‘Independent’ review of SRU governance announced

Sir Bill Gammell will conduct the review and report to a committee chaired by Gavin MacColl

Gavin McColl
Gavin MacColl at the SRU's special general meeting in March. The QC chairs the committee to which Bill Gammell will report. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

EXACTLY a year after Keith Russell won his case against the SRU for unfair dismissal, the union has announced that its governance structures are to be reviewed by Sir Bill Gammell. It has taken nine months for the governing body to announce the review, and no specific timetable for it has been made public, other than a statement on its website that Gammell is expected to report back “over the coming months”.

The review to be conducted by the former Scotland international and Cairn Energy chairman was described in that statement as “wide ranging” and “independent”, but the latter term, at least, is open to semantic quibbling. While Gammell is not an SRU employee, he chaired the panel which selected the Super 6 franchises – announced in May – and thus has recent experience of working within the union’s structures.

He will report to the SRU Council’s standing committee on governance, chaired by Gavin MacColl. Like Gammell, the QC is not an employee of the union, but, having sat on the top table at the union’s special general meeting at the end of March, and taken an active role in that meeting, is also well known to senior figures within Murrayfield. The appointment of Gammell is understood to have been made by the Council and Board.

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The statement reads in full: “Following the conclusion of the Agenda 3 consultation process, Sir Bill Gammell, Chairman of Winning Scotland Foundation (founder of Cairn Energy PLC and a former Scotland internationalist) has been commissioned by the Board and Council to conduct a wide ranging, independent review of Scottish Rugby’s governance structures.

“The decision to conduct a governance review was originally endorsed by the Board and Council in September last year, driven by the need to ensure that Scottish Rugby’s governance structures remained appropriate in a modern rugby environment.

“In light of the rapidly evolving global rugby landscape (and with the potential for future external investment into the sport), Scottish Rugby’s governance structures must be fit for purpose to take account of the interests of all existing and future stakeholders.

“Looking forward, the Board and Council have re-considered both the original process and timeframes for the review, which will now include governance, structures, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities, and will report back to the Council’s Standing Committee on Governance (independently chaired by Gavin MacColl QC) over the coming months.”

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About Stuart Bathgate 1430 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.


  1. It’s amazing it took the RFU nine months to find someone who will produce a review in their favour. I thought it would take much longer!

    Sack the whole lot and start again.

  2. I am sure Mr Gammell will be every bit as independent as the man he is reporting to, Mr MacColl, was at the SGM!

    We should not expect anything else: after all turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

    Cronyism without bounds.

    Time for change.

  3. This appears to be a bit of a Fettes PTA carve up! Has anyone checked how Gavin McColl ever came to be so powerful? Surely, the shareholders should appoint the chair of the review?

  4. Interesting stuff.

    The clubs would do well to recall the causes of the A3 review, the behaviour of the ceo at several agms and the political machinations displayed during the SGM.

    One can only hope that when this comes to a vote it’s not a Friday with an Edinburgh game at 7.30.

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