COLIN RIGBY (Stewart’s Melville) was elected Vice-President of the Scottish Rugby Union at the governing body’s virtual AGM part one this [Saturday] morning, defeating Keith Wallace (Haddington) by 112 votes to 97.
The meeting also marked the ratification of Ian Barr as the new President of the Union, having served his two-year spell as Vice-President since the 2018 AGM, while London Scottish Chairman Malcolm Offord was elected unchallenged to fill the vacant Scottish Exile Club Representative position on Council.
It was also confirmed that Gerry Tosh (Dundee HSFP), Eric Hugh (GHK), Bobby Frazer (Murrayfield Wanderers) and Jim O’Neill (Irvine RFC) had been elected by the relevant league fora as Council Representatives of National One, National Two. National Three and Glasgow South Regional League, respectively.
Royal High’s application to become a full member club was approved.
Barr dealt with three questions which had been submitted by clubs prior to the meeting.
The first, from Cartha Queens Park, related to the Board’s and executives’ position on the motion which has been submitted by Glasgow Hawks on the twin issues of openness and transparency.
Barr explained that as the motion is to be discussed and voted on at part two of the AGM – which will take place when social distancing rules allow a meeting in person – this matter should be dealt with then.
“In the meantime, I can advise that the Council and Board have not reached a concluded view yet on either of the motions submitted. That will be done in advance of stage two after the new Council formed today has considered the motions,” he added.
The second question, from Falkirk, asked about various aspects of executive remuneration and bonuses, including the kinds of targets used. This is in light or the news in January that the four executive directors were paid over £2.2million in total for 2018-19, including £933,000 in salary and bonuses for Chief Executive Mark Dodson.
Barr pointed out that stage two of the AGM will have the benefit of additional information from the annual report and financial statements for 2019-20, so indicated that this would be better discussed then, but did give an overview of how the bonuses are calculated.
“The schemes we used each had targets which are quantitative. For example, under financial performance, turnover, our surplus and debt are all considered. Similarly, the sporting performance of our senior international teams, men and women, and pro teams is assessed against tournament results.
“There are also qualitative elements. These include the academy programme, the delivery of programmes in Rugby Development, improved management structures, and pathways for our people including referees and coaches.
“These targets are set, monitored and assessed by the Remuneration Committee, who examine detailed information on all of this before deciding any rewards. A similar approach was being taken for 2019-20, with a combination of qualitative and quantitative targets, but as a result of the impact of coronavirus on the organisation earlier in the year, the executive directors have waived any annual bonus participation for financial year 2019-20.”
Finally, Croy wanted to know what principles will be adopted towards ticket allocations in light of the capacity restrictions caused by coronavirus, taking into account the interests of member clubs, season pass holders and debenture holders.
“It is likely that demand from our core supporter groups, clubs, season pass holders and debenture holders will far outweigh availability, so we are looking at all key stakeholder and supporter ticketing policies to establish how against the variable backdrop [of potential crowd sizes] we can facilitate ticketing purchasing for the season ahead, whilst still ensuring we ae in the best financial position to recover from the major impact Covid-19 has had on our revenues,” answered Barr.
“Subject to what happens with Scottish Government, we are hoping to be able to provide more information to clubs later this month or early in September.”
The whole thing lasted just over half an hour, which will be a relief to delegates who have other things to do on their Saturday, but it did – perhaps unavoidably – feel like a box ticking exercise.