Scottish Rugby looks to the future at 2019 AGM
Scottish Rugby presented its Annual Report and updated member clubs on the key issues in the Scottish game today at its 2019 Annual General Meeting at BT Murrayfield.
Following a record turnover over £61.1m and the removal of the historic net cash debt achieved in the past 12 months Scottish Rugby President Dee Bradbury welcomed 70 clubs and 138 voting members to the 2019 meeting.
In the absence of any motions the business of the day focussed on the end of year updates provided by President Dee Bradbury, Chairman Colin Grassie and Chief Executive Mark Dodson.
President Dee Bradbury reflected on her first year in office and paid tribute to the many people involved in the domestic game.
“During the past 12 months I’ve seen and met people giving freely of their time without fuss, simply because of that love of the game. To continue to meet so many of the volunteers and share your enthusiasm remains the greatest of privileges for me.
“On behalf of Scottish Rugby I would like to thank all those whose skills, commitment and enthusiasm contribute to the on-going success of grassroots rugby in Scotland.”
With the 2019 Rugby World Cup on the horizon and potential for inwards external investment in rugby the game is at a pivotal and positive moment.
Chairman Colin Grassie said in the meeting: “Since our last AGM our turnover has grown once again, this year by £3.9m to £61.1m following an increase in our ticketing, broadcast and other income.
“We are pleased to report that we are in our best net year end cash position for over 25 years, as a direct result of balanced and sustainable financial management of the organisation – reducing debt while working to increase incomes and investment in all areas of the game.
“We are now in a new era financially and in a far stronger financial position.
“This improvement in our cash debt position creates flexibility and the opportunity to invest in our club game, our facilities and our high performance in and outside of Scotland, our pathways and our people.
“We will still need to be creative, proactive and bold to ensure we underpin our future domestic game in Scotland and continue to challenge on the professional and international stage.”
Chief Executive Mark Dodson gave a detailed outline of the financial health of Scottish Rugby in his speech saying: “Improved revenues have allowed us to increase investment in the international and professional game by 36% over the last five years. Compare that with the £14.5m which has gone into the club game over the last five year, which is an increase of 49%.
“We are debt free, boasting a record turnover of £61m, a booming interest in our national team, the most enviable roster of sponsors in our history, record investment in our community game and we stand ready to deliver an income event that will safeguard our game for many years to come.”
Dodson also was able to announce the new Super6 competition, which kicks off in November 2019, will be broadcast live through the BBC Sport Scotland website, alongside Scottish Rugby TV’s own live match coverage, through a new partnership with BBC Scotland.
He also urged everyone in the game in Scotland to look positively to the future and build on the strong foundations in place to modernise the sport.
The other proceedings of the AGM saw club representatives to vote unanimously in favour of Banff Rugby Club becoming a full member club of Scottish Rugby.
The election of new Council members was also confirmed with Gordon Thomson, from Aberdeen Grammar becoming the new Premiership Representative. Jonathan Anderson of Merchiston Castle School becoming the new Schools Representative.
Willie Gardner, Kenneth Knott and Rosy Hume were re-elected to the positions of Glasgow North Regional League Representative, Referees’ Representative and Scottish Women’s Forum Representative respectively.
President Dee Bradbury also shared all pre-submitted questions to Scottish Rugby in relation to the AGM which had come in from club members with the meeting and provided verbal answers to them.