COLIN Graves has resigned as chairman of Costcutter, the business he founded 26 years ago.

Mr Graves said he stepped down from the business, based in Dunnington, near York, which was bought out by Bibby Line Group last year, after the company wanted him to take a back seat in the business.

When the deal was announced in November, Mr Graves was to remain chairman, but he said that in January, the business tried to change his role to that of a non-executive chairman, which he described as “unacceptable”.

He said: “I’m very much hands on as an operator, and being a non-executive chair wasn’t acceptable to me.”

Mr Graves will take on a new role as executive chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club with immediate effect, taking on the responsibilities of chief executive, a position unfilled since Stewart Regan left for a similar role at the Scottish Football Association in 2010.

Costcutter said that Mr Graves left Costcutter Supermarkets Group in a position of real strength. Nick Ivel, chief executive of Costcutter Supermarkets Group, said: “I would like to personally thank Colin for the support he has given me over the last 15 years at Costcutter and I wish him the very best for the future.”