Geoffrey Boycott: Yorkshire chairman asks members not to back board return

Geoffrey Boycott
Geoffrey Boycott scored 48,426 first-class runs at an average of almost 57

Yorkshire chairman Steve Denison has asked club members not to back Geoffrey Boycott's return to the board of directors.

Former England opener Boycott made 609 first-class appearances for Yorkshire and was president from 2012 to 2014.

The 75-year-old does not hold a board position, but acts informally as an overseas ambassador for the club.

"We want individuals with skills that can guarantee the survival of the club," Denison told BBC Radio Leeds.

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Denison, who succeeded Colin Graves in March last year, added: "We are saying no on the back of stability.

"The success we have had in the last two seasons has been on the back of a very stable board and a very stable management team all pointing in the same direction.

"He's a boyhood hero of mine - I invaded the pitch aged 13 when he got his 100th hundred at Headingley - but the problem we face at the moment is the club has been in serious financial difficulty for a long time, propped up by Colin Graves.

"We've had to refinance both this year and try and lay foundations for the immediate future when we have to build a new stand.

"We need specialist skills on our board in relation to finance and construction - and that's the direction of the board over the next few years."

Boycott's return to the board would need to be approved by the club members at the annual general meeting on 26 March.

He received 91.09% of the vote when he was voted club president in 2012.

"Irrespective of the outcome of the member vote, there will be no acrimony involved. We will work with Geoffrey if he gets elected," added Denison.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire have announced a profit for 2015 of £368,000 after tax, their first since 2009.

Geoff Boycott and Phil Sharpe
Boycott (left) was a member of the Yorkshire team that won five county titles between 1962 and 1968

Analysis

BBC Radio Leeds commentator Dave Callaghan

"The gist of Geoffrey's letter to the members that they will receive before the AGM on Easter Saturday is that he could really be the members' champion. He is a great supporter of Yorkshire, of that there is no doubt, and he has a great cricket knowledge. He is saying that with his contacts he could help the club.

"He's also a bit worried about the club's finances - they are still over £20m in debt, even though they are declaring a profit this financial year - and he wants to see the club expand and follow the trend of great rivals Lancashire. He wants to make sure the ground is used prominently, even for other areas outside cricket.

"What Yorkshire are saying is that they are aware he has a lot to offer, but would be interested in him being their global ambassador and selling the club around the world, which he would do very well. They are also saying they don't think he is the right man to come on the board.

"It's down to the supporters in the end. There could be fireworks along the way."

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