Yorkshire CCC neither confirm nor deny suggestions they are willing to sell Headingley

Yorkshire chief executive Stephen Vaughan. Picture by Allan McKenzie/
Yorkshire chief executive Stephen Vaughan. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

The club has been trying for months to raise £20m in an effort to survive.

Yorkshire owe £15m to the family trust of former chairman Colin Graves and are seeking a further injection of £5m.

The club’s latest accounts warn that without further funding of £3.5m - roughly the same amount spent on the racism saga in the last two years - Yorkshire “will not be able to continue as a going concern”.

With a £500,000 payment due to the Graves Trust in October, with the rest of the balance in October next year, the problem is pressing and despite assurances of positive progress, a successful refinancing would appear to be a challenge.

Now the Daily Mail has suggested that Yorkshire - who have been linked with the former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, Indian Premier League franchises and, in a particularly Yorkshire CCC-type development, a Saudi Arabian prince - might have to sell Headingley and then lease it back to try and stay afloat.

The newspaper claimed that Yorkshire have had the ground valued at around £23m - roughly twice what was paid for it when the club completed a protracted battle to purchase the venue back in 2005 - and that sources had indicated that Yorkshire “would only sell Headingley if they could secure a 10-year lease which included the option to buy the ground back”.

On Thursday night, the club would not be drawn on the speculation.

“We can’t comment on commercially sensitive information,” said Stephen Vaughan, the Yorkshire chief executive, in a statement.

“We are making strong progress on securing the long-term future of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and look forward to announcing positive developments shortly.”

Yorkshire have been devastated by the racism saga which continues to affect them on-and-off the field.

While Vaughan and the board grapple with the financial challenge, on the field the club is bottom of the County Championship Second Division after being slapped with a 48-point penalty by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC).