Scottish Rugby Annual General Meeting 2022 – Report
Scottish Rugby Board Chairman John Jeffrey has demanded greater consistency from all teams at the elite end of the game in Scotland.
His call was made at the Union’s first hybrid annual general meeting, held at BT Murrayfield and digitally this morning.
Having praised clubs for resuming after the pandemic, Jeffrey, the former Scotland and British & Irish Lions back-row forward, declared: “For the most part our high-performance teams (last season) have flattered to deceive.
“We had some fantastic individual results, but a lack of consistency is frustrating for all our supporters. We need to develop a ruthless streak that is evident in all successful sporting environments.
“After continual years of investment into our high-performance structures we now expect to see better and more consistent outcomes. There has to be a rise in our ambition and associated standards of delivery.
“This is true across the board. In age grade, pro-teams, and the Men’s and Women’s National team.”
Jeffrey stressed that the men’s national team must “develop a winning habit that sees experimentation come to a close, ushering in an era of hard-edged attractive rugby.”
The meeting also heard from the Chairman, outgoing SRU President Ian Barr and Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson reiterating Scottish Rugby’s absolute commitment to player welfare and extending continued and sincere condolences to the family and friends of the late Scotland Woman internationalist Siobhan Cattigan, who raised their concerns around care and wellbeing in a media interview last month.
Jeffrey said: “This is a complex and sensitive area and, as you will now know, also subject to the possibility of legal proceedings.
“This means we cannot be as open in responding to allegations made or some of the contents of the article as we might otherwise wish.
“I hope that through time and a thorough examination of the facts a more accurate and complete picture will emerge.”
Keith Wallace (Haddington) was elected as Scottish Rugby’s Vice President by 85 votes to 49 against Hazel Swankie (Dunfermline), while Colin Rigby (Stewart’s-Melville) succeeds Barr as President for a two-year term.
Mark Dodson reported Scottish Rugby’s unaudited turnover in the 2021-22 season of £57.9million.
He said: “This illustrates a real bounce back in revenue especially when we have had to absorb eye-watering energy cost increases and increases in our pro-teams’ and international activities. Our controllable costs were tightly managed, and this resulted in a much smaller deficit to budget of £5.3m against an expected shortfall of £9.2m.”
Earlier Dodson had noted Scottish Rugby enters the new 2022/23 season with “the strongest cash position in the Union’s history, a growing revenue base, tight, successful cost control and investment funds to develop facilities throughout the country and here at BT Murrayfield.”
Audited figures and the opportunity for member clubs to scrutinise them will be presented at part two of the AGM next month.
Meanwhile, an amendment from Orkney was passed which means that the structure of the men’s club league competition from the 2023-24 season will change to one Premiership of ten teams and four National Leagues of ten teams, in contrast to the shape for this coming season of one Premiership of ten teams and three National Leagues of 12 teams.