Richard Gould, Surrey CEO, to take up post at Bristol City

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Prominent advocate of county game leaves to return to roots in South West

Richard Gould, the chief executive of Surrey, is to leave the game to take up a similar position at Bristol City football club.

Gould, who was previously chief executive at Somerset, has spent 10 years at The Kia Oval. In that time the club has undergone an extensive redevelopment, consolidated its position as a financial powerhouse of the game and enjoyed years of record financial success.

From a cricketing perspective, the club has also won the County Championship, almost doubled its membership and produced numerous England players. Surrey have also consistently set the standard in terms of ticket sales for both domestic and international games.

Perhaps Gould’s true legacy will be as a champion of the county game. Unafraid of questioning the policies of the ECB executive, he has been a vocal critic of the Hundred and was a key figure in the founding of the Professional Game Group (PGG) which has given the county game more power and independence. As a result, he has sometimes clashed with the hierarchy at the ECB.

Indeed, his departure robs the county game of one of its most prominent defenders. While there are other administrators with similar views, none of them have the heft earned by Gould for his success at both a Test-hosting and a non-Test hosting county. Without the PGG, for example, it is highly likely there would have been no Bob Willis Trophy in 2020.

He is expected to leave Surrey in a month. Charlie Hodgson, who is currently commercial director at Surrey, will take over from Gould on an interim basis.