Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sunday talking point - the new Committee Governance Structure

Tomorrow night at the County Ground, the club are running a Forum on the new Committee Governance Structure, something that is set to to be replicated at The Pavilion in Chesterfield a week later.

If you haven't already voted and aren't sure why you should be, or why you should be supporting the club, you need to attend one of these meetings. I understand that senior officials from the club, together with potential departing committee members, will be speaking to explain why this change is needed and why it has their full support.

That the proposal has their support is the crucial factor in this, just as it is telling that our former chairman Don Amott has thrown his weight behind the proposals. Irrespective of the circumstances surrounding his departure from the club, Mr Amott remains a loyal and passionate fan of Derbyshire cricket and clearly sees this new structure as the only way forward.

The club needs a 2/3 majority in order to implement the changes, which is why I am a little worried by some of the comments being made over on the Falcons Forum. There appears to be, sadly in all too typical Derbyshire fashion, a few people with petty enmities and inconsequential issues that may jaundice their vote, or stop them voting at all.

I'm reminded of my standard retort to those who at different times have bemoaned the state of the country, yet didn't bother to get off their backsides and cast a vote that thousands of people spent lifetimes fighting for. If you don't vote, don't bother moaning, as you have no right to do so. You have an opportunity here to support YOUR club, shape its future and enable us, in the short, medium and long term to compete on a level playing field with everyone else, Indeed, in many respects we will be up with the leaders and when was the last time you could say that about Derbyshire cricket?

OK, Peakfan, why are you so bothered about the result of this election? Why, only last week a correspondent on this blog suggested that my piece sounded like a club statement. I'd take that as a compliment, as it must therefore have been professional...

I'm bothered because I care. I'm bothered because I want to watch Derbyshire cricket into my old age, perhaps be one of those old codgers sitting on the boundary edge swathed in blankets, wearing an industrial-sized jacket and maybe even moaning that things aren't how they used to be.

Except I won't be. IF these changes go through, I'll be sitting in a lovely stand, maybe perched somewhere in a new pavilion, watching a Derbyshire side competing against the best in a ground that is both compact and atmospheric, an ampthitheatre; a theatre, if you will, of dreams. I'll be watching a strong Derbyshire side, made up of shrewd recruits from elsewhere alongside the cream of Academy product, all topped off, like the sweetest of cherries, with an overseas player of substantial international reputation. It would be, could be, should be great.

But what happens if some poor, misguided, ill-informed souls decide that they won't vote, or because so-and-so is going to be on that committee they're against it?  Or because the postal service isn't good, it doesn't get their vote as a consequence? Come on guys, if you're going to moan, make it something the club can control. Short of getting the staff into cars to hand deliver to every member, the club can hardly be held to account for the vagaries of the post...

Look at it this way. If you'd prefer to keep so-and-so off a new committee structure of any other name, remember that he would be on the old one anyway. If you think it should be more of an open vote, answer me one question: why? Why should membership of the new structure be a free-for-all, rather than see professional people with the exact, essential skills our club needs take it forward? Old Bert might be a card in the tea room and stand everyone a pint in the bar. He might ensure we have an ample supply of toilet rolls in the loos on match day and report back that members aren't happy with the quality of a pint. But is he going to stand up and fight for £1.5 million of ECB money and know how to draw up the plans to implement its use? Is he going to ensure that  the club can afford and attract an international star to the club, or design and lead on the revamp of the ground. Of course he isn't.

There is and will be a role in the club for Old Bert, but not on this overarching board. It HAS to have a strategic overview, capable of competing at cricket's top table and fighting for Derbyshire's continued presence at it. It has to have people with the requisite credentials involved, or we will be seen as a laughing stock in the corridors of power. It has to have, in short, the people currently nominated to be the first incumbents. In due course, anyone with those skills could be elected in their stead, but by golly, they will need the same level of talent.

I get on really well with my neighbour, but I wouldn't get him to service my car. I wouldn't ask my daughter to give me a filling in a painful tooth, or my son to diagnose a pain in my knee. I have some great mates, but I wouldn't vote them on to the new Supervisory Board. We have to have people with the right skill-set involved, simple as that, and we have to adopt this new structure. There is no alternative.

OK, there is. We could leave things as they are, then watch as Derbyshire become increasingly marginalised, outflanked and poorly funded, as the ECB won't in the future bail out a club whose management structure isn't fit for purpose. For all our improved membership this year, the only way that a club like Derbyshire can survive and thrive is to modernise, streamline and become ever more professional in the nicest sense of that word.

If we don't, we will die. I am ever more convinced that in the next few years a county cricket club or two will fold.

Your 'yes' vote in the coming weeks will help to ensure that Derbyshire isn't one of them.


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm firmly in favour of the proposals and have already voted 'yes'. That doesn't prevent me from having private reservations about certain aspects.
You appear to assume that anyone having such reservations will automatically vote 'no' and is a trouble-making reactionary old dinasaur.
Not so.
Chris H.

Peakfan said...

No mate, I don't, but the club need 2/3 majority, so...
We do need all members, irrespective of their age or length of membership, to back the proposals.
Given that the committee en masse are behind it, I just hope that the membership give them their backing.
Reservations about any change is natural - but should not stand in the way of progress.
Many have reservations about the existing, long-standing and over complicated committee structure that has stood since Gandhi was a lad...

Marc said...

I think my reservations about committees are well known on here. The new structure at least has a fighting chance with people assigned to specific roles. For far too long the club has been held back by internal squabbling and factions seemingly hell bent on destroying the club,much less trying to improve it.

I hope the vote goes through with a sizeable majority and then let these people get on with their jobs. It will also please our mates at the ECB!.

Peakfan said...

Couldn't agree more Marc!

Anonymous said...

peakfan - i too agree with the proposals but i am concerned with the fact that i have received nothing in the literature that shows me why the people proposed for the roles are the right people for the job. there are no supporting statements saying what each person will bring to the role - - is that too much to ask for?