Yorkshire club criticizes Colin Graves as he withdraws from chair bid
Yorkshire has slammed former chair Colin Graves for withdrawing his ambition to return to the position.
Lord Patel stepped down as chairman of the club in March, and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is currently acting as interim chair.
Graves, who served as chair from 2012 to 2015, said he wants to return to assist sort out the financial problems caused by the racism incident.
Graves had made a “tangible offer” to the board at “no point,” according to Yorkshire.
The club said in a statement stating they had been alerted of Graves’ withdrawal on Monday that they are “disappointed” that he did so “publicly,” with a letter apparently sent to Grey-Thompson published in the Yorkshire Post.
Yorkshire owes £14.9 million to the Graves Trust, the club’s largest creditor. Graves serves as an independent trustee of the trust, which is administered by professional trustees.
The county lost a considerable number of sponsors as a result of their handling of the Azeem Rafiq controversy, and they also had to settle on compensation packages with dismissed employees who won unfair dismissal cases.
Yorkshire have confessed to four modified charges brought by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in response to Rafiq’s allegations, and punishments will be reviewed at a hearing on June 27.
Sanctions might include an infinite fine, point deductions, and ban from ECB tournaments.
Yorkshire stated that they are “obliged to make it absolutely clear that, unlike other interested parties involved in the refinance process, Colin never made a clearly defined, tangible offer that the board was able to consider formally.”
“We have consistently stated that the new chair would be appointed through a fair, thorough, and robust process, which is ongoing,” they continued.
“Colin indicated that his return as chair would be contingent on total control of the board and executive.”
“This would be contrary to that process, as well as the best practice governance requirements outlined in the County Governance Code, which all counties agreed to in 2019.”
Yorkshire stated that Graves’ alleged criticism of the board’s management of the club’s financial troubles was “unfounded” and demonstrated a “distinct lack of understanding” of the club’s predicament.
“The board’s priority remains the club’s short- and long-term financial well-being, and we will not be distracted by speculation that is unhelpful to our primary objective of securing the future of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and making it a welcoming club for everyone,” they continued.
Patel takes office in November 2021, following the resignation of Roger Hutton over Yorkshire’s response to the Rafiq controversy.
Yorkshire altered its regulations last year under Patel to remove the requirement for written agreement from the Graves Trust trustees to nominate or dismiss board members after the ECB made it a major criterion in order to reestablish Headingley’s status to host England matches.
Graves, who led the ECB from 2015 to 2020, supported the revisions.