The sports minister, Tracey Crouch, has praised the way national governing bodies have responded to the new Code for Sports Governance, with 50 sports bodies on track to become compliant by the end of October.
The governance code sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity required from those who ask for Government and National Lottery funding – and marks the single, biggest collective step forward in sports governance in the UK.
Meeting the standard
The code, published by Sport England and UK Sport in October last year, expects the highest standards of good governance, including:
- Greater transparency
- Increased skills and diversity in decision making – with a target of at least 30 per cent gender diversity on boards – and a commitment to greater diversity more generally
- Constitutional arrangements that make boards the ultimate decision-makers.
Significant progress is being made, with 50 sports bodies having plans agreed on how they will become compliant.
Plan of action
National governing bodies with plans in place include the Football Association (FA), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Rugby Football Union (RFU) and British Cycling.
Some of the plans include:
- The FA’s board, council and shareholders have agreed to reduce the board in size from 12 to 10 members and introduce term limits for both the board and the FA Council
- The LTA agreed all article changes to become compliant with the code in May
- The RFU has formed an action plan that includes making changes to the composition of the board, including ensuring primacy of the board and the introduction of maximum term limits for council members
- The ECB has committed to reducing the size of its board and ensure its appointment process and term limits of directors are compliant with the code. The
- British Cycling’s National Council agreed at its recent Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to make the necessary changes to enable it to become compliant with the code by October.
“I appreciate for many sports this is not an easy task, due to the complexities of current governance structures,’ says Tracey Crouch.
“But virtually all of them have stepped up and have changes in the pipeline that will collectively strengthen sport in this country.