A motion calling for a review of the in-house legal and secretarial function of the governing body will be voted on at August’s Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Rugby Union. 

The backdrop to this is the tension between the Union (consisting of member clubs which is the governing body of the game of rugby in this country) and Scottish Rugby Limited (the wholly owned subsidiary which is responsible for running the business). In an ideal world, these two organisations would work together for the benefit of the game at all levels in Scotland, but in recent years there has been a growing disconnect between the Union’s member clubs and the paid executives of the limited company. 

If the motion is voted through, the SRU Council – elected by the clubs to oversee the whole organisation – will be charged with looking into “the efficacy, efficiency and propriety of the in-house legal and Secretarial function of the Scottish Rugby Union” and be asked to consider “the relative advantages and disadvantages of continuing such functions in-house when compared with outsourcing to a third party or third parties, in part or in whole”. 

The motion has been proposed by Haddington RFC and seconded by Currie amid concerns that there are conflicts of interest within the current set-up which has led to instances where the needs and wishes of member clubs have not been served and/or the reputation of the Scottish Rugby Union has been negatively impacted. A number of examples of this are cited in the motion, including a lack of oversight of executive pay details at Board level which led to uproar when it emerged that Chief Executive Mark Dodson had pocketed £933,000 in salary and bonuses for the financial year up to 31st May 2019. 

As previously reported, two other motions will also be voted on at the AGM. The first is to replace Super6 with an inter-district championship. The second calls for full transparency with regard to how the Scottish Government’s recent £20m Covid bail-out for rugby is spent.