Yorkshire: Colin Graves wants to replace Lord Kamlesh Patel as President | “I can change everything in three years”
Colin Graves is keen to return to Yorkshire Country Cricket Club as chairman but has made it clear it “will be on my terms”.
The Costcutter founder served as executive chairman of Yorkshire between 2012 and 2015, having helped rescue the club from financial difficulties in 2002.
He left the role in 2015 to take on the same role at the England and Wales Cricket Board, but is interested in returning after Lord Kamlesh Patel has announced he will step down in March.
Lord Patel led the club’s attempts to emerge from the fallout from the Azeem Rafiq race scandal, but the club is now in the hunt for a new chairman and Graves is eager to fill the void.
Money is tight again at Headingley, with compensation payments to Rafiq and others, legal settlements and business losses all contributing to projected losses of over £2million.
The Graves Family Trust, which now operates independently of Graves, also owes around £16million.
The 74-year-old believes he has the expertise to stabilize things but, given the damaging revelations and allegations against the club in the recent past, many may feel the time is right for new leadership.
Graves, formalizing his interest in the role in generally robust terms, told the Yorkshire Post: “The club know my point of view. If I come back, it will be on my terms.
“I will work with the board. I will work with everyone who is there. But I will manage it however I want and I know I can knock it down in three years. I can’t wait to do that.
“I don’t want money for this. I don’t want to get paid. I’m going to give it my all and if it’s seven days a week, it’s seven days a week to get the thing back where it belongs. He there is a lot to do.
“I know I can bring to the table what Yorkshire wants at this stage, which is to heal all the wounds, to put the members back on the side to become a members’ club, to work with the board to put them in the right position to move forward and settle the financial situation they envision.”
Whether Graves’ insistence on full autonomy aligns with the views of chief executive Stephen Vaughan, who was appointed in November and has his own ideas on the way forward, remains to be seen, but Graves would enjoy some backing on the board. Board of Directors of Yorkshire.
A statement in response from the White Rose said: “Lord Patel will step down as Chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club at the next AGM.
“A new chairman will be appointed following a thorough, fair and robust recruitment process, to ensure the right person is in place and to continue the significant progress the club has made during his tenure. .”
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