The RFU Special General Meeting held at Twickenham on Friday November 24 approved the following changes to comply with the new Sport England Governance Code.
The main changes agreed were:
1. Clarifying the roles of members, Board and Council. Members remain the ultimate safeguard for the game, the RFU Board has the day-to-day authority to run the RFU, and the RFU Council has the responsibility for monitoring and oversight on behalf of the members.
2. Term limits for Council members. Term limits for Board members have been in place since 2014, but for the first time Council terms will be limited. There will be a maximum limit of nine years (with very limited exceptions and some transitional provisions).
3. A robust process for making appointments to the Board and other senior appointments. The Board will make more appointments, but appointments to the Board will also require Council and AGM ratification. There will be a guaranteed three independent non-executive directors on the Board.
All three of the above required changes to be made to the rules in the RFU constitution and these rule changes were approved today.
Although the number of clubs nationwide who cast their vote on these important changes was disappointing – barely 300 votes were cast – 56 of the 59 North Midlands clubs who were eligible to vote did so.
“We put a lot of effort into raising awareness of this important issue and Stuart Potts, Paul Kaminski and myself attended a series of meetings in the Domestic Unions,” said North Midlands RFU Council Member Steve Guy.
“As a result of those meetings our voting clubs were provided with information that allowed them to debate the proposed governance changes within their clubs and to come to an informed decision as to how they would vote.
“To have all but three of our eligible clubs casting their vote reflects well on North Midlands RFU and our commitment to communicating effectively with our clubs through the three Domestic Unions.
“We shall continue to provide opportunities for clubs to debate important issues that affect all levels of the game in England. Both Paul Kamiski and myself, as your elected RFU Council Members, are always free to discuss any matters of concern.”