RFU apologises to Thomas
September 3, 2012
The Rugby Football Union has apologised to former chairman Martyn Thomas for the comments made against him in the report into former CEO John Steele's departure from the organisation.
The report, which was submitted on July 8, 2011, for debate on July 10, 2011, stated that Thomas - who was then chairman and acting chief executive:
(i) had inadvertently, but improperly and repeatedly passed confidential information in relation to the RFU either directly or indirectly through third parties to members of the media.
(ii) had inappropriate contact with one of the candidates for the role of RFU Performance Director and breached confidentiality between prospective job applicants.
But a subsequent independent report compiled in November last year by Charles Flint QC concluded there was "no solid evidence" to support misconduct charges against Thomas. The RFU has now claimed that there was "insufficient evidence to support these conclusions" and "therefore apologises to Martyn Thomas".
The statement concludes: "The RFU is now pleased to bring this matter to a close. We wish to thank Mr Thomas for his many positive achievements during his long and valued service to the Union and wish him well for the future. It is further agreed that neither Mr Thomas nor the RFU will comment further on this matter."
The Blackett report had originally recommended that Thomas and the whole RFU board, apart from Bill Beaumont, should all resign. The panel reached their conclusions based on evidence from 65 witnesses on a confidential basis.
The report was eventually sent to member clubs in September last year after Thomas had initially succeeded in blocking its publication by threatening to sue for defamation during an RFU council meeting.
That threat remained live once Thomas had been cleared by the Flint report and the RFU council members were told by email in May that Thomas may issue a defamation writ. But today's announcement seemingly brings an end to any animosity between the two parties.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength