County Championship the ‘Holy Grail’ for Yorkshire CCC chairman

YORKSHIRE chief executive Mark Arthur believes that new chairman Roger Hutton is the perfect fit.

New Yorkshire CCC chairman: Roger Hutton.

Hutton was appointed in succession to Robin Smith earlier this month, with existing board member Neil Hartley, the former Yorkshire player, named vice-chair.

Hutton, 54, is joint-managing partner of Leeds-based law firm Clarion and a distant relative of Len Hutton; his father was a second cousin of the Yorkshire and England batsman.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hutton completes a seven-strong board possessing a kaleidoscope of knowledge across cricket and business which Arthur is confident can take the club forward.

“Roger has been a keen supporter of Yorkshire for many years and we’d already seen what he’s like as a lawyer, as we’d worked with him and used Clarion in the past,” he said.

“We’ve seen first-hand his passion and commitment, the quality of his work, and we’re delighted to have him now as chairman.

“He’s one of five non-execs on the board, plus myself and Martyn Moxon (director of cricket) as executive directors. The other thing that’s quite exciting about the make-up of the non-execs is that there’s a broad range of ages from 36 up to 64.

“So there’s a near 30-year span there, which gives a lot of different perspectives and diversity.

“If you look around the other counties, I would have thought that the mean average age of our board of directors is a lot lower than most.

“Hopefully, we’ve got some really good people that are going to contribute massively for Yorkshire County Cricket Club for years to come.”

For the record, the non-executive board members are Hutton, Hartley, Hanif Malik, Katherine Mathew and Stephen Willis.

According to Arthur, there are effectively 14 people running Yorkshire cricket per se, ensuring a streamlined approach to management/decision-making.

“We’ve got a very lean staffing operation at Yorkshire which helps us to make decisions quite swiftly and with knowledge,” he added.

“There is a great relationship between the senior management team at the club, and then you’ve got the five non-exec directors completing the picture.

“In all, there’s really 14 people involved in the decision-making process of Yorkshire cricket itself, and it’s a really good team,” he said

Arthur will continue to run the club on a daily basis, with Hutton providing support and advice.

“It won’t change in that respect,” said Arthur.

“Roger’s a very busy man himself, and he’s not looking to be an executive chairman in any shape or form.

“It will be very much like it was with Colin Graves when I first turned up.

“Colin was chairman and he allowed me to get on and run it, then Steve Denison did exactly the same thing and, in fairness, so did Robin.

“But, from a chief exec’s point of view, it’s always good to have a chairman there to talk to regularly, to bounce things off, to sense-test a number of things, and so on.

“We’re very much on the same wavelength and I’m sure we’ll be able to work together really well.”

Arthur concluded: “Roger is very much aligned with our views as a club.

“First and foremost, that’s County Championship cricket – that’s the Holy Grail from our point of view, and Roger is very much of that thinking.”