John Faragher
John Faragher denies the allegation he used racist language

Essex chairman John Faragher has resigned following an allegation he used racist language in a 2017 board meeting.

Faragher strongly denies the allegation but Essex say they will review why the matter was not fully and independently investigated at the time.

He stood down from his post following a board meeting on Thursday.

“There is no place for discrimination of any kind at the club,” chief executive John Stephenson said.

Former Essex opener Stephenson, who only took over the day-to-day running of the county in October, said he first found out about the alleged incident this week.

“I was made aware of this single allegation on Thursday,” he added.

“The board met last night [Thursday] during which John Faragher’s resignation was unanimously accepted.

“This is a proud club with a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and any form of discrimination. I will not hesitate to uphold those principles and drive out any form of discrimination that is uncovered.”

Faragher, who was appointed Essex chairman in 2016, oversaw two County Championship title wins in 2017 and 2019, a T20 Blast triumph also in 2019 and the county lifting the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020.

His resignation comes in the wake of a racism scandal at Yorkshire involving former player Azeem Rafiq.

A report found Rafiq was a victim of “racial harassment and bullying” but the county said it would not discipline anyone, drawing widespread condemnation.

However, a number of resignations have followed including chief executive Mark Arthur and chairman Roger Hutton.

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