County news March 2, 2016

Yorkshire board 'misleading people' - Boycott

ESPNcricinfo staff

Geoffrey Boycott remains concerned about Yorkshire's financial position © Getty Images

Geoff Boycott has hit back at suggestions that his involvement on the Yorkshire board could prove disruptive and reiterated concerns about the club's financial position.

Boycott is set to stand for re-election to the Yorkshire board at the end of March but the he faces opposition from the current hierarchy, with chairman Steve Denison describing it as potentially "counter-productive". The club has written to members setting out reasons why they should not vote Boycott on to the board.

He has responded by accusing Yorkshire of misrepresenting the situation. He told the Yorkshire Post that he does not plan to interfere in playing matters - something he has made clear in written correspondence with the club - but wants to address members' concerns and help manage the high level of debt, which he described as "killing the club".

"The last thing I want is any trouble," he said. "I'm 75 years of age. I need trouble like I need a hole in the head. I'm only standing because there are vacancies on the board and because I care about the club. That's all. I want to act for the members and the benefit of the club.

"I'm not standing to get involved in the cricket. That point has to be made. Our cricket is going good. There's no problem with it. They're making out I'll get involved in the cricket and upset the apple cart, but I've said twice in a letter that's not my intention.

"Even when I was on the board before, I never got involved in the cricket; I never went in the dressing room once. The board are misleading people by suggesting I'm going to get involved in the cricket; the only time I would ever get involved is if I was asked."

Boycott, who was at the centre of divisive rows at the county during his playing days, previously served on the Yorkshire board between 2007 and 2012. He was also elected as club president for 2012 and 2013. Since then, Yorkshire have won back-to-back Championships with a largely homegrown side, reasserting themselves as one of the dominant forces in the domestic game.

Despite that success, Yorkshire's overall debts stand at £22m - a legacy of nearly going bankrupt before the intervention of former chairman Colin Graves. The club announced a £300,000 profit for 2015 but further borrowing is expected to finance the development of Headingley and Boycott called the situation a "recipe for disaster", warning that it could affect Yorkshire's future viability.

"The cricket is going great, but while we're basking in the cricket, and the success of the cricket, we're racking up so much debt that, if we're not careful, we might not be in existence further down the line, and it's no good having a good cricket team and the club going down the tube," Boycott said.

"Every Yorkshire member knows that you have to live within your means, and the debt is killing the club. It's a recipe for disaster. I've got my own ideas, but we can't go on racking up debt and massaging the finances."

Yorkshire is supporting three people - chief executive Mark Arthur, Robin Smith and Sir Gary Verity - as candidates to join the board, which can comprise of up to eight members. Smith, who is standing for re-election, Denison, Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire's director of cricket, and Stephen Willis are those currently serving on the board.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • landl47 on March 6, 2016, 4:53 GMT

    It's news to me that Boycott's an expert on finance. What are his qualifications? Managing the finances of a large organization isn't something that can be done as a hobby by amateurs.

    If he's not there because of 'the cricket', he shouldn't be there at all.

  • yorkshire-86 on March 3, 2016, 9:51 GMT

    This 'redevelopment' lark is getting out of hand. All it is for is the ECB decided, in their wisdom, to allow grounds other than the big 6 stage Tests. Before, each 2-series 7-Test summer Lords got 2, the other 5 (oval, headingly, edgbaston, OT, TB) got 1. Now, you have grounds in the middle of nowhere that can barely hold one man and his dog getting Test matches because some rich backer (or Welsh Assembly) coughs up the dough. So all the traditional grounds are borrowing up to their eyes in debt to 'modernise' grounds that didn't really need 'modernising'. 60 foot square Titantron scoreboards look impressive but in an age of falling attendance are an unnececcery luxury. Beafing up capacity to 20k+ looks good that one time every two years they host a Test, but these extra seats just gather moss and rust the rest of the season. The best way to stop the debt is to stop the worry - go back to the big 6 system for Tests (and T20s) and give the minor grounds more ODIs instead,

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