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Ex-Wasps CEO Stephen Vaughan has landed himself a new sports job

By Liam Heagney
Ex-Wasps CEO Stephen Vaughan (left) - (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Ex-Wasps CEO Stephen Vaughan has quickly sourced a new job following the October 17 administration decision that resulted in 167 players and staff – including Vaughan – being made redundant by the Gallagher Premiership rugby club. Suspended by the RFU for the remainder of the 2022/23 season and faced with a comeback in the Championship in 2023/24 if successfully taken over, there has since been a mass exodus and Vaughan has become the latest high-profile name to get fixed up elsewhere, joining Yorkshire County Cricket Club as its new CEO.

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A statement about the post-Wasps recruitment of Vaughan read: “The Yorkshire County Cricket Club have announced the appointment of Stephen Vaughan as chief executive officer. He will officially begin the role on November 7. Stephen joins the club following three years at Wasps Group, which he joined as CEO of sports businesses in August 2019.

“He became group chief executive in 2020, with additional responsibility for venues, overseeing the securing of stadium naming rights and the return of Coventry City Football Club to the city. During his time there, Stephen was responsible for the rollout of a comprehensive equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy, placing this at the heart of the group’s mission and values.

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“Stephen brings decades of experience in professional sport, having represented Walsall FC as a player, prior to roles as managing director of Thomas Cook London 2012 where he led the company’s involvement with the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London, and seven successful years at Gloucester Rugby.

“At Gloucester, he directed the transformation of the club both on and off the pitch, securing not only impressive revenue growth but also key improvements to the fan experience, as well as establishing a strong set of values for all staff across the organisation. Stephen sat on the Premiership Rugby board, as well as the finance, audit and nominations committee.”

Ex-Wasps boss Vaughan said: “Yorkshire County Cricket Club is one of the most iconic sporting institutions in the world and it’s truly an honour to take up this position. Without shying away from the significant challenges we have faced over the past year, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, both on and off the pitch.

“I had a number of offers, but the opportunity to lead this club back to the forefront of English cricket and realise our full potential was very attractive. The club is hugely important in the region with a massive fan base of loyal members who want to see us get back to where we should be.

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“Working alongside the newly installed board I am determined to deliver sporting success at Headingley and produce exceptional results, underpinned by robust commercial foundations and our vision to make Yorkshire Cricket a place for everyone. I’m looking forward to meeting members over the coming weeks and leading this club forward. I can’t wait to get started.”

Kamlesh Patel, the Yorkshire club chairperson, added: “We are delighted to welcome Stephen to the club as the outstanding candidate in a highly talented field. With years of knowledge and experience working across various disciplines within sport, he will bring a huge amount of expertise. His proven track record and business acumen will be vital to our future success.

“Stephen’s openness in dealing with challenging conditions at Wasps in the wake of covid demonstrates the strength of character that will be vital to the ongoing transformation of the club. I look forward to working with him as we continue on our rebuilding journey.”

Alongside Vaughan’s appointment, Yorkshire also confirmed that Darren Gough was permanently appointed as managing director, a role he has filled on an interim basis since late 2021.

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