• Friday, June 21, 2024

CRICKET

Yorkshire must seek private funding to survive, says chairman

Yorkshire is currently fifth in the second division of the County Championship.

Founded in 1863, Yorkshire stands as one of England’s oldest and most prestigious cricket institutions. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Colin Graves, the chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, has said that the club must transition to a private structure to ensure its survival.

Graves, who resumed his position at the club earlier this year amidst financial challenges, issued a statement on the club’s website revealing that Yorkshire incurred a loss of £2.7 million last year, resulting in total losses exceeding £9 million.

“Unfortunately, there is no doubt that without swift and decisive action, YCCC [Yorkshire County Cricket Club] will be fighting for its survival during 2024,” Graves said in his statement.

“A demutualisation – thereby converting the club to a private structure, which unlocks potential private investment – appears at this point essential for the club’s future.

“My firm intention is that members’ current rights are protected and that a demutualisation would represent no change to their current interaction with YCCC.

“The club would be better structured to be self-sustaining, still in existence and to capture maximum value for YCCC from any processes such as The Hundred.

“Other county clubs, including Hampshire and Northamptonshire, have successfully demutualised and are realising the benefits of this structure.”

The club’s recent accumulated losses now stand at more than £9 million, and the situation is expected to deteriorate this year since Headingley is not scheduled to host a men’s Test in 2024, nor in 2027 or 2028, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

Last month, ECB chief executive Richard Gould stated that they were “starting to pursue” private investment in The Hundred teams, as reported by BBC.

Out of the 18 English first-class counties, only Hampshire, Durham and Northamptonshire are not owned by their members.

Founded in 1863, Yorkshire stands as one of England’s oldest and most prestigious cricket institutions. With a rich history of producing legendary players like Geoffrey Boycott and Fred Trueman, the club has claimed numerous championship titles, solidifying its legacy as a powerhouse in English cricket.

Yorkshire is currently fifth in the second division of the County Championship.

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