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Report: Rajasthan Royals offer ‘UK£25m’ to buy Yorkshire Cricket Club

IPL franchise eyeing complete control of English county cricket outfit.

7 September 2023 Josh Sim

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  • County was previously reported to be in talks to sell Headingley Stadium to Mike Ashley
  • Yorkshire also considering taking loans from other IPL teams and a Saudi Arabian prince

Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals have offered around UK£25 million (US$31.1 million) to acquire full control of Yorkshire County Cricket Club (CCC), according to the Daily Mail.

The English club is struggling financially and owes UK£15 million (US$18.7 million) to the family trust of former chairman Colin Graves. Earlier this week, it was reported that Yorkshire was in ‘detailed negotiations’ to sell Headingley Stadium to former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, with the deal believed to be worth in excess of UK£22 million (US$27.4 million).

Now, the Daily Mail reports that Rajasthan have lodged an offer to take complete control of Yorkshire, which would make them the first county owned by an overseas outfit. Rajasthan reportedly wants a majority shareholding of the county, with the size of their equity stake to be determined by market conditions at the time of conversion.

The franchise would purportedly provide a convertible loan note to Yorkshire to pay off the debt to Graves, which would then be changed to equity in the future.

Rajasthan’s offer is said to be under consideration by Yorkshire’s executive team, with their board and members also expected to deliberate on the approach afterwards. Should it be accepted, the IPL outfit, which is majority owned by Manoj Badale, as well as counting RedBird Capital Partners and Lachlan Murdoch as investors, plans to bring its own executives to run the English club.

The Daily Mail adds that there are other proposals Yorkshire are considering, as they are thought to have discussed taking loans from other IPL franchises, as well as accepting funding from Saudi Arabian prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al Saud.

SportsPro says…

Having invested in Twenty20 cricket franchises in the Caribbean and South Africa, it appears Rajasthan are eyeing adding an English team to their portfolio.

Acquiring Yorkshire would give the IPL franchise direct access to The Hundred, given the club is a major stakeholder in the Northern Superchargers team. While Badale has previously voiced his skepticism about the 100-ball format, the possibility of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revamping the competition and potentially giving counties ownership of the teams would appeal to Rajasthan.

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