DURHAM County Cricket Club has announced losses of £1.2 million for last season.

The club, which was bailed-out last year after a financial crisis, has just posted its results for the year up to September 2016.

The figure compares to a £673,000 profit the previous year.

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Club officials blame the losses on a £1m reduction in payments from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for that season, but also revealed that the club lost £50,000 hosting England’s Test against Sri Lanka in May, having reportedly bid £950,000 for the rights to stage the match.

However, the Chester-le-Street-based club insists it is forecast to return to profit during the coming year.

Durham was banned from holding future Test matches as part of severe sanctions imposed on the debt-ridden club in October as a condition of a £3.8 million ECB bail-out.

The three-times county champions were relegated to Division Two as part of the rescue deal and began the season with a 48-point deduction and penalties in both cricket’s cup competitions.

Durham underwent a restructuring which saw Ashes hero Sir Ian Botham return as chairman, while Durham County Council agreed to convert £3.74 million of taxpayers’ money loaned to the cricket club into shares and the terms of a further loan to the North East Local Enterprise Partnership were renegotiated.

The club says the restructure also guarantees annual international cricket at Emirates Riverside, under a new revenue-share model with the ECB to “significantly reduce the risk associated with staging international cricket”.

Club chief executive David Harker insisted that, despite the results released today, the club was now in a healthier financial position following the restructure.

He said: “Following the concerns we raised as to the sustainability of the club’s future cash flows, as noted in the 2015 audit report, the club is now in a good position to move forward and we’re excited to look to the future.

“We have exceptional relationships with our existing sponsors and have added new partners to the club this year.

“It’s testament to Durham fans and the whole of the North East that despite last year’s difficulties, our membership and ticket sales are up and we’re expecting a sell-out crowd for our International fixture that sees England and the West Indies play IT20 at Emirates Riverside in September.

“The club’s new board members offer a strong mix of cricket and commercial experience which will help us develop the business even further.”