Sacked staff claim Yorkshire coaching cull is 'about money over morals'

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Sacked staff claim Yorkshire coaching cull is 'about money over morals' - ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS
Sacked staff claim Yorkshire coaching cull is 'about money over morals' - ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS

Yorkshire are facing claims within the club that the decision to sack the entire coaching staff over the Azeem Rafiq case was based on “money rather than morals”.

Amid increasingly toxic fallout, several people suggest chairman Lord Patel triggered the mass cull in an attempt to appease the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“If the club don’t get internationals back then the club goes bankrupt,” one of them told Telegraph Sport, adding he felt “shattered” by the furore.

Sources close to the ECB said in response that “letting go staff” was never in the “clear list of deliverables” for Yorkshire to get their ban on internationals lifted. Patel, who was unavailable for comment, previously said “significant change” was required as part of “whatever action is necessary to regain trust”.

However, other club figures insist that getting England matches back was the overriding reason to clear out 14 members of staff with head coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon. There was still a feeling of disbelief among sacked staff on Saturday.

“I got an 8am email with barely any explanation,” said one of the men now consulting lawyers ahead of a potential employment tribunal. “I don’t know why I’ve been sacked.” Another source close to the club said: “This is money over morals. It’s gone beyond the realms of reality... I feel very sad about it.”

As well as a bitter legal battle with the sacked members of staff, Patel is facing a revolt from his players, with some threatening to leave. The presiding feeling among rank and file at the club is that an indiscriminate cull had taken place with the sole aim of getting the ban on staging England matches lifted.

Moxon, signed off sick with stress, and Gale, suspended over a historic anti-Semitic Twitter post, had appeared to be in untenable positions, after facing the most severe criticism in Rafiq’s damning testimony to MPs about the racism he suffered while at the club.

'Without making changes we cannot move on from the past'

Yorkshire have reportedly approached former bowler Darren Gough, who is the leading candidate along with Mo Bobat to replace Moxon as director of cricket. Ottis Gibson, the former West Indies coach, is also on the list to replace Andrew Gale as head coach.

Patel held a Zoom meeting with members of the squad shortly before the departures were announced – but only after Yorkshire’s England players, in Australia for the Ashes, had been told the news by Ashley Giles.

Gale released a statement on Friday saying: “The players knew about it before I did and I will be fighting the decision legally.”

A wave of wrongful or unfair dismissal claims could heap further reputational damage on a county whose former chairman, Roger Hutton, accepted they were guilty of institutional racism following their handling of an investigation into Rafiq’s complaints about repeated abuse.

Patel said of a clear-out that began last month with the resignation of chief executive Mark Arthur: “Without making important changes to how we are run, we cannot move on from the past to become a culture which is progressive and inclusive.

“We want to make Yorkshire County Cricket Club a place for everyone, from all backgrounds. To do this, we need to rebuild our culture and instill positive values in everyone associated with Yorkshire. We are determined to learn from the mistakes of the past to become a club people can trust.”

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