SRU chiefs play down recent turmoil
June 25, 2011
Scottish Rugby Union members Sir Moir Lockhead, Ian McLauchlan (president) and Jock Millican (Non-Executive Director and Chief Executive) pose for photos prior to the AGM at Murrayfield © PA Photos
Scottish Rugby have attempted to draw a line under a fraught period in the union's history that resulted in the recent resignation of chief executive Gordon McKie.
Senior non-executive director and former international Jock Millican replaced McKie on an interim basis earlier this month and, speaking ahead of their AGM at Murrayfield, he revealed that the recruitment process for a permanent chief executive has begun.
Millican, who described the last two weeks as "a steep learning curve", praised McKie for enabling a smooth transition into the role and insisted the recent departure was merely a blip. "We've changed the person at the top, that's all. Everyone else that's in place is still there," stressed Millican. "It is not a great problem. Yes, there's been a stutter but we'll be moving again very quickly. It is a challenging time. There are issues we've got to address and they will be addressed and taken forward, but Scottish rugby is in very good health."
A board meeting was held on June 9 amid claims that McKie had been under pressure from members over the direction of Scottish rugby, particularly over the decision to freeze the playing budgets of Magners League sides Glasgow and Edinburgh. However, the SRU had insisted there was unity among the 11 board members.
Today, outgoing chairman Alan Munro, who is to be succeeded by Sir Moir Lockhead, said: "The past month or so has been most regrettable. Despite this and despite some media comments, I would like to thank Gordon McKie, (finance director) Eamon Hegarty and the entire staff here at Murrayfield for their outstanding contribution to Scottish Rugby. The organisation today is transformed from the shambles that I walked into six years ago and I believe their effort should be recognised."
Munro was making reference to McKie's input during his six-year tenure, particularly when discussing financial improvements. For the last financial year, the Scottish Rugby Union increased turnover to £35.1million and yielded £1.3million surplus.
Scotland had three home autumn internationals - the win over South Africa taking them to a high of sixth in the International Rugby Board world rankings - and three home matches in a disappointing Six Nations campaign, contributing to the financial results.
The SRU today pledged to increase the funds injected into grassroots rugby from £1.7million last year to more than £1.9million next season, while announcing their intention to field a full-time sevens team in the IRB World Series.
Ian McLauchlan was re-elected unopposed as president, while Alan Lawson was elected as vice-president. Successful motions included the restructuring of the domestic league and cup competitions and the establishment of a Scottish rugby museum at Murrayfield.
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