Julian Knight Simon Massie Colin Goldring Jason Whittingham Bill Sweeney Rugby Football Britain Sporting Julian Knight Simon Massie Colin Goldring Jason Whittingham Bill Sweeney Rugby Football Britain

Rugby to learn from football governance review after clubs’ collapse – RFU chief

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independent.co.uk

Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney has revealed the fan-led review of football governance will assist their efforts to help get their own sport back on track following the recent plight of Worcester and Wasps.Sweeney and Premiership Rugby counterpart Simon Massie-Taylor appeared in front of a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Thursday to face questions about how English rugby was thrown into disarray during the opening months of the current season.Both Wasps and Worcester were hit with relegation from the Gallagher Premiership in October after they entered administration owing to unpaid taxes being pursued by HM Revenue and Customs.DCMS chair Julian Knight was one of several MPs to scrutinise Sweeney and Massie-Taylor at Portcullis House with the duo asked if they had considered resigning in the wake of two clubs going under.A lot of the criticism centred on their failure to intervene when Worcester’s previous owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham had shown warning signs and the RFU chief conceded a review of rugby’s fit and proper owners test – like in Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review in football last year – would occur.“They certainly wouldn’t get through a fit and proper persons test now,” said Sweeney.“One of major learnings that will come out of this very sorry episode, and some of the learnings we’ve taken from the FA’s (sic) fan-led review, is a binary one-off owners and directors test is not sufficient to prevent future bad behaviour or bad management.“Have ongoing regular conditional reviews in terms of their performance and suitability is necessary.”After being told he was “asleep on the job” by DCMS chair Knight, Sweeney highlighted that the RFU and Premiership Rugby were

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