THERE will be two candidates in the election for Vice-President of the Scottish Rugby Union at this year’s AGM, which is due to take place on 15th August.
Colin Rigby of Stewart’s Melville and Keith Wallace of Haddington will compete against each other in a vote of member clubs. Current Vice-President Ian Barr will step up to be President at the meeting, replacing Dee Bradbury, who has come to the end of her two year spell in the hot seat.
Discussions are ongoing as to whether the AGM can happen on the scheduled date, and if so in what format that will happen. The ideal scenario is that it goes ahead at Murrayfield as usual, with social distancing measures undertaken to comply with government protocols, although there is a real possibility that it will have to be conducted via some sort of video conference mechanism.
Rigby represented his club on the National One forum for nine years before joining the Council as the representative for that constituency in 2018. In the same year, he became Honorary Vice President of Stewart’s Melville.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management and the Institute of Sales & Marketing (specialising in finance, strategic alliances, risk and compliance), and works as Director of Strategic Alliances and Channel for FISCAL Technologies.
“My thoughts on the game and how it is structured both on and off the park is that we must remember that each and every club faces different challenges and obstacles,” he told clubs, in a communication seeking support for his candidature.
“The potential influx of money coming into the game requires trust and realistic objectives on how this is to be best utilised. If we want our game to be at the forefront of world rugby, we need to change our mind-set, focusing on the development of our domestic game, adopting a more collaborative joined-up approach, promoting effective youth, schools and performance academies. As all three go together our focus must be in developing players for both the domestic game and also identify those suitable for the performance game.”
Wallace is about to start his third year as President of Haddington. He previously served on the Council and Board of the SRU in 2005-06, immediately after the Dunlop review was adopted. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Director and has a keen interest in corporate governance, having served on the board of a number of companies. He has recently been a vocal critic of the organisation’s governance.
Meanwhile, two motions are known to have been tabled to be voted on at the meeting – there may be more but that has not yet been confirmed.
The first motion we know about, which has been proposed by Glasgow Hawks and seconded by Grangemouth Stags, deals with growing concern amongst member clubs about the culture of excessive secrecy within both the Council and the Board of the Union, and “the adverse effect on good governance this has had”.
If passed, it will ensure member clubs have a right to access formal minutes of Council and fora meetings, and a reasonable expectation to receive full minutes from Board meetings (whilst recognising that there will be redactions in exceptional circumstances for matters of a highly sensitive commercial or legal nature), within 20 working days of each respective meeting.
Also, the current Decision-Making Matrix and Code of Conduct will become the responsibility of the Council and will be suspended subject to immediate review.
The second motion has been proposed by Currie Chieftains and seconded by Glasgow Accies. It deals with the wording of bye-laws 14, 15 and 27, and seeks to assert the authority and responsibility of the Scottish Rugby Council (as the elected representatives of the clubs) to oversee and hold accountable the Scottish Rugby Board.
“The recent release of the Decision-Making Matrix has highlighted areas of concern in the balance of powers between the Council and the Board of Scottish Rugby Union Limited (the Board),” explains the rationale attached to the motion. “These prevent the Council from fulfilling its role and remit in representing the interests of the Union and they could result in conflict or legal dispute, as highlighted in a published response to a question asked during the Gammell & Murray review process.
“The object of this motion is not to restrict the Board nor Executive of Scottish Rugby Union Ltd in the discharge of its responsibilities to the Union: rather, it is to reset the balance of bye-laws 14 and 15 and 27, to allow the Scottish Rugby Council to oversee and review the management and strategic activities of the Board.
“The motion is put forward in the knowledge that the Union’s corporate governance is due for a wider review in the coming period. However, we consider that the issues identified must be addressed as a priority to ensure the operation of an essential element of the Union’s corporate accountability and to facilitate that wider review.”