Azeem Rafiq settles tribunal case with Yorkshire and receives apology

Azeem Rafiq calls for Yorkshire chiefs Mark Arthur and Martyn Moxon to resign as he reaches £200,000 settlement to end his employment tribunal claim and receives apology from incoming chair Lord Patel

  • Azeem Rafiq has reached a six-figure settlement to end his tribunal case
  • Rafiq received an apology from incoming Yorkshire chair Lord Patel
  • He said he would continue to campaign against institutional racism 

Azeem Rafiq has reached a six- figure settlement with Yorkshire to end his employment tribunal claim and immediately called for the club’s chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon to resign.

Incoming Yorkshire chair Lord Patel revealed he spent more than six hours talking to Rafiq on Sunday and had since settled at around £200,000. He waived a non-disclosure agreement, criticising its inclusion in a previous club offer to the former England Under 19 captain.

Rafiq said: ‘I want to thank Lord Patel for making the offer and sorting this out within 72 hours of his appointment.

Azeem Rafiq has reached a £200,000 settlement with Yorkshire to end his employment tribunal claim

Incoming Yorkshire chair Lord Patel apologised to Rafiq and his family three days after taking the role

‘It should not have taken the rest of the club a year to realise I would not be silenced. I will continue to campaign against institutional racism and look forward to speaking at the select committee hearing next week. I urge others who have suffered to come forward. There is strength in numbers and I will be right behind you.’

Rafiq, praised by Lord Patel as a whistleblower who had forced Yorkshire into ‘seismic change’, will be able to speak freely on his experiences of racism during his two spells as a player at Headingley — including at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport hearing a week today.

The 30-year-old added: ‘Mark Arthur, Martyn Moxon and many of those on 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.’

Lord Patel, 61, confirmed that the pair were still running the crisis-hit club’s day-to-day affairs as members of the senior management team but promised a review of the executive. He left his official unveiling as successor to Roger Hutton as Yorkshire’s chair to attend talks with one of the slew of sponsors — whose number included Nike, Tetley’s and Yorkshire Tea — that walked out on the club last week.

His top priorities now are resurrecting deals, persuading other businesses to come on board and liaising with the ECB on the targets that must be met to avoid having a Test match versus New Zealand and a one-day international against South Africa next summer shifted elsewhere.

Yorkshire are £18.6million in debt and the loss of more than £6.5million — an estimate based on the sponsorship and commercial deals, plus the suspension of Tests and other England fixtures at Headingley until a time seen fit by the ECB following the botched investigation into Rafiq’s claims — accounts for more than 50 per cent of Yorkshire’s projected annual income.

Rafiq says he will continue to campaign against institutional racism in cricket

‘We are under strain and that’s why I’m going hell for leather to get sponsors and international cricket back here. To get assurances of what the ECB need in place and get them in place as soon as possible,’ said Lord Patel, who nevertheless dismissed the prospect of insolvency.

He began an address in the Long Room at Headingley that outlined his plans for the future by apologising to Rafiq.

‘I’ve been appointed with a clear remit of righting the wrongs of the past and making sure this club is an inclusive home for aspiring players of the future. Revelations about complaints of racism and their handling of this has rocked the sporting world. Racism is not banter. It is simply not acceptable,’ said Lord Patel.

‘I thank Azeem Rafiq. He is a whistleblower and should be praised as such. Apologies to him and his family for what they have experienced and the way we have handled it.

‘As an outsider coming in, it is clear the investigation was flawed and we have handled it badly.

Rafiq has called for Yorkshire’s chief executive and director of cricket to resign from their roles 

‘Clearly there is a problem. I have been appointed to see if this club is institutionally racist and what we can do about that.’

Among the measures to be put in place will be a whistleblower hotline, allowing others to share their experiences.

Tensions continue to run high following Rafiq’s allegations and Lord Patel revealed that he would be reporting to West Yorkshire Police death threats made against members of staff at the club.

Sportsmail revealed that Gary Ballance repeatedly used the word ‘P**i’ when talking to his former team-mate Rafiq. And former England captain Michael Vaughan used his newspaper column to categorically deny saying ‘Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it’ in reference to Yorkshire fielding four players of Asian heritage.

Lord Patel will conduct a review into the saga and will look to resurrect sponsorship deals

The presence on the first-team squad of Ballance, who signed a new three-year contract in September, is delicate. Lord Patel said the new Yorkshire would be founded on a zero-tolerance culture to discrimination.

‘I hope I’m a kind and passionate man, but I’m not a shrinking violet. If someone here has done wrong and thinks that P**i or any other such word is banter, then the front door is down there,’ he said.

‘I am determined to make this club the beating heart of English cricket again. After 158 years, we are ready to change, accept the past and become a club people can trust to do the right thing. We are going to be proud of it from this moment onwards because we accept that the wrong decisions have been made. I have to be proud of the club — otherwise what’s the point of me sitting here?’

He will start with Rafiq, who had seven of 43 allegations of racism and bullying upheld by a Yorkshire-appointed investigation, for counsel. ‘I’ve asked him to sit on my shoulder and challenge me on what I do,’ said Lord Patel.

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article