But RA members ruled out any question of selling works from the collection, the most famous of which is Michelangelo's Madonna and Child, which would fetch at least pounds 5m.
A four-hour general assembly of Royal Academicians heard proposals by the secretary David Gordon and the president Sir Philip Dowson to modernise the 228-year-old institution.
The private meeting at the Academy in Piccadilly, London, was presented with a plan to set up a "review board", which would include businessmen and high-powered trustees to help manage the academy' s financial affairs. It would be answerable to the ruling council.
It was decided to defer a decision until February, when accounts prepared by Ernst and Young would be presented. Mr Gordon said: "All shades of possible opinion was expressed. Members were appreciative that the situation does give cause for concern, but we should not make a crisis out of a drama."Reuse content