Derbyshire County Cricket Club – Governance Review
ECB Governance Framework Background
There is extensive evidence of the importance of good governance in managing successful organisations and protecting against risk. We also know that public and private funders, as evidenced by the Sport England Code for Sports Governance, place importance on knowing that the organisations they support are well governed.
Furthermore, cricket’s ambition is to inspire a generation to say “cricket is a game for me”. That means reaching more women, girls, families, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and disability cricketers. If we want to better engage these groups, we as a game must reflect and represent these groups at all levels.
Governance is therefore a key priority for the game, leading to the introduction of this Framework.
The County Partnership Agreements
The County Partnership Agreements (CPA) are the contracts determining the roles and funding distributions between ECB and its County partners for the period 2020-24. As part of these agreements, the ECB has developed a set of standards that sit within the CPA to which county cricket organisations will be held accountable. This Framework represents one aspect of the CPA Standards.
The Framework Approach
The Framework focuses on the structures, practices and people at the most senior levels of our game. It is inspired by the Sport England Code, but is tailored for cricket and allows for proportional implementation across cricket’s different organisations. It was developed by a cross-game working group and guided by extensive consultation with those in governance roles across cricket. It is intended to be common-sense and flexible, building on cricket’s current structures.
Tiered Requirements – Bronze, Silver, Gold
The framework is designed to encourage progression from core standards to best practice. The framework contains three levels of requirements, bronze, silver and gold.
Bronze requirements carry high levels of importance and are core requirements that form the basis of all governance practices. All organisations will be expected to comply with Bronze requirements.
Silver requirements represent a more developed approach to governance but are still core capabilities of well governed organisations. County Cricket Boards and First-Class County Clubs will be expected to show compliance with Silver requirements.
Gold or “best practice” requirements represent advanced and mature governance that will be considered best practice across cricket and wider sport. Gold requirements are aspirational and will not be mandatory as part of the CPA.
All clubs are expected to achieve the silver level by no later than February 2022.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club – Club Rules
Fortunately, Derbyshire’s rules and governance already comply with much of the bronze and silver requirements and even some of the gold, but the Governance Group has concluded, and the Supervisory Board agrees, that there does need to be some changes to the Club Rules and the culture and practice of the Board to achieve full compliance.
The main focus of the of the Supervisory Board is to make essential changes to the Club Rules this year – with other elements of culture and good practice to be introduced during 2021 ahead of the February 2022 deadline.
The proposed essential changes to Club Rules to comply with the Governance Framework document can be summarised as follows:
- Supervisory Board member roles to be specifically detailed as non-executive roles rather than implied as executive roles
- Up to three additional non-executive Supervisory Board roles with general skills and specific skills if deemed appropriate and to suit the needs of the Board
- The addition of a Nominations Committee and appointed Supervisory Board roles
- The addition of executive roles to the Supervisory Board with voting rights
- Amended Terms of Office to increase to 3 years and a maximum of 9 years in total
The structure of the current Supervisory Board is set out in the existing Club Rules (10.0) and state that the Supervisory Board will consist of 6 elected Directors as follows:
- Finance Director
- Administration Director
- Cricket Advisory Director
- Legal Services Director
- Commercial Director
- Operations and Facilities Director
Following discussion and a review of ECB Framework, the Governance Group has drafted an amended Rule 10 for consultation with Members.
The proposed revised structure of the Supervisory Board for consultation can be summarised in the following organisation structure:
The Governance Group and the Supervisory Board believe that the proposed amend to Rule 10 is the main change needed to comply with the ECB’s Governance Framework. It has also taken advice on the matter and it is understood that the proposed changes will comply with the Framework. However, in addition the following rules have also been identified as needing to be amended:
5.3 / 5.4 It is proposed that the rules should be amended to clearly state that any person eligible to vote at an AGM must have been a fully paid member by 1st September of the previous year / season.
5.8 The Supervisory Board shall have the power to expel – needs to include a right of appeal to the Board
14.0 This rule needs to be re-worded in-line with GDPR and that accounts should be available on request but a list of members and officers’ details should not be available to share on request. There also needs to be the addition of ‘his / her’ rather just ‘his’.
All references to Administration Director will be updated