The MCC Committee, in response to Member concerns, decided it was time more than a decade ago to incorporate the Club so it was no longer a Private Member Club likely to attract any potential unlimited financial liabilities for the Membership in the future. The MCC Royal Charter Petition was approved at SGM by MCC Members on 25th June 2012 by a majority of 6018 votes and granted on 12th December 2012.
The Committee considered this to be a unique opportunity to end an outdated system of arbitrary government first introduced in 1787 and replace it with a pre-eminent form of modern democratic government with a history of Royal Patronage. This would be a fitting tribute to a Club whose roots date back to the Royal Family and a donation made by the Prince of Wales in1866 when Lord’s was purchased by MCC. Later on the Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed a record two terms as the Club President.
On 1st July 2013 the Royal Charter became effective with a similar set of Rules operating as before.
A Lawyer specialising in the implementation of Royal Charters states in his Opinion:-
“A Royal Charter exists as a dormant shell only. It can only start to operate once the undertaking and assets (plus any liabilities, where appropriate) of the unincorporated form of the MCC have transferred to it. It seems that a key part of that exercise will be to ensure that the MCC’s Membership transfers to the Charter body – something that might usually be undertaken at the point of subscription renewal”. Members have not been notified of any change in their Subscription arrangements that continue to be levied and paid into the same MCC Bank Account as before.
The implications here are serious with the fact that no comprehensive restructuring has taken place and the MCC Committee must remain culpable :- 1) the status of Lord’s Cricket Ground is uncertain and open to potential execution *(ISWP) 2) the status and role of the Club Trustees remain undetermined (ISWP) 3) no form of democratic government requiring Member approval at SGM, is in place to fulfil the requirements of a pre-eminent Royal Charter Incorporation.
The MCC Committee should publish a ROYAL CHARTER CONSULTATION GREEN PAPER without delay and instruct a Special Working Party (SWP) to oversee the necessary changes to determine the final incorporation and governance structure of MCC to maximise the annual income from the Lord’s Estate and restore Member rights and privileges.
*Richard Bramwell QC (2004) recommended Lord’s Cricket Ground should become a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCC. This would seem to remain as a sensible option (ISWP).
To determine and complete Incorporation of MCC by Royal Charter and invite a member of The Royal Family to become the first President thereafter. It would be a great honour if HRH Princess Anne accepted an invitation designed to restore our historic link with Royal Patronage.
28 March 2023