Ian Watmore: ECB to explore misconduct allegation at EFL

The England and Wales Cricket Board will explore a claim that chairman-elect Ian Watmore left his previous job following an allegation of misconduct.

Watmore quit as an independent non-executive director at the English Football League (EFL) in November 2018, citing poor health.

The 61-year-old is set to start his ECB role on 1 December.

The Daily Mail reported that the EFL began an independent inquiry a week before Watmore’s departure into a claim he was involved in talks which led to EFL clubs threatening to launch a breakaway league, jeopardising a £595m broadcast deal with Sky Sports.

“The ECB board is aware of the claims made against Ian and will seek to review and understand the situation,” said an ECB spokesperson.

“Ian Watmore was appointed following a rigorous search and selection process, led by global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson and a dedicated nominations committee chaired by ECB non-executive director Lucy Pearson.”

The ECB announced in February that Watmore would replace Colin Graves, subject to ratification by the first-class counties in May.

Watmore is reported to have pursued alternatives to the Sky deal.

Watmore told the Daily Mail that he, alongside the EFL, “took action to try to solve an impasse over the TV deal”.

He said: “The League was split down the middle over the deal and I sought discussions with a leading representative to explore ways we could overcome this impasse.

“That meeting, and conversations within it, were shared with the board and executive colleagues at the time.”

An EFL spokesperson said: “Due to its confidential and sensitive nature, the EFL is unable to provide any comment on this matter.”