Northamptonshire County Cricket Club boss wins ‘business hero award’ after leading huge improvements

After a difficult season six years ago, the club is now financially stable and competing on-pitch

By Carly Odell
Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 9:30 am
Ray Payne with his 'business hero' award.
Ray Payne with his 'business hero' award.

The boss of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club is delighted to have been awarded a business award for his efforts in turning the club around.

Ray Payne was crowned ‘business hero’ at the Northamptonshire Small Medium Enterprise Business Awards during an in-person ceremony in Daventry on June 28.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was appointed to his role in January 2016 after the 2015 season saw the club facing bankruptcy.

Since his appointment, Ray has worked, with his team, to improve the business prospects of the club, as well as its reach in the community and its performance on the pitch.

Ray said: “We’re in a far better place now.

“We’re a financially stable business, an events space in the middle of Northampton and a competitive cricket team.

“We’re a Northampton club and one of the key things for us was to connect with Northampton.

“Whether that’s Northampton businesses - we have a proud list of sponsors now supporting the club, or engaging with fans, young or old.

“We have also developed our pathway cricket for young girls and boys and are utilising our events space to engage with the population of Northampton.”

The award has given the club recognition within the corporate industry and Ray says he has received praise from sponsors.

Although the award was received by Ray, personally, he says it is testament to the whole team at the club and their hard work in improving its business prospects.

He added: “I’m the recipient, but from my perspective I was entered on behalf of the club, the efforts and the success.

“It’s very much like cricket, you can’t win unless you have a good team and this team has taken the club on some big strides forward from where we were five years ago.

“We are delighted with the award and it’s great for the club to get recognised for its achievements on and off the pitch."

As restrictions ease, Ray is hopeful that more fans will be able to attend matches during the latter part of the season and that events will be able to resume later in the summer.

Gavin Warren, Northamptonshire County Cricket Club chairman, continued: “The Board of directors is proud and absolutely delighted that Ray has been crowned ‘business hero’ winner 2020/2021.

“This award is testament to Ray’s wonderful achievements at NCCC since his appointment.”