We recently invited Somerset Members and supporters to put their questions to our CEO Guy Lavender. With the new season now just around the corner, Guy was keen to hear from anyone with queries ahead of the new campaign.
Here is part two of Guy Answers which deals with some of the questions he received via social media.
@JTYSON11 asked: What is the most important tournament for us to succeed in/ most likely chance of silverware?
Guy Lavender: “The most important competition for us to succeed in is the Specsavers County Championship. That remains the tournament that we would like to win the most and it remains our core focus. Having said that, it is quite conceivable to compete in all three formats of the game and we will most certainly be endeavouring to do just that. Personally, I think we have a very strong white ball side at the moment.”
@CleaveO asked: Can we expect any further signings before start of season?
Guy Lavender: “The answer is yes. This week we signed Yasir Arafat on loan from Hampshire for the whole season. We will be making another announcement shortly once we have completed all the required paperwork, so standby for another great signing!”
Stephen Jewell asked: What are our priorities this season? Will we continue to invest big in the team?
Guy Lavender: “We will continue to invest heavily in our playing squad and our priority is to play high quality competitive cricket in all formats of the game. We invest one of the highest amounts of any First Class County in our professional playing squad because we believe that investment in cricket is fundamental to the future success of the Club.”
Andrew Marston asked: What is the next stage of stadium redevelopment – surely there’s demand for a bigger stadium?
Guy Lavender: “We are continuing to grow our capacity and with the instillation of temporary seats, we will be able to achieve the right scale for large matches including our international in 2017. We have a project planned for the end of this season which will see a boundary extension in the North East corner of the ground, a new second scoreboard and new stand adjacent to the Colin Atkinson Pavilion. Whilst there is conceivably a demand for a bigger stadium, the future of the Club is best served by remaining right in the heart of Taunton and I cannot see that situation changing in the foreseeable future.”
John Douglas said: I live in Scotland and it’s therefore not viable for me to travel to Taunton. What are your thoughts regarding pay per view?
Guy Lavender: “The whole issue of broadcasting is one of hot debate. I think it’s critical that we get professional cricket on free-to-air television in some form in the future. That is to take nothing away from the tremendous contribution that Sky have made to cricket coverage but if we really want to engage new audiences, then getting match highlights onto terrestrial television is fundamental in my view. I think we also need to work harder to get highlights and images on to our website for Somerset supporters who live a long way from where the action is taking place and we are addressing that issue for the season ahead.”
Via Facebook Stuart Andrew raised the question of city based franchises in T20 cricket.
Guy Lavender: “Inevitably, everyone has different views on this subject and what the best structure might be for cricket in the future. As a Club, our view is that playing as Somerset in the top tier of any domestic T20 competition is vital for the future of our Club. That is what we will be striving to achieve.”
Ed Morton raised concerns about the difference in price between Junior and Adult Membership.
Guy Lavender: “We always review our pricing and continue to believe that the prices that we are charging offer exceptional value for money. We have an enormous discount for under 19’s and we believe that in the current climate that is right. We always look at prices but I think that if you take a pragmatic comparison of what we offer when compared to other professional sports across the region, we are highly competitively priced and we think that we offer great value for money.”
Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact us with their questions.