LONDON: Former Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gale has won a claim for unfair dismissal against the English county cricket club following the fall-out from the Azeem Rafiq racism row.
Gale, 38, was one of 16 members of staff sacked by Yorkshire following Rafiq’s revelations of racist abuse he suffered while playing for the side.
He made his legal complaint along with several other dismissed members of staff, including second team coach Ian Dews.
Employment judge Joanna Wade found that their complaint was “well-founded” in a ruling dated May 23 but published on Tuesday.
If the club and their former staff members cannot reach an agreement, another hearing will be held to determine the extent of compensation, with Yorkshire facing the prospect of paying out huge sums.
Wade said in a brief judgement: “The claimants’ complaints of unfair dismissal are well-founded.
“Remedy and any other complaints proceed to hearing unless otherwise resolved.”
Former batsman Gale spent his entire career at Yorkshire from 2004 to 2016, latterly as captain, before becoming head coach.
He was suspended, as part of an investigation into a tweet he sent in 2010, before he was sacked on December 3.
An England and Wales Cricket Board investigation into the racism allegations made by Rafiq, who said he had been driven to thoughts of suicide, is still to be published.
Rafiq’s revelations led to a mass clear-out of senior boardroom figures and coaching staff at the county’s Headingley headquarters in Leeds, including club president Roger Hutton, chief executive Mark Arthur and long-serving director of cricket Martyn Moxon.
At the time, Gale vowed to take action over his dismissal, telling the BBC: “The decision has come as a surprise to me. The players knew about it before I did and I will be fighting the decision legally.”
The ECB warned Yorkshire they were prepared to remove lucrative England international matches from Headingley unless changes were made.
But those games, including this month’s third Test against New Zealand and a one-day international against South Africa in July, are set to go ahead as scheduled after new chairman Kamlesh Patel’s package of governance reforms was approved by Yorkshire’s membership in March.