A NUMBER of senior club officials have expressed exasperation that the SRU has promised to publish a ‘detailed document’ fully outlining its controversial Agenda 3 proposals at the start of June, which is after the 31st May deadline for the submission of motions for the governing body’s Annual General Meeting in August.
In a message sent to all clubs on Monday afternoon, SRU president Rob Flockhart explained that this document was being issued in response to a number of stakeholders asking for more details about how the governing body proposes to overhaul the way the domestic game is structured, financed and managed from the start of the 2019-20 season onwards.
Flockhart signed off by urging clubs to wait until they are fully in command of all the relevant information before jumping to conclusions.
“There are always misunderstandings and some apprehensions when change of this magnitude is contemplated,”he said. “The key is not to act on speculation or rumour but to understand and debate the facts of the Agenda 3 changes on an informed basis. There will, of course, be the opportunity to ask questions at the AGM in early August.”
But there is a big difference between being able to ask questions at the AGM and being able to have a meaningful debate and real influence on the course Scottish club rugby is travelling with the Agenda 3 initiative.
Agenda 3 was first unveiled at the SRU’s 2017 AGM last August, but up until now the focus has been on the creation of a Super 6 league at the top of the domestic game, and there has been very little public debate until recently about the various other issues which will impact clubs further down the food-chain .
Two of the biggest causes of consternation in recent weeks relate to the potential impact of the 2nd XVs of Super 6 clubs playing in the domestic leagues, and the practical problems associated with sourcing players to field consistently competitive teams if there is strict amateurism below Super 6 level.
Flockhart and SRU chief executive Mark Dodson have continually stated that they have been mandated to enact this radical overhaul of the club game after collecting feedback at various workshops, roadshows and forum meetings. However, Agenda 3 as a proposal has never been put in front of the clubs for formal approval.
The failure to disclose full details of what is being proposed during the nine months since the 2017 AGM, and to only release that information after the submission date for motions for the 2018 AGM, is being viewed in some quarters as a cynical move designed to help railroad through the changes.