OOAK Table Tennis Forum

Crisis at Table Tennis England?
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Author:  Debater [ 12 Jul 2017, 19:39 ]
Post subject:  Crisis at Table Tennis England?

Received an email this morning from TT England talking about how Sport England have suspended funding for TT England, funding which amounts to £9million over the period 2017-21.

This is TT England statement:

https://tabletennisengland.co.uk/news/f ... BW,1V9XX,1

Note chairman's comment "Despite being told of the consequences, the action of a small number of the individuals, some with their own agendas, have meant that the Association is now in a suspended state of business." Is this an accusation of petty in fighting? Personally I'd rather have had TT England explain why those who voted against did so, not vague allegations.

Sport England have made their own statement on their website https://www.sportengland.org/news-and-f ... statement/

Nice of Sport England to describe their code as "a set of world-leading standards, launched to ensure sports organisations are productive, sustainable and responsible to benefit everyone in England who takes part in sport."

Bear in mind this is the same Sport England who say their "vision is that everyone in England, regardless of age, background or ability, feels able to take part in sport or activity. Some might be fit and talented, but others won’t be so confident." but also felt the need to cut Table Tennis funding because of lack of gold medal chances at Tokyo Olympics. Gee Sport England, don't see the need to win medals at the olympics listed as one of your visions but you use it as a stick to beat National Associations in to submission?
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2012/ ... rt-funding
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olym ... 89681.html and pullled it for the Rio Olympics altogether http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympi ... egacy.html

and finally
http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/nor ... n-11770198

The BBC have spread a little more light on it in their article http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/table-tennis/40562277 about why it was voted against, something about sport being run by none TT people.

There is no doubt Sport England has pushed sport in the UK to new heights. I guess there is a thin line though between "organisational bullying" and "helping sport develop".

Author:  haggisv [ 12 Jul 2017, 21:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

I can sort of see that if the associations want the funding from Sports England, then they have to play by their rules.
If the rules are deemed unfair or inappropriate, then that's probably a different battle to be fought.

Author:  kaesees [ 12 Jul 2017, 23:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

Reading through the meeting notice there, I can see why they would object to the changes, eg:

The Code requires that the Chairman be appointed by the Board after an open public advertisement
followed by interview by a nominations committee. Currently the membership elects three Directors,
namely the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Treasurer.

They try to get around the antidemocratic mode of governance that Sport England is mandating with some parliamentary maneuvering, and an amendment tries to take it even further (and Sport England says the amendment is unacceptable).

For those who don't have PDF viewers:
TTEngland board statement
The proposed changes to the Articles implement requirements of the Code for Sports Governance
(Code). The Code is mandatory for organisations receiving government funding and adherence to the
Code is a condition of any funding by Sport England and UK Sport. This means that all National
Governing Bodies are adhering to this Code and are working through the same processes. Under the
terms and conditions of our Sport England award non-compliance by 31st October 2017 would mean
that we would be in breach of our award conditions leading to the award being withdrawn.
The Code requires that the Chairman be appointed by the Board after an open public advertisement
followed by interview by a nominations committee. Currently the membership elects three Directors,
namely the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Treasurer. To comply with the Code these changes
propose that Company Members would still elect three Directors but that they would not be titled as
the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Treasurer. These Elected Directors would be eligible for
appointment by the Board for the role of Chairman and all would be titled Elected Deputy Chairman
(except where one of them is appointed Chairman). The Elected Deputy Chairmen would be eligible to
sit on the aforementioned nominations committee.
The Board would consist of the Chairman, three Elected Directors (Elected Deputy Chairmen), at least
three Independent Directors (to comply with the Code) and a number of other Appointed Directors,
and the Chief Executive Officer. The Chairman may be one of the Elected Directors. As required by
the Code, the total number of directors may not exceed twelve (12) and at least 25% must be
Independent Directors. The proposed changes meet these requirements and reflects current practice.
The proposed changes also implement the Code’s requirements restricting the length of service as a
director, requiring the appointment of a Senior Independent Director and prohibiting the Chairman
from also being the Chief Executive Officer. The opportunity has also been taken to allow the
Chairman a casting vote at board meetings if voting is tied.
The Board recommends that the members vote in favour of this resolution.
Resolution 1, which is supported and proposed by the Board, will be considered and voted on first.
Only if Resolution 1 is carried, Resolution 2, which does not have the Board’s support, would then be
voted on as an amendment.

response from members proposing amendment
In January, our National Council was told that Sport England required changes to the Table Tennis
England Constitution. Amongst those changes was the fact that the election of the main officers
would be abandoned and the Chairman would be appointed by an undefined group of board
members with possibly very little table tennis knowledge and experience. This would have the effect
of removing the control of the sport in this country from the members for the first time in since our
formation in 1926.
The threat from Sport England is to put our funding at risk if we do not comply with the changes that
they require Therefore, to comply with Sport England demands, the Board have proposed
amendments to our Constitution.
National Council expressed serious concern about all of this at its January and April meetings and at
the first meeting set up a steering group to look into the matter more closely. A report was submitted
to the April meeting by the steering group which was supported by councillors unanimously. The
steering group were empowered to follow up the points raised in the report with the Board. However,
not one suggestion (from that report) around the issue of the appointed Chair has been included in
the final proposition, which is very disappointing.
We, the named proposers of this amendment are very uncomfortable with what is being proposed.
Our goal has always been to try and find a way to meet Sport England’s requirements, whilst at the
same time protecting our democracy (the right to elect our leadership). We do believe that it is vital
the sport keep the rights of its members to elect its key officials based on the manifestos they put
forward. Those officials once elected need the backing of the board and authority to carry out their
mandate. The proposal from the Board does not achieve this.
Our amendment protects the democracy of our Association by ensuring those elected by the
membership to serve us, have both the title and status within the board that they will require to set
and implement the agenda on which they are elected.
Anything less than this amendment leaves open the possibility that our sport will be seriously
damaged and we therefore in good conscience cannot and will not support the boards proposition.
We advocate that the amendment is supported in order to make a serious attempt to meet with Sport
England requirements, without losing the control of our sport.
Proposed by A. Ransome (Cleveland), M. Clark (Worcestershire), C.Dangerfield (Shropshire), D
Macfarlane (Coventry), M. Macfarlane (Leamington)

board reply
The Board strongly urges the members not to approve this resolution as the changes are not
compliant with the Code and jeopardises the Company’s Sport England funding. This is confirmed in
an email received from Sport England attached to this notice and referenced below.
The amendments proposed by the Board in Special Resolution 1 have been made in order to comply
with the Code, as outlined in more detail in the background to Special Resolution 1 above. Within the
constraint of the Code we have sought to protect the membership voice by retaining three Elected
Directors who will be titled as Elected Deputy Chairmen. Under the terms and conditions of our Sport
England award non-compliance by 31st October 2017 would mean that we would be in breach of our
award conditions leading to the award being withdrawn. In relation to the proposed amendments to
Article 3 Sport England have stated “we would strongly advise against having portfolio director
positions both because all directors are required to be equal on the Board and this can lead to
directors having too much of an operational role. We would however be happy for TTE to recognise the
elected directors with a title to differentiate them from the independent roles. As per the original
suggestion we would be satisfied that the title of Elected Deputy Chairman fell in line with the spirit of
the code. “
The proposed amendment to Article 24.2 contravenes paragraph 1.26 of the Code which states “a
majority of the members of the nomination committee shall be independent non-executive
directors and it shall be chaired by the chair (except when it is dealing with the appointment
of a successor to the chair, when it shall be chaired by an independent non-executive
director).” In relation to this proposed amendment Sport England have stated “the suggestion
of having the nominations committee made up of elected directors and the CEO would be in direct
contradiction to the code section 1.26”.
The proposed amendment to Article 24.3 ties the terms of office of Appointed Directors to
those of Elected Directors. This is impractical as the nominations committee may wish to
appoint directors on an ongoing basis. It is also bad governance as it would lead to all of the
Directors retiring at the same time and would take the Company back in time to pre 2014
when Officers and Vice Chairmen were appointed and removed from office at the same time
– something that was unacceptable to Sport England and stated as bad governance back in
2013 in the Portas Report. Sport England state in relation this proposed amendment “it would
be both contrary to the code and strongly ill-advised to remove all board members simultaneously.
This would lead to a significant loss of knowledge and a lack of continuity for the Board and
organisation. As per the code section 2.7 “The Board shall have in place succession plans for orderly
appointments to the Board and to key positions of senior management”. Again, the suggested
amendments to 24.3 from Mr Clark [and others} would leave Table Tennis England non-compliant with
the governance code.”
Sport England have also stated “For the removal of any doubt and as per your award agreement,
any NGB not meeting the code by 31st October 2017 will be seen to be in breach of the agreement and
no further payments will be made to the NGB in question. It should also be noted that continued
compliance with the Governance Code will remain a condition throughout the duration of your Award
Agreement. While the sport itself will remain eligible to apply through Sport England’s open funding
programmes, a lack of clear strategic direction for the sport from a strongly governed NGB would
make any significant investments difficult to justify.”
The Chairman of the National Council Steering Group, Tony Catt, along with the majority of the
steering group has asked the Board to rely the following message because of concerns in the way the
steering group has been portrayed.
Members of National Council expressed serious concern about the Governance changes at its January
meeting and set up a Steering Committee to consider how to respond to Sport England. 5 member of
the Steering Committee met on 13th March and put together a paper with input from all members. This
paper was circulated and then discussed at the April meeting. The Steering Committee gained backing
from the National Council to discuss the paper with the Board.
The Steering Committee met with the board on 11th May. Significant progress was made at the
meeting, wherein the following agreements were made:-
*It was agreed that the Chair would be appointed by the board, as this was felt to be a minimum
requirement from Sport England to retain funding for Table Tennis England.
*There would continue to be 3 directors elected by the membership.
*One of the elected directors could be chair, following a formal recruitment process.
*The 3 elected directors would have the right to be members of the Nominations Committee, which
would have the decision-making powers to appoint the Independent directors, appointed directors and
the chair.
*The member elected directors would have a title to enable members and external bodies to identify
them. This was settled as Elected Deputy Chairs, following confirmation that this would be acceptable
to Sport England.
* The nature of the National Council meant that currently it could be considered to be outside the
reach of the Governance Code in its current format. Therefore, the terms of tenure could remain as
they are.

The negotiated agreement was reported back to the National Council. The points agreed now form the
proposed amendments put forward by the Board.
The amendments presented by Alan Ransome, Chris Dangerfield and Martin Clark were made without
further reference to the other members of the Steering Committee.
Thus it is the amendments that have been presented by the Board, with relevant elements already
agreed with Sport England that would receive the support of the remaining members and majority
of the Steering Committee on behalf of the National Council. The Board amendments will be
acceptable to Sport England and thus ensure the continuation of public funding of our sport.
The amendments suggested by Messrs Ransome, Dangerfield and Clark put the future public funding
of our sport at risk. This would appear to be a very high price paid by everybody for the maintenance
of “democracy” to be executed by a few selected individuals.
The Board therefore strongly recommends that the membership vote against this resolution.

Author:  NextLevel [ 13 Aug 2017, 22:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

These kinds of changes hurt TT in the US for a while - we are lucky that we now have the right kinds of people back in charge again, though I can't remember how it came about. I think TT England is wise to resist the changes but I am not sure what the compromise should be.

Author:  Der_Echte [ 16 Aug 2017, 12:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

JKC can articulate as well as anyone I know...

Author:  iskandar taib [ 31 Aug 2017, 00:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

I keep seeing this topic here day after day.. has it been resolved, and how?


Author:  darucla [ 31 Aug 2017, 01:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

There was an EGM, in which the previous vote was reversed, with something like a 93% vote to adopt the Sport England guidelines. The funding was saved as a result.

Author:  kaesees [ 31 Aug 2017, 01:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

iskandar taib wrote:
I keep seeing this topic here day after day.. has it been resolved, and how?


They caved two weeks ago, apparently: http://www.bbc.com/sport/table-tennis/40910704

Author:  darucla [ 31 Aug 2017, 02:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

Although it appears that the forces of anti-democracy won, the last few years have severely dented my belief in democracy. As a pertinent example, the election of the ITTF can be seen as a democratic process, and yet...

I once, as a joke, suggested that the voting system be reversed. So we would vote for the person we didn't want to get the job, and the winner would be the person with the fewest votes. Don't worry, I know it's unworkable, and it's only a joke.

Or is it? Under that system, Trump would certainly not have become President, and neither would Hilary Clinton. I suspect many people would have been happy with that. Just leaves the question of who would have won... It would be interesting to see who worked out, the quickest, the way to be elected under that system.

Author:  haggisv [ 31 Aug 2017, 10:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

I think that's pretty common in politics. It's the same for me in Australia.... I don't like or trust any of the major parties, so I tend to vote only for the 'lesser of two evils', rather than voting for a party that I trust. I'm sure that's how Trump got in as well... people were just sick and tired of politicians that lie and lie, so they wanted something different.... and they sure got something different to a regular politician this time. :lol:

Author:  darucla [ 31 Aug 2017, 20:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Crisis at Table Tennis England?

Actually, I don't think any government in the UK since WWII, when there was a coalition of all the parties, has held an actual majority of the popular vote (probably goes back further than that). So whatever way you look at it, the majority of people have had a government that they didn't vote for. (Same in the US for the current President.) I'd have no problem with that, if they would at least accept that they do not "have a mandate", when maybe 60% of the country voted against them. I'll never accept that the Brexit should have come about on less than 60% either. These are things that affect 100% of the people.

Oft quoted of late: “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H. L. Mencken. Baltimore Evening Sun on 26 July 1920.

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