New Scottish Rugby Union Board appoints first two custodian directors

David Grevemberg CBE and Cheryl Black have been appointed after an extensive recruitment process

Two new Directors have been appointed to Scottish Rugby's new Custodian Board. Image: © Craig Watson -
Two new Directors have been appointed to Scottish Rugby's new Custodian Board. Image: © Craig Watson -

FORMER 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games CEO David Grevemberg CBE and Cheryl Black, an experienced Customer Service Director and Non-Executive Director from the telecoms and digital sector, have been appointed as the first two external directors of the Scottish Rugby Union Board, which now sits at apex of the organisation’s new governance structure.

They will join the Scottish Rugby Union Board in early 2023, and work alongside its Chair, Professor Lorne Crerar CBE, current Scottish Rugby President Colin Rigby, former Scottish Rugby President Ian Barr and Vice-President Keith Wallace. A further two custodian positions will be recruited from the Scottish rugby community in the New Year at the and of an ongoing recruitment campaign.

The new governance structure was voted through by a landslide majority of member clubs at an SGM of the Scottish Rugby Union in September, and came into being at the start of November with the creation of a company limited by guarantee [CLG] consisting of eight unpaid ‘Custodians’ – who will as a matter of law be classified as Directors with all the consequent statutory duties and obligations – responsible for overseeing the work and holding accountable the operating arm of the game known as ‘Scottish Rugby Limited’.

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Based in Edinburgh, Cheryl Black has held a varied portfolio of non-exec roles across the private and public sectors in Scotland and the UK over the past 11 years, including with the NHS, EDF Nuclear, Telefonica and Scottish Widows.

“Rugby has played an important role in Cheryl’s family life for many years, and she brings a breadth of experience in delivering customer service success from the operational to Board level,” said a Murrayfield statement. “Key to this has been the role of people and culture within an organisation to drive good governance and performance.”

Before the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, David Grevemberg was Executive Director of Sport and International Federation Relations at the International Paralympic Committee for ten years.

Following the Glasgow Games, he became the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation. “During that time, he refocussed the organisation using the power of sport for community benefit, social change and legacy generation across the Commonwealth,” said the statement.

“He is currently working as Chief Innovation and Partnerships Officer at the Centre for Sport and Human Rights based in Geneva, Switzerland.

“He brings a focus on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), strategic planning and delivery and the importance of values in sport to the Scottish Rugby Union role.”

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Professor Crerar said: “The opportunity to take on the new role of Custodian within Scottish Rugby created an astonishing number of candidates of a very high standard and we were greatly assisted throughout the recruitment process by Carlyle, our search partner.

“I am therefore delighted Cheryl and David are joining us as they both have outstanding relevant backgrounds and are very committed to the ethos and opportunities for the growth and development of Scottish Rugby.

“Their respective experience across digital, customer service, ESG and sport, I believe, will be hugely beneficial to the role of the Scottish Rugby Union Board and future direction of Scottish Rugby itself. Their appointments are an important next step and I look forward to working with them.”

Black said: “Rugby runs like DNA through my family and given the hugely positive influence it has had on our lives, through playing and being members of clubs, I felt this was a unique opportunity to give back to the sport.

“I believe customer service, which played a significant part in my career, is an ethos, not a department and in my experience the customers have very often been the ‘owners’ of the business also, and I can see clear parallels to Scottish Rugby in that model.

“I am very much looking forward to getting started and bringing my experience to the custodian role.”

Grevemberg said: “It is a true honour to be selected to serve and support the Scottish Rugby Union family during this critical and exciting time in the sport’s transition and growth.

“I look forward to working with my fellow Custodian Directors and the broader leadership across the Scottish Rugby landscape as we continue to enable our athletes and teams to inspire and make Scotland proud now and well into the future.

“I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming more people into the sport, whether as players, officials, volunteers or supporters at the community level and beyond.”

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About David Barnes 3911 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


    • Grevemberg will undoubtedly talk the hind legs of every Murrayfield donkey, while Black will probably be found actively polishing her (in / out short-stay) CV.

      Opportunists? Maybe, but arguably no more so than Messrs Frazer or Crerar, the latter of whom might have shown his expert solicitor’s hand much earlier in matters of SRU governance. But – this is a specialised field of organisational management & development deserving more than the cumbersome legalistic inputs running through the SRU’s new governance structure.

      So – a couple of relatively weak CLG Board appointments for a new (inefficient) “lawyers’ take” governance structure that looks set to deny the possibility of any meaningfully active responsive Member Clubs involvement, while 2 Boards (CLG & SRUL) prepare for the series of ongoing skirmishes that lie ahead. Sadly, we appear to be not much further forward in any of this.


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