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NISA Statement on UK Sport Response to AGM Proposals

The NISA CEO has received correspondence from UK Sport expressing their concern at the changes to the Articles and General Rules proposed by Alistair Wilson.

Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport has said:

“The proposals put forward by the Board for consideration at your AGM have been commented upon by external lawyers and you have received this advice so I’ll not repeat their feedback here, beyond advocating that greater transparency for all stakeholders can only be a good thing.  However, on the matter of greater powers being reserved for the members as opposed to the Board, I would urge you to take into account both the Funding Triggers and broader Governance Requirements that UK Sport attaches to its funding.  Many of the proposals being made ignore these requirements.  Indeed I have received separate correspondence from one of your Board members openly challenging our requirements to (normally) limit Board members to a maximum of two terms (recognised, generic good practice) and proposing that positions to the Board be elected and not subject to open and transparent recruitment. If NISA were to adopt such changes, then this would be in direct contradiction of our requirements.  This would be a serious matter that would need to be considered at the Annual Investment Review, from which recommendations will be made to our Board, as to the confidence we would then have in the governance of the sport to be able to realise its performance potential and appropriately manage our investment. This could highlight the need to for us to explore alternative arrangements (as we have done before with other sports) to ensure that our investment and performance aspirations are protected.

Whilst I cannot pre-empt that recommendation (or its subsequent outcome), from the information I have seen (and the reaction over the past few days from individuals within your sport), I do not believe that what is being proposed instils in us confidence as to the leadership/governance of the sport and that can only increase the risk of, at best, further conditions being imposed around our investment or, at worst, withdrawal of part or all of our funding, and us having to explore alternative means to support the elite athletes with medal potential.”

Liz Nicholl, CEO, Uk Sport

As the NISA Board has previously stated, it is vitally important that in order to protect our funding from UK Sport we continue to pursue the current strategy of a more open and transparent governance. The current proposals by the Board to update the Articles and Rules at the AGM are supported by UK Sport, whereas those proposed by Alistair Wilson cause them considerable concern. We urge the NISA Membership to make the most of their right to vote in person at the AGM or by proxy by downloading the forms here. For anyone unsure as to what is being proposed, details of both the Board’s proposals and Alistair Wilson’s counter proposals can be found here. The full response from UK Sport can be viewed here.

7th May 2015