Struggling Cavalry in pitch to secure long-term future

Ian Bushnell 14 April 2021 18
Shawn Morimando

Canberra Cavalry pitcher Shawn Morimando in action at Narrabundah Ballpark. Photo: Peter Norton.

A new ownership structure as part of an overall restructuring of the Canberra Cavalry national baseball franchise is imminent after the club was forced into voluntary administration at the end of March.

Back-to-back seasons disrupted by unforeseen circumstances hit the club hard, and plans are in motion to secure its long-term financial security so it can weather any further unexpected events.

The club is keeping mum for now, anxious not to frighten the horses as the administrator goes about the work of ensuring a future for the Cavs in Canberra.

But a season clouded by bushfire smoke that eroded revenues followed by the pandemic, which piled up expenses, left the club reeling.

Operating in an environment of travel restrictions, COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements proved challenging.

At one point, the club had to put four Brisbane-based players up for two weeks in Canberra after being stranded here due to a lockdown.

READ ALSO: Would Canberra sport survive without social media platforms?

Players from last season were paid, but ongoing cash flow problems meant a restructure was necessary if the club was to survive.

No one has lost their job, and the club has appreciated support from volunteers, members and sponsors.

The club hopes that over the coming weeks, with a long-term financial plan in place, it can provide more certainty for all concerned.

It is still concerned about another season with COVID-19 hanging about but believes a better financial structure will give it the capacity to overcome disruptions to seasons that can’t be predicted.

The Cavalry remains confident that a national baseball franchise is viable in Canberra.

The club is working with the Australia Baseball League on the restructure and hopes it can provide some support.

With the new season due to start before Christmas, the challenge will be to secure a team to field, but the ABL has not set a deadline for the club to meet.

The 24-strong Cavalry squad is usually a 50:50 mix of Australian and overseas players, although domestic players dominated the list last season.

The club also has a partnership with the Canberra Brave ice hockey team, but that operation is a separate financial entity and any impact from the Cavalry’s current predicament is expected to be minimal.

The Cavalry plays its home games at Narrabundah Ballpark, which it leases from the ACT Government.

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18 Responses to Struggling Cavalry in pitch to secure long-term future
ABL Hot Corner ABL Hot Corner 7:22 am 15 Apr 21

Here we go AGAIN ... the alarm bells start to ring

I wonder if another team is about to announce the same...

Daniel Duncan Daniel Duncan 8:03 pm 14 Apr 21

Why did they have to pay for 2 BNE players, Shouldn't there club pay for that?

    Christina Diana Christina Diana 10:25 pm 14 Apr 21

    Daniel Duncan the BNE players were playing for the CAVS and on the Canberra roster.

    Daniel Duncan Daniel Duncan 11:41 pm 14 Apr 21

    Christina lol sorry I thought they were players from the opposition

    Christina Diana Christina Diana 9:50 pm 15 Apr 21

    Daniel Duncan yeah I was confused at first too!

Sean Taylor Sean Taylor 7:45 pm 14 Apr 21

Mukund Karthik gase ball

Trev Elliott Trev Elliott 6:25 pm 14 Apr 21

$80k salary cap. Where has the money gone from all the sponsors? Distancing themselves from the local league has also had a major impact.

    Matt Hemsley Matt Hemsley 7:00 pm 14 Apr 21

    Trev Elliott money ballllllllllllllll

    Alanna Davis Alanna Davis 7:36 pm 14 Apr 21

    Trev Elliott And many people involved are volunteers. Volunteers get promised things and then they don’t deliver. It’s all take from that management. I refuse to support them based on the their treatment of our family.

Paul Kelly Paul Kelly 5:43 pm 14 Apr 21

Well said Steve. Would also be mass exodus of all sponsors. New season, new owners, that simple. Exciting options in the pipeline

Alanna Davis Alanna Davis 5:04 pm 14 Apr 21

The most poorly managed business I’ve ever engaged with.

Steven Kent Steven Kent 4:43 pm 14 Apr 21

I find it very funny that the representative from the Canberra Cavalry who has been speaking to the media appears to think the current directors/owners will remain in place. Surely they know the writing is on the wall and that their time at the helm has become untenable.

1) Let’s hope that Baseball Australia and the Australian Baseball League aren’t silly enough to let the administration of the organisation to remain in place.

2) If for some reason they did allow that to happen, I find it extremely unlikely that the Cavalry would be able to field a team in the next ABL season because there would be a mass exodus of players, field staff, volunteers and sponsors due to their treatment over the past few years.

There is so much misinformation out there and the quotes in recent articles are leading people to think everything is okay at the Cavalry, when the stark reality is that things are dire at the Canberra Cavalry, not only from a financial perspective but also with the way people have been treated, and the best thing that could ever happen to this organisation is for new owners to come in before the team ceases to exist.

    Camo Maher Camo Maher 5:04 pm 14 Apr 21

    Steven Kent there wouldn't be many in any situation to make public comments like you've done here, well done on speaking out and taking a stance.

    James Ballard James Ballard 6:24 pm 14 Apr 21

    According to the Creditor's report (a mandatory document prepared by the administrator and available to the public), there were meetings between the administrator (it must be noted that he hadn't been appointed back then) and the directors and accountant as far back as August last year.

    Luke Black Luke Black 6:27 pm 14 Apr 21

    Steven Kent knew something wasn’t right when someone like yourself was speaking out before the start of last season

    Brett Fewson Brett Fewson 9:19 pm 14 Apr 21

    Steven Kent well said mate

    Bri Travalos Bri Travalos 11:59 pm 14 Apr 21

    James Ballard what does this mean for the Brave?

    James Ballard James Ballard 6:00 am 15 Apr 21

    Bri Travalos apparently they're separate financial entities, however, it'll be interesting to read the Administrator's report once he has looked at the books and records of the Cavalry.

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