Premiership clubs concerned by running of RFU

High-ranking officials from the 12 Aviva Premiership clubs are ready to voice their concerns over the Rugby Football Union's ability to govern the game.

Premiership Rugby is staging its annual pre-season conference over the next two days and the recent turbulence at Twickenham is high on the agenda.



The Rugby World Cup kicks off in eight weeks and on October 23 England will pick up the baton as host nation for the 2015 tournament - but the RFU is in disarray.



They do not have a permanent chairman, chief executive, finance director or performance director in place.



Judge Jeff Blackett produced a damning independent report last week which found a widespread belief that "governance at the top of the Union is broken".



The Premiership chairmen and chief executives will discuss the fall-out from Blackett's report - and are expected to add their voices to a barrage of criticism aimed at the RFU.



"Clearly, we are concerned at the issues which have arisen at the RFU," said Premiership Rugby chairman Quentin Smith.



"We shall be discussing these with the clubs and channelling their views back through the Professional Game Board."



The RFU board and the RFU Council, which is comprised of representatives of the amateur game, have both come in for stinging criticism.



The Council commissioned Blackett to investigate the circumstances surrounding the hiring and firing of John Steele as chief executive.



Blackett's 52-page report recommended that chairman Martyn Thomas and the majority of the board should resign - but he received little support from the Council in last Sunday's meeting.



Thomas did stand down as chairman but he then threatened to sue Blackett for defamation if the 52-page report was published. The Council voted to keep the contents confidential.



Blackett's recommendation that the board should resign en masse was also rejected by Council, who agreed Thomas should continue in his role as acting chief executive.



The whole episode, particularly the legal threat, left Blackett "distressed" and considering his position as RFU disciplinary officer. He has since decided to remain in the honorary post.



Francis Baron, Steele's predecessor as chief executive, believes Blackett's recommendations "have to be implemented" and the board made to resign.



Meanwhile, former England coach Brian Ashton urged the RFU to consider a more professional management structure "more in line with the elite game".



The Premiership Rugby conference will also focus on reviewing last season, including the introduction of Aviva as a new title sponsor and ESPN as a new television partner.



The delegates will also look at the "rugby and commercial priorities for the upcoming season".



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?