12 JUNE 2020 @ 0600 hrs
So what do we make of the latest developments and where do we go from here? One thing can be certain is the fact that the blizzard of Member complaints generated by their computer “send” buttons has woken up the Pigeons at Lord’s and the Chairman’s “Update” informing us “The Committee decided yesterday to withdraw Item 9)” is a good result. No doubt the Chairman and his highly paid Adjutant smelt the whiff of Cordite and decided to run the white flag up the Pavilion flagpole as they perceived a Member rebellion on Item 9) succeeding. There is little doubt their instincts proved correct.
The Chairman’s message has obviously been composed in a hurry and suffers from a lack of scrutiny to remove some unfortunate non sequiters. I doubt “The Committee met yesterday” and it is a certainty they did not approve the contents of his communication. This was a cabal decision and a classic example of the glaring failure of Governance which is ‘of the few, by the few, for the few’ – the enemy of democracy. All of this stems from Rule 13.1″The Committee shall be responsible for the entire management of the property funds and affairs of the Club”. Wow – in effect the Committee consists of a group of Sir Oracles and “when we open our lips let no dog bark”. Be warned.
The reason for this extraordinary mess is the fact that “several drafting errors were not identified until after the AGM Papers had been issued”. Are you surprised with 3 pages of Explanatory Notes and a further 3 pages of Rule changes that will “effect governance changes”. What complete rubbish. Who is culpable and will any heads roll?
Do you remember when KPMG cut and pasted the wrong year in the 2017 Annual Report and A/c’s? Did they have to reprint 20,000 new copies? Of course not, because ‘everything is OK chaps as we have altered the electronic records and thanks for telling us’. Another example of crap governance at Lord’s.
What I find really galling is “We remain convinced there is a cogent case for changes and Governance changes will be brought back to Members” Presumably as a fait accompli? Apparently ” a review will now follow… to engage Members in the process which will be easier for everybody.” What process you may ask? Will this be another ISWP, appointed by the Chairman (Oliver Stocken) and the Committee nearly a decade ago to advise on the Governance problems within the Club and our Report promptly being trashed on publication at the whim of the Chairman, none other that Gerald Corbett? I can understand why we proposed the Club Chairman position should be made redundant! How right we were. The ISWP took nearly two years to present our proposals on Governance that included a properly elected Members Committee first proposed by Sir Scott Baker’s WP on which Oliver Stocken and His Honour Judge Peters QC were appointed. The ISWP had a wealth of experienced Member talent and was advised by some very well known City Consultants that included PWC and Freshfields.
But ‘No’, Mr Corbett rudely declared at one of our ISWP Meetings in March 2015, he would not tolerate an “elected second chamber” with powers to oppose Committee decisions. Period. So there you have it in a nutshell – the democratic voice of the Membership is completely unacceptable. You have been warned!
And now to answer the second question. You will see if you click on this website menu button ‘The 200 Supper Club”, the concept of creating an “ad hoc” Group of Members at the ready to call an SGM at any time at very short notice is an essential. This is now a very real possibility www.mcc2020adhoc.vision
There must be safeguards against vexatious actions by this ad hoc Group and hence the need to have a small number of well respected “Guardians” with experience of Club affairs and MCC heritage matters chosen to act in good faith on behalf of the MCC Members. This in effect would provide a “second chamber” Members Voice that Mr Corbett would find “repugnant” and hence the need for a proper constitution retaining an arms length relationship with the MCC Committee. It is my earnest belief that with this Sword of Damocles in place the Members may at last have their sovereignty returned. A Byzantine method of Governance is completely unacceptable in 2020.
Ahead lies the task of revealing more about the + £10 million losses arising from property and pension fund dealings together with the apparent failure to put proper insurance arrangements in place to cater for the damage caused by Covid -19 to our business activities at Lord’s
Interesting times lie ahead.
Nigel J Knott (Dr.)