Rugby Union Warned Looming Crisis Could Damage $22M In Government Funding
The Rugby Football Union has been warned that it faces the threat of being plunged back into a “crisis of governance” ahead of a key debate on the recommendations of the Slaughter and May review into reforms of the governing body’s structure, according to Gavin Mairs of the London TELEGRAPH. The 18-month consultation process to reform the RFU’s corporate governance after the political turmoil of '11 "is under serious threat following the tabling of a number of radical amendments to the recommendations ahead of a special council meeting" in Birmingham, England on Friday. While all the controversial proposals, such as the call for women, ethnic minorities and disabled people form at least a fifth of the council and its reduction from 64 to 25 members have been dropped, the key battle "now appears to be the division of power between the council and the board." The RFU steering group charged with overseeing the review process that has included 12 nationwide road shows is "thought to have watered down and consolidated the Slaughter and May recommendations," which were published in Dec. '11, from 150 to nine key areas for reform. However, there are fears within the union that a major deviation away from the recommendations of the review process that was originally backed by U.K. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson "could also put in jeopardy" the RFU's £15M ($22.8M) annual funding from government agencies (TELEGRAPH, 5/15).