Premiership clubs admit RFU concerns
July 21, 2011
Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty has highlighted the work of the Professional Game Board © Getty Images
Premiership Rugby chiefs have called on the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to utilise the business acumen of club executives and the Professional Game Board in an attempt to draw a line under recent troubles at Twickenham.
Speaking following the clubs' pre-season conference in Birmingham, Premiership Rugby chairman Quentin Smith asked for issues arising from Judge Jeff Blackett's recent report into the hiring and firing of RFU chief John Steele to be addressed 'with urgency for the good of the whole game'.
Steele was shown the door in June, with Martyn Thomas also forced to resign as RFU chairman after a panel headed by Blackett produced a damning report into the sacking - a document that also reportedly revealed deep levels of mistrust between the game's higher-ups.
Smith was also joined by Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty in highlighting the effectiveness of the Professional Game Board - the organisation formed as part of the eight-year agreement between the RFU and Premiership Rugby, which was signed in 2008.
"The club chairmen and CEOs have expressed significant concern with the recent events at the RFU and trust that issues arising out of the Blackett inquiry will be addressed with urgency for the good of the whole game," Smith said. "The clubs are well-organised and are ready to help, especially given the substantial business experience on their own boards.
"We would expect prospective candidates for the RFU chairman position to meet with us to discuss the issues for the professional game. We shall now channel this through the Professional Game Board at the earliest opportunity."
McCafferty added: "It is now essential that the RFU concentrates on the future, recognises the success which is being achieved through the Professional Game Board, where all stakeholders are represented, and empowers it fully to continue with this success."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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