Essex accused of bullying Jo Farragher out of club after receiving emails asking him to quit

Essex are accused of bullying the club’s manager after Jo Farragher received ’emails and text messages from chairman Sir Stephen O’Brien asking him to resign’

  • Essex have been accused of bullying a director out of the club
  • Mail Sport understands Jo Faragher has received emails asking him to resign
  • She was also barred from representing Essex at T20 Blast Finals Day

Essex are accused of bullying a director by excluding her from board meetings, banning her from attending away games and ordering her to resign.

Mail Sport have learned that Jo Faragher, who was elected to the Essex board in a members’ vote last November, was barred from representing the county at the Twenty20 final day at Edgbaston on Saturday and has received several emails and text messages from club chairman Sir Stephen O’Brien ordering him to resign.

Faragher attended board meetings and was fully involved in running the club for five months after she was elected until she received an email from O’Brien in early May, in which he asked him to withdraw voluntarily.

Additionally, other counties were told not to entertain Faragher in their boardrooms, a prohibition she only learned about when speaking to officials from other clubs. She was also denied access to Council documents despite being told Essex was still seeking legal advice on her post.

An executive from another county told Mail Sport: ‘We were told unequivocally that Joanne was unwelcome due to an internal problem at Essex.

Essex has been accused of bullying a director into excluding her from meetings and ordering her to resign

Essex has been accused of bullying a director into excluding her from meetings and ordering her to resign

“From what I have been told, she has effectively been barred from all board business for the past two months. They clearly want her out and that amounts to bullying. I guess the situation has affected her enough and the family members are worried about her health.

O’Brien’s justification for seeking to evict Faragher is an alleged conflict of interest as his father, John Faragher, was previously chairman of Essex until he was asked to resign over the alleged use of a historic racist phrase two years ago. This question will feature in Katharine Newton KC’s long-awaited club culture report due out shortly.

O’Brien told Mail Sport that Faragher was simply asked to stay away from board meetings and denied access to documents relating to her father.

Mail Sport understands Jo Faragher received emails asking her to quit and was barred from representing Essex in the final

However, Jo Faragher was already recusing himself from all board meetings regarding his father and reportedly got legal advice that there was no conflict of interest. Mail Sport have been told that some Essex board members have already seen the full version of the Newton report and have suggested O’Brien’s actions are motivated by a desire to keep his content Faragher free.

Mail Sport published excerpts from the interim report last month, which sharply criticized the ECB’s handling of racism allegations at Essex, with Newton concluding that the governing body breached its own governance rules by ordering Essex to sack John Faragher in November 2021.

The Newton Report was commissioned by Essex later that month and completed the following March, but has yet to be published 15 months later.

Several sources in Essex have raised concerns that the full report will never be made public.

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