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Statement on Yorkshire County Cricket Club

Statement on Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) ahead of the Extraordinary General Meeting on the 2nd of February

I remain concerned about the impact of Mr Graves's prospective return to Yorkshire CCC on the Club’s culture, governance and finances. I have raised these concerns in a public statement and directly to the Club Chair.



In 2023, Yorkshire County Cricket Club accepted four charges in 2023 of bringing the game

into disrepute due to racism, much of which happened under Mr Graves’s tenure as

Chair, and instigated a whistleblowing helpline and investigation.


In addition, when the racism at YCCC was first exposed there was a flight of

sponsors from the Club. Through the progress made by the Club, there has been a

return of sponsors but since the speculation around Mr Graves's return, some

sponsors have ended their association or threatened to end their association with the

Club. What might seem like a short-term solution of more debt funding may prove a

longer-term issue in terms of sponsorship income. 


YCCC has admitted the racism prevalent at the Club exposed by the brave testimony

of Azeem Rafiq and rightly set up a whistleblowing helpline and investigation into the

cases raised by the helpline. At the time, Mr Graves dismissed the testimony, describing it as banter. I am very concerned that we would lose the progress we have

made under a return by Mr Graves and would need not just a statement recanting his

views but full commitment to create a Club for the whole community. 




Regarding the Club’s finances, YCCC’s main creditor is the Graves Family Trust and

I understand the actual amount loaned by Mr Graves over the years is much smaller

than the debt the club owes now. The arrangement appears entirely commercial and

the current offer of lending further money in return for control raises very serious

questions of conflict of interest and the question of who would profit in future if

lucrative deals within cricket are gained by YCCC. 


If members vote in favour of Mr Graves’s return and the financial package, Colin Graves will be required to provide a £1m loan to the Club. However, I am deeply concerned that the Club has not been provided any information about Mr Graves’s promise of fundraising another £4m within five months.




YCCC is a proudly members-owned mutual. It is governed by the 2015 Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act and its ownership and governance are entrusted to those members. 


Yorkshire Cricket belonging to the members of the Club and their ownership of the

historic Yorkshire Cricket Club is at the heart of our County. 


It is encouraging to see that the Special Resolution being put to members at the EGM on February 2nd, does not seek to end Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) as a members-owned mutual and that any board appointments made will be subject to confirmation at the following AGM.


I oppose any attempt to take Yorkshire away from members and make it a private entity, as it will be done for profit and weaken accountability and the Club's long-term viability.

Photographer: Gareth J Dykes

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