Outrage over Scotland's salary revelations
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: There has been a sizable backlash in the Scottish rugby community after the staggering salaries paid to Scottish Rugby Union executives has been made public.
According to Rugbypass, Offside Line website revealed that the highest-paid executive – which is usually the chief executive, in this instance Mark Dodson – received £933,000 for the year up to May 31, 2019, which was double his previous year’s earnings of £455,000. The fees and salaries for all the company directors jumped from £1.13m to £2.246m.
Journalists and fans alike have shown their outrage on social media at these findings and have begun to dissect the situation Scotland rugby finds itself in.
The Scottish Daily Mail’s Rob Robertson described the revelation as “appaling”, while The Times’ Alasdair Reid said the figures were particularly alarming given the current exodus of players from the Scottish game.
Owain Jones compared the controversy to the outcry when former Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie was paid £600k from a £207million turnover, which pales into insignificance compared to £933,000 the SRU gave its top executive from a turnover of £61.1m.
Only last week it was announced that Jonny Gray will be leaving the Glasgow Warriors at the end of the season to join the Exeter Chiefs, a move that Stuart Hogg made last summer.
With Finn Russell having also left the Warriors to join France’s Racing 92 in 2018 as well as the imminent departure of Glasgow boss Dave Rennie to coach the Wallabies, the criticism of the SRU is that its money is not being spent to retain or bring in new players – and these findings about the CEO’s salary have proven to be incendiary.
This is appalling! THE highest paid executive in the Scottish Rugby Union – usually the Chief Executive (Mark Dodson) – received aggregate emoluments of £933k (before pension contributions), more than double the £455k earned the previous year. Well done @theoffsideline 4 story.
— Rob Robertson (@SDM_Robertson) January 14, 2020
The SRU annual report, given to member clubs, no longer reveals fees, salaries and benefits paid to its directors. However, they are obliged to do so in legal accounts lodged at Companies House. 1/3
— Alasdair Reid (@AlasdairReid3) January 14, 2020
The main criticism from fans seems to be that no Scottish team at any level has performed at a level that warranted such a pay rise for the senior members of the SRU.
The men’s team finished fifth in the 2019 Six Nations, and while the World Cup didn’t take place before the May 31 date in the SRU accounts, Scotland did themselves no favours in Japan, bowing out at the pool stages.
Ironically, it was actually during the RWC that Dodson’s comments regarding their potentially cancelled match against Japan during Typhoon Hagibis led to a £70,000 fine for Scottish Rugby.
Many fans have been piling into this discussion, which was always going to prove very controversial in light of performances over the past year, and this may only be the beginning of a long saga.