Yorks Cricket Club loses eight staff members amid controversy

YORKSHIRE COUNTY CRICKET CLUB: Yorks Cricket Club’s Vitality Blast ‘monkey’ dispute saw local coach move the pitch in the middle of the evening and host on tour team from Napier

Following the unsettling fallout of an ugly racial scandal surrounding two of its first-team players and eight other white employees, York County Cricket Club has announced that the director of cricket and the first-team coach who helped celebrate their historic upset of Middlesex in the Vitality Blast are among staff who have resigned.

Although the alleged racial abuse of two of the club’s own players, Jackson Bird and Ravi Bopara, and the introduction of a black player, Mitch Claydon, as part of York’s 10-man reserves have now seemingly been put to rest after both players’ offences were described as “black armbands” in a tweet by Bopara, it has been claimed that several staff members are leaving the club amid the drama.

In a statement posted on the club’s website, chairman Colin Weatherall says: “The club has today started a period of consultation with all concerned regarding the team and director of cricket Matthew Halton. Both Matt and myself were of the view that if a resolution to the remaining issues could be reached, a sensible agreement was in the best interests of all parties.

“We understand that this has not been the case. Matthew has been deeply disappointed by the actions of some, including some members of the staff.”

While details of the amount of money and how many staff member-members will leave the club have not been released, Weatherall made it clear that “a number of roles have been affected.”

Elsewhere, manager Gary Mills is said to have announced to the club that he will not be staying with the club and several unnamed staff members have resigned as a result.

Halton, who has been the club’s director of cricket since its formation in 2007, is set to retire from the game at the end of the current season.

William “Billy” Nickoldson, the club’s head coach, has been replaced by last season’s captain Tom Ward.

“Mathew Halton has been hugely popular with players and the wider public of York. This decision has been reached due to the decision of the majority of the playing staff that the club requires someone who is closer to the club ethos and style to look after the area around the grounds,” Weatherall said.

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