Business as usual for new County CEO Payne

Northamptonshire acting chief executive Ray PayneNorthamptonshire acting chief executive Ray Payne
Northamptonshire acting chief executive Ray Payne
Ray Payne insists it is “business as usual” for Northamptonshire after he took over as acting chief executive this week.

Payne has been on the board at Wantage Road for the past year but stepped up to the hotseat in the wake of David Smith’s departure last week.

No timescale has been placed on the length of his appointment so far.

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But having been in the role for a couple of days now, Payne – whose career has been in the hospitality and leisure industry – is looking forward to getting the club flourishing both on and off the pitch following last season’s bitterly disappointing relegation from Division One in the County Championship.

“Obviously we aren’t in the cricket season so we have time to think about next year and position ourselves,” Payne said.

“I am happy to work with the board for as long as they are happy to work with me.

“Time will tell as to whether it is the right fit.

“There is a fair bit of work to be done.

“I met some of the team on Tuesday and, already their fitness levels are coming on and there is a real sense of optimism about bouncing back.

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“I think they have learned some lessons from the experience of last season.

“To me, the preparations look as good as they can be at this stage.

The club has been able to invest in the ground over the last few years.

“We now have a really good product in the middle of Northampton and now we have to go and convince people to come and use it for conferences and events as well as cricket.

“I think the fans are backing us and the early sales of our memberships this week would suggest that is the case.

“It has been a busy spell but it seems to be business as usual, which is good to see.”