have no site to consider moving to, and thirdly, if we did have, bringing this to fruition would be many years away and we would still hope to play as much cricket as possible at Lord's.

"So, in short, right now, and in the immediate future, we are considering a move from Lord's no more intensely than we were back then (when Middlesex have previously looked into the subject), although we remain committed to reviewing all options to ensure the club thrives in the future."

There have been discussions in the past, most recently with an investigation into a site at Barnet Copthall, near to where Saracens play their home rugby matches. In March, they were also donated a ground at Swyncombe Avenue in Hounslow, through GSK. To Middlesex's frustration, it doesn't quite meet the required criteria to be used for professional cricket, but it is being developed instead as a base for much of the club's women's and girls' cricket.

Middlesex's men's side currently trains through the winter in a new indoor facility at Merchant Taylors' School.

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