Former chair Colin Graves is set to make a controversial return to Yorkshire after the club’s board “agreed to recommend” his loan offer.

The financially-stricken club are in desperate need of a cash injection to ward off the threat of administration.

Other options – including a mooted deal with former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley – failed to fully materialise and have left the way clear for Graves to come back in at a club he served as chair between 2012 and 2015.

It has been reported that the Graves consortium’s offer – which still needs the green light from club members at an extraordinary general meeting – includes an immediate loan of £1million, followed quickly by new investment worth a further £4m.

Yorkshire said in a statement on Wednesday evening: “The Board of Yorkshire County Cricket Club has tonight agreed to recommend the loan agreement from Mr Colin Graves.

“The club will be sending a notice to members tomorrow (Thursday 11th January) ahead of an EGM which will outline the details of the offer as well as the resolutions and rule changes that are required to be ratified by members at the EGM.”

Graves’ return will be controversial, given the racism scandal which has engulfed Yorkshire in recent years, an episode which partially took place during his first stint in charge.

His money has saved the county from financial oblivion once before, when he first became involved in 2002, and he is now eager for a second act at Headingley, where debts to the Graves family trust are close to £15million.

Yorkshire last year admitted an England and Wales Cricket Board charge of failing to deal with systemic use of racist and discriminatory language over a period between 2004 and 2021, a time in which partially they were under Graves’ watch. He said last June in an interview with Sky Sports that no allegations of racism were raised to him.

Former White Rose spinner Azeem Rafiq, who blew the whistle on racism at Yorkshire in 2020 leading to investigations by the club and subsequently the ECB, wrote on social media it was “no longer my club” and added a broken heart emoji following the news on Wednesday night.

One current sponsor says the words and actions of Graves will have a “strong bearing” on whether it continues to engage with the club, should he return.

A spokesperson for tiling company Al Murad, who came on board as a community partner in 2022 following the appointment of Lord Kamlesh Patel as chair, said: “We are reviewing the situation at Yorkshire Cricket very carefully.

“We are in communication – and we expect to be communicated to – as the process of securing long-term funding is brought to a conclusion that will trigger constitutional and governance arrangements to deliver financial stability going forward.

“On the strength of that information and communication, we will review how intrinsic is equity, equality, representation and inclusiveness at Yorkshire Cricket if Mr Graves does take the helm.

“The deep changes required that Lord Kamlesh Patel subsequently brought about, and future commitment to go above and beyond, will have a strong bearing on how we view any future engagement. Of course the ECB and possibly other actors will have a bearing on the final outcome.”

Representatives of the Graves consortium have been approached for comment.