Over the last two years there has been an ongoing debate about how Scottish Rugby should be led and organised.  At the heart of the debate is a perceived distance between the interest of the clubs as represented by the Council and the employed executive officers of the SRU.  This led to the SRU commissioning a report by Sir Bill Gammell and Norman Murray – the Gammell Murray report.

The report was not well received and for HRC’s part we thought there was quite a lot of merit in aspects of the report but at the same time we were concerned about effective representation for the grass roots of rugby.  The report was not adopted by the SRU and the Council decided to set up a standing committee on governance SCOG for short, in recognition that matters must change.

The existing structure of Scottish Rugby is unnecessarily complex largely as a result of evolution.  The structure stems from the early years of the last century and involved a council that represented member clubs’ interests which had its origins in being the committee that managed all aspects of the game when it was wholly amateur.  Also, a trust had been set up to look after all the game’s assets including Murrayfield.  Arguably, even before professionalism these organisational arrangements were no longer appropriate.  The increasing incidence of professionalism brought with it complex commercial imperatives that required business competent quick efficient decision making.  Possibly, that is too simplistic but what transpired was a decreasing relevance of the Council, the SRU Trust and the general organisational arrangements which exist to this day.  Following the rejection of the Gammell Murray report SCOG embarked upon a review of governance and their initial proposals can be found here with the attendant structure diagram found here.

The HRC board’s response can be found  here. In summary, our key points are: –

  • We only need one SRU Board not two (New Co Board and SRU Ltd Board).  If we ensure that competent and truly representative individuals comprise the Board then they shall be able to exercise the appropriate governance for all aspects of the game.  One board shall be effective and efficient.
  • Similarly, the new SRU Board should be sufficiently adept to deal with both Club matters and Professional matters so we do not need a Club Rugby Board.
  • Robust selection processes are key for Director appointments.  This is vital.  Such individuals need to be leaders, with business skills and excellent communicators.
  • We should have Area Directors for each Area who are main Board directors.
  • These Directors should be remunerated.  The calibre of the individuals required shall be in high demand.
  • We have introduced the concept of Community Clubs and Pathway Clubs because we consider that rugby clubs have different objectives.
  • Finally, there is no longer a need for the President and Vice President because there is no Council anymore.  All the Board members should go through a process of selection.

HRC board view the matter as absolutely key in ensuring the success of our sport going forward.  We have spent considerable time reviewing the various proposals and we have formed a collective view on the way forward.  Equally we consider that it is important that our membership engage in the debate.  If you have any queries or comments if you can please route them through:

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