Former director of community Keith Russell described the environment within BT Murrayfield as “toxic”, yet after a summer of soul-searching, the organisation’s chairman, Colin Grassie, believes himself entitled to revel in “the pride it has in the positive culture within Scottish Rugby.”

Which view has greater credibility may well depend on how the two men are viewed in the wider Scottish rugby community.

However, for all that the excoriating findings of the industrial tribunal into his case could not have been more supportive of Russell following his successful appeal against unfair dismissal, those who were most heavily criticised can only emerge emboldened after the Scottish Rugby board and council offered them their backing as they did in the joint statement issued on their behalf by Grassie yesterday.

There will be no disciplinary action taken against any member of staff wnd while there was recognition in Grassie’s remarks of the need to bring about improvements in their methods with a promise to implement the findings of the review undertaken by board member Lesley Thomson QC, the former solicitor general, the following list of proposals to “relevant operational areas and procedures which was issued had a generic look to it:

• Strengthening Human Resource capability and resource at a senior level to reflect the growing scope of Scottish Rugby as a diverse and complex organisation with multiple staffing needs and expanding legal responsibilities.

• Recognition that settlement agreements are a legitimate facility which should be retained, but are not to be used as part of performance management procedures.

• Any other use of settlement agreements to be in exceptional circumstances only, with advance approval of the Board’s Remuneration Committee and following ACAS codes of practice and guidance, if they are to be used.

• An enhanced remit for the Remuneration Committee of the Board providing for:

• (i) Reporting to the Committee of performance management issues,

• (ii) Committee approval for any dismissals of any employee whose initial appointment was subject to Committee approval, and

• (iii) Committee approval in future of any request to use a settlement agreement.

• A full endorsement of the decision to conduct a governance review, led by Independent Chair Gavin MacColl QC, to examine governance structures and ensure they are fit for purpose in a modern and transparent rugby environment.

Since a particular cause of concern had been the way in which the settlement agreements referred to in that lists - non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in common parlance – that acceptance of a need to change suggested that an opportunity to clear the air might have presented itself if Scottish Rugby has nothing to hide, by removing the restrictions placed upon those previously subjected to them.

Instead, reporting that “the Board also undertook a detailed review in conjunction with external, independent experts into the use of settlement agreements”, Scottish Rugby’s position is that, implicit as it seems to be in those proposed changes that the way in which they are used needs to be changed, those agreements were entered into legally and so will be adhered to.

Similarly, their position is that because Thomson’s inquiry was carried out on a strictly confidential basis, involving details of personal circumstances and salaries, their legal advice was that they could reveal no more than they have of her report.

While, then, there have been some off the record, unattributed remarks attributed to others who have been silenced by NDAs, any of those who are subject to them would clearly be taking a great risk were they to support Russell’s view publicly.

Willingness to take risk is, however, at the nub of this issue because the impression given in some quarters is that the club rugby scene is a seething cauldron of resentment towards the Murrayfield power brokers and yet, most recently at Scottish Rugby’s annual general meeting, there was no out-pouring of anger, even after Grassie had admitted to his initial receipt of Thomson’s review having been “a low moment,” while adding that “we are not proud of this episode.”

While MacColl’s examination of governance structures will be another chance for views to be aired, hat was, the wider Scottish rugby community’s real opportunity to make its feelings known and perhaps it did in the generally accepting nature of that gathering, but either way the outcome of this review is, highly predictably, that there will be little change in the way business is conducted at BT Murrayfield in the foreseeable future.