The Rajasthan Royals franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has launched a takeover bid for the English County side, Yorkshire which could potentially make them the first County Club to be owned by a franchise that is from abroad.
The Royals have reportedly offered Yorkshire around 25 million GBP which would mean the Royals will take full control of Headingley. This would also mean that it would put an end to being a members club which it has been for the last 160 years.
According to the MailSport, it is reported that the county side is considering selling Headingley to Mike Ashley who was the former owner of Premier League side, Newcastle United which he sold to the Saudi Arabian’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The county side reportedly needs to raise up to 15 million pounds in funds which is owed to the trust of the former Chairman Colin Graves.
The proposal introduced by the Royals would mean that the franchise would have complete control. They are looking to provide a convertible loan note to Yorkshire to clear the debts to Graves which would be switched to equity at a future date.
The England Cricket Board have always been interested in raising funds from overseas investors, especially for their franchises in the Hundred. Yorkshire are the majority stakeholder for the Northern Superchargers and the Royals also have stakes in various franchises across the globe like the Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League and the Paarl Royals in SA20.
The owners of the Royals include London businessman, Manoj Badale and his company Emerging Media who are the majority owners while RedBird Capital with Lachlan Murdoch are investors as well.
Ownership of Yorkshire would mean the Royals would have control over an iconic venue like Headingley and can also pave a cut-price method to owning a Hundred Franchise which could be beneficial to the Royals ownership group.
The star spinner for the Rajasthan Royals, Yuzuvendra Chahal is also set to make the move to Kent as he looks to play the last few games in the county season as he looks for some game-time after being snubbed from India’s World Cup squad.
Yorkshire have yet to provide any official statement regarding this as they declined to comment on the matter.
The club will be playing their last three matches of the county season with the first coming up against Glamorgan followed by Leicestershire then finally Worcestershire to conclude their County season.