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David Leatherdale, Chief Executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, said:

 "The PCA has been apprised by the ECB about the financial difficulties encountered by Durham County Cricket Club and the need for significant financial support to enable the club to manage current and historic debt and revenue issues.

 “The ECB today agreed to a £3.8 million financial aid package which will ensure the future sustainability of Durham CCC. A new board of directors will take over the running of the club. 

 “From a cricketing perspective, the decision has the unfortunate consequence that Durham have been relegated to the Second Division of the Specsavers County Championship and will start next season with a 48 points penalty in that competition, a four points penalty in the NatWest T20 Blast and a two points penalty in the Royal London One Day Cup. 

"We appreciate that the decision will have come as a major disappointment to the Durham players having reached the final of the NatWest T20 Blast in August and worked so hard on the pitch to keep the club up in the County Championship. 

“Financially, we hope that the restructuring of Durham CCC will remove the uncertainty that has surrounded the club in recent months and weeks and led to media speculation about the club’s future which has been very unsettling. 

“The ECB’s financial aid package will enable Durham to meet on-going salary, HMRC and operating costs and settle a substantial debt to an external creditor. 

“We understand that playing contracts currently held with Durham CCC will be honoured by the new board. 

"The short-term plan is for the PCA to meet with all Durham players on a convenient date as soon as possible to discuss the situation further. 

“I have emailed all Durham players today to assure them that they can call myself or other PCA staff should they need advice or support during this uncertain period.”