Colin Graves. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Former chair Colin Graves made a triumphant return to the Yorkshire boardroom. He has been approved as a new non-executive director of the club and is expected to resume his role as chair sooner rather than later. His appointment is currently pending for the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will take place on Friday, February 9 and if everything falls into place, a new chapter will begin at the historic club.
Notably, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given the green light for relevant changes to the club’s rules, which helped Graves make his return to the club. Being a seasoned cricket administrator, Graves previously held the reins at Yorkshire from 2012 to 2015.
However, his initial involvement dates back to 2002, a pivotal time when his intervention as the founder of the Costcutter supermarket chain saved the club from bankruptcy. Remarkably, his family trust, managed by independent trustees, is still owed nearly £15 million by the club.
Meanwhile, Graves had to step down from the role after the club faced a hefty fine of £400,000 for failing to deal with racism. His past statements, including dismissing allegations of racism as mere ‘banter,’ drew criticism from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). However, things changed drastically after Graves recently apologized to victims of institutional racism within the club.
It has helped him make his way back to the club as the ECB now considers him the best option to protect the Yorkshire club amid financial struggle.
“It is an honour and privilege to be appointed and be back at Yorkshire CCC. I will work tirelessly with the board to resolve the financial position in which the club currently finds itself, and to restore financial stability and sustainability to Yorkshire cricket for generations to come,” Graeves was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo after his return.
“Equally, it is my personal pledge to members and to the entire Yorkshire public that, regardless of background, community or ethnicity, all will be welcome in the fully inclusive culture and environment of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. There will never be any exceptions. I have unreservedly apologised for any, and all mistakes either I or the club has made over the painful and difficult years of the recent past. Lessons have been learned ” he added.