SRU AGM: Colin Rigby elected Vice President and Ian Barr ascends to top job

Stewart's Melville man defeats Keith Wallace of Haddington by 112 votes to 97, while Royal High become a full member club

Colin Rigby will look to be a pied piper for Scottish Rugby after his election as Vice President of the Scottish Rugby Union. Image: Twitter
Colin Rigby will look to be a pied piper for Scottish Rugby after his election as Vice President of the Scottish Rugby Union. Image: Twitter

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.

John Barclay brings curtain down on 16-year professional playing career

AGM could define rules of engagement as we face an uncertain future

Mark Dodson defends decision to postpone publication of Scottish Rugby’s accounts

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.

John Barclay brings curtain down on 16-year professional playing career


About David Barnes 4030 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The 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.


  1. Tough times ahead for the new President and Council.

    Major commercial decisions to be made by Dodson & McKay that will affect our game for generations to come, and by the looks of things, the newbies will be put forward to answer for them (despite not being their remit).

    Yesterdays meeting perhaps being the first example, where the new President provides an answer to Croys question re tickets, even though this is the remit of McKay & Dodson.

  2. Most people will wish all these brave individuals the very best of success and good fortune in their efforts on behalf of Scottish rugby (small “r”) going forward, through what already shapes up as one of the most challenging periods in the history of the game.

    Quite apart from the impact of the coronavirus on the Game at all levels, given the commercialisation of rugby and of the SRU, we have entered the most challenging of times for the sport, and for society. This will not be a short-term problem (like most one-off issues that have come & gone since WW2) for rugby. On the basis of what is already coming through the financial, regulatory & social pipelines, at least a couple of years of fundamental re-calibration and re-organisation lie ahead for the sport’s competitive structures, tournaments and competitions – i.e. how, when & where rugby is played. A time of fundamental change is upon us!

    While Ian Barr will doubtless apply great expertise, insight and energy to his role as President, new V-P Rigby will have to bring his “A” game to do more than he has achieved over some 9 years in positions near the dubious core of Scottish rugby’s management elite.

    Equally, the election to Council of certain representatives from amongst the country’s most poorly-performing clubs must be of concern. With potential to wreak havoc on the wider Game in Scotland, this simply highlights another weakness inherent in these ridiculous league forums. If it weren’t true…..

    Jeez – we live in challenging times!

  3. Congratulations to Colin on his election.

    JJ made a very interesting comment about the demise of the Council working group on Gammell and Murray report. It stopped according to him because of the “Covid pandemic”. That’s incorrect. If the Chair and Board think that they can pick the bits of G&M that they like and package that as the governance review they have a bit of a shock coming.

  4. Good to see Colin elected, good club man with a grasp of the issues at club level. Quite a number of AGM’s are box ticking exercises. ?


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