EIt takes almost thirty years for applicants to become a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). In the club founded in 1787, which advertises itself as the “home of the cricket” with a large sign on the facade of the London stadium, in which it has been based since 1814. All the more violent the turmoil surrounding the management’s plans for the club, led by the arcane customs of St James’s men’s clubs, to alleviate the needs of the Corona crisis by selling lifetime memberships.
Among the 18,000 members, there is already annoyance about the decision not to reimburse the annual membership fee of up to just under £ 600 (€ 667), although it looks as if the beloved, dull will become the first this summer in the MCC’s 233-year history The sound of the leather ball ricocheting off the willow club cannot be heard. The idea that the wealthy could skip the 12,000 applicants waiting list if they scroll up to £ 80,000 for life-long membership stirs up resentment, although existing members as well as those on the waiting list should be the first to be given the opportunity by to make use of the offer. For them, life-long membership is said to cost between £ 7,000 (€ 7,792) and £ 17,000 (€ 18,925), which escalates depending on age.
The MCC expects Corona to halve its earnings this year, which was £ 60m last year. This slump hit the club at a time when it expanded its spectator capacity by 2600 seats to 31,000 through a £ 52 million (€ 58 million) construction project staggered over two years. In a letter to the members, the club board appealed to unprecedented circumstances. He confessed his discomfort to the principle of commercial transportation, but argued that “it is a reality that money can only be raised by those who have it”. All in all, he hoped that the members would support this approach.
A virtual annual meeting will take place for the first time on June 24. How popular membership is is shown recently by a lawsuit against an entrepreneur who has been accused of falsifying a deceased member’s card acquired on the Ebay online platform in order to gain access to a “prestigious world”. The man was fined £ 10,000 and given a suspended sentence.
For many – some would say haughtily – the red-yellow-striped jacket and the associated tie of the MCC embodies the prestige of the historic club. The members, who consider themselves finer, find it rather embarrassing to wear the club colors that are mocked as “bacon with eggs”. One of them, who, like many cricket lovers, grumbles about the decline of manners not only at the MCC, but at the sport in general, said he only wears the tie when he gives a lecture in Texas. Resistance to the plans of the MCC board could be summed up with the saying, which characterizes the reputation of the game as the epitome of elegant fair play. “It’s just not cricket” means in German: “It’s not the fine type.”