Martyn Moxon signed off with stress, Andrew Gale suspended as Yorkshire crisis escalates

Martyn Moxon signed off with stress, Andrew Gale suspended as Yorkshire crisis escalates

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More fall-out from Azeem Rafiq racism scandal as senior management feel the heat

Yorkshire’s head coach, Andrew Gale, has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing, while the club’s director of cricket, Martyn Moxon, has been signed off from work due to a stress-related illness, as the fall-out intensifies in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism investigation.
Gale, the club’s former Championship-winning captain, was last week revealed to have used the anti-Semitic slur “Yid” in a historic Twitter conversation with an executive at Leeds United football club.

“We can confirm that Andrew Gale, Yorkshire First XI Coach, is currently suspended pending a disciplinary hearing following an historic tweet,” read a statement from the club. “The Club will make a further statement once this process has been completed.”

Meanwhile, the club say that Moxon “will be given the necessary support” after being signed off from work for stress, as of Tuesday (November 9).

Moxon is due, along with Rafiq, Mark Arthur, the chief executive, and Roger Hutton, the former chairman, to give testimony at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee hearing on November 16, as the full consequences of the club’s botched investigation into Rafiq’s allegations of institution racism become clear.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Yorkshire’s new chairman, Lord Kamlesh Patel, hinted that the positions of Moxon and Arthur had become untenable after a torrid week for the club, adding that he would make “the right decisions in the coming days”. At present, Arthur is understood to still be in his role.

The latest developments at Yorkshire come after the loss of a raft of key club sponsors including Emerald, Nike and Yorkshire Tea; an ECB suspension from hosting major matches, including next year’s Test against New Zealand, and a wave of allegations of racist behaviour from past and present players, including Gary Ballance, whom the ECB last week suspended from England consideration, and the former England captain, Michael Vaughan.

On Friday, it was also confirmed that Yorkshire had settled its long-running employment tribunal with Rafiq, who was awarded a six-figure sum and offered an unreserved apology from Patel both for the treatment he had received in his time at the club, and for their previous attempts to impose a gagging order in return for a settlement.

“Yorkshire County Cricket Club should be a club for everyone in Yorkshire,” Patel said in a statement that the club said had been released in “a spirit of transparency” to provide regular updates into the developments.

“We need to listen to anyone who has experienced racism, discrimination and abuse at this cricket club, and I urge others to come forward to share their experiences,” Patel added.

“We are aware that, since I spoke yesterday, a number of allegations have been made from individuals about their experiences in the media. These need to be properly investigated.

“I announced that an independent whistle-blowing hotline will be set up as quickly as possible, as a safe space for people to come forward with disclosures. Once it is operational – and I have asked for this to happen by the end of this week – this will be the first step to a new and dedicated process to receive and to respond directly to all allegations and concerns.

“We want anyone who may have suffered issues to come forward, and these will be considered carefully and with due diligence”.

On Monday, Rafiq repeated his call for Arthur and Moxon to step down from their roles at the club.

“Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the sport at large desperately need reform,” Rafiq had said in a press release following the conclusion of his employment tribunal. “This is a good start, but I want to reiterate my call for the change that must come next – and one that must happen quickly.

“Mark Arthur, Martyn Moxon and many of those in the coaching staff have been part of the problem. They have consistently failed to take responsibility for what happened on their watch and must go. I urge them to do the right thing and resign to make way for those who will do what is needed for the club’s future.”