GEOFFREY BOYCOTT on Saturday lost his controversial battle to join the Yorkshire board.
The club’s members voted 758-602 against the former Yorkshire and England opening batsman, who was standing against the club’s wishes.
Boycott learned his fate at Yorkshire’s annual general meeting at Headingley, where he was present in a packed Long Room.
The membership instead rubber-stamped the board’s recommendation that club chief executive Mark Arthur should join the board, along with Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity and club director Robin Smith, who had retired by rotation.
The club did not want Boycott because they felt he might interfere with the cricket after back-to-back County Championship titles.
But Boycott stressed that he wanted only to fight for members’ interests amid his fears that £20m-plus debts are “killing the club”.
Boycott, who made his Yorkshire debut in 1962, insists he will remain a regular presence around the club and reiterated his desire to stand was motivated solely to help with the finances as their debts exceed £20m.
He said: “I didn’t put up to win or lose, I thought I could do some good for the club.
“To all those people who voted for me: thank you, and to those that didn’t, I just want everyone to know that I love the club, it’s been part of my life for 60 years, I love its history, its traditions and I know many of the members, personally.
“I just wanted to put some points of view, some opinions to help. It’s not going to change anything, I’ll be watching and supporting the team as I’ve always done.
“We have a very good set of players, an excellent coach, good management behind the scenes - they’re a pleasure to watch.
“I’ll be here of the first match of the season. I’m disappointed - but nothing’s changed.”
Yorkshire chairman Steve Denison was firmly against Boycott’s return to the board, saying in a letter to members the club “need specialist skills” in tackling their financial situation.
It was a stance shared by committee chairman Stephen Mann and Ashes 2005-winning captain and former Yorkshire batsman Michael Vaughan, although Denison would be in favour of offering Boycott an ambassadorial role with the county.
Denison said: “Desperately keen, as we’ve said all along, we want everybody in the club to be playing to their strengths and his strength is in that ambassadorial role, shouting about Yorkshire County Cricket Club around the world and bringing people into the ground at Headingley, particularly on international day.”