YORKSHIRE have reported a further reduction in debt at the end of the 2018 financial year.

From a financial viewpoint, 2018 was a huge year with three key milestones achieved. Firstly, the club paid back £1.8 million to its lenders over the course of the year. The catering and pouring rights reverted to the club earlier than originally scheduled, thanks to a new joint venture agreement with Leeds Rugby.

Finally, the construction of the Emerald Stand continued, on time and on budget, creating a state-of-the-art facility for use on both matchdays and non-matchdays.

The net result for the year was an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of goodwill of £515,000. This represents a reduction when compared to 2017 (£1.144million) which is caused by a reduction in funding from the ECB, as well as a reduced capacity at Emerald Headingley due to the ongoing construction work resulting in lower ticket and hospitality income.

Paul Hudson, Yorkshire’s financial director, said: “Years which have seen significant investment in the ground and its facilities, followed by a period of financial stabilisation, the club is delighted to have paid back £1.8m to its lenders over the course of the year.”

A further £3.5 million of Yorkshire's debt is scheduled to be paid back this year, which will continue to reduce the interest cost each year.

Hudson added: “This is the start of an exciting era for the club financially.

“Our agreements with Leeds City Council and various other partners relating to the new stand will allow us to move forward in a structured way.”

The next round of funding for the game from the ECB, covering the period from 2020 to 2024, will become apparent over the coming months.

These figures will form the basis of structuring the next period of the club’s borrowing and repayments. However, the allocation of major matches from the ECB during this period, with particular reference to an India Test Match in 2021 and a further Ashes Test two years later, offer great financial opportunity for the club.

Mark Arthur, Yorkshire chief executive, said: “The future for Yorkshire County Cricket Club looks really good, both on and off the field.

"While we’ve been competitive on the field for a number of years now, and produced players for the England set-up, the financial situation has always been a concern.

"Now that we’ve started to repay the debt and we’ve got positive income streams in future years, we’ve created a sound foundation for the long-term prosperity of the club.”