Darren Gough commits to Yorkshire as Stephen Vaughan named chief executive

Darren Gough has committed his long-term future as managing director of cricket at Yorkshire, who have appointed Stephen Vaughan as their new chief executive.

White Rose favourite Gough put his broadcasting career on hold to take the position on an interim basis last year, with the club in crisis following the fallout from Azeem Rafiq’s claims of institutional racism.

The club were relegated from the first division of the LV= Insurance County Championship at the end of his first campaign, but he has agreed to stay on and continue his work at Headingley.

Darren Gough leaves the field with Yorkshire.
Gough represented Yorkshire with distinction across two spells as a player. (Gareth Copley/PA)

“I have a long-established connection to the club and am very happy to be part of our future by signing a permanent contract. We were all disappointed with the conclusion of the men’s XI season but we are determined to get back to the top as soon as possible and regain our Division One status,” he said.

“There is much to be optimistic about, not least the exceptional young talent coming through, and I am excited about the signings we have made to improve the team. The hard work starts through the winter, and I am looking forward to working together with Ottis (Gibson, head coach) and the coaching team in the years ahead to bring success on the cricket field back to Yorkshire.”

Elsewhere, Vaughan has been appointed as CEO. He moves across from rugby union, where he has spent the last couple of years fire fighting at another troubled club, Wasps. They went into administration last month, with Vaughan one of 167 immediate job losses.

A former professional footballer with Walsall, he went on to pursue a career in business and spent seven years with Gloucester Rugby before his time at Wasps.

Lord Kamlesh Patel, chair of Yorkshire during its current embattled period, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Stephen to the club as the outstanding candidate in a highly talented field. With years of knowledge and experience working across various disciplines within sport he will bring a huge amount of expertise. His proven track record and business acumen will be vital to our future success.

“Stephen’s openness in dealing with challenging conditions at Wasps in the wake of Covid demonstrates the strength of character that will be vital to the ongoing transformation of the club. I look forward to working with him as we continue on our rebuilding journey.”

Vaughan said Yorkshire was one of several possible destinations available to him and feels he can help deliver brighter days as it emerges from a dark chapter in its history.

“Yorkshire County Cricket Club is one of the most iconic sporting institutions in the world and it’s truly an honour to take up this position,” he said.

“Without shying away from the significant challenges we have faced over the past year, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, both on and off the pitch. I had a number of offers, but the opportunity to lead this club back to the forefront of English cricket and realise our full potential was very attractive.”