Monday, March 11, 2013

MCC Reform Group to proceed with call for a “Special General Meeting” of the Club


London 5th March, 2013 The MCC Reform Group today confirmed its intention to call for a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The SGM will debate a motion which calls for an independent enquiry into the Club’s decision to reject the opportunity potentially to secure its financial future for a generation or more through development of its Leasehold land - the strip of land on the Lord’s Estate which adjoins the Wellington Road.
In February 2011 MCC announced that it would proceed with others, including the Freeholder and a Development partner, in a scheme called “The Vision for Lord’s” which would involve a major residential development on the leasehold land. This announcement came at the end of a four-year study costing £3m. In the “Vision” the scheme was said to be capable of generating in excess of £110m for the Club with some £10m being designated for cricket-related charities. In November 2011 this plan was precipitately cancelled by the Club - the reasons given for the cancellation were opaque, contradictory and confusing. This led to the resignation from the MCC Committee of Sir John Major.
In April 2012 the Club informed members of a motion to be put at the 2012 Annual General Meeting formally to preclude any residential development on the leasehold land. At the AGM on 2 May 2012, attended by 700 members, there was considerable opposition to the motion which led to the then President announcing that it would be withdrawn – and to his giving members an assurance that all options for the development of the Lord’s Estate (including the leasehold land) would now be re-considered. Despite this commitment and notwithstanding many hours of subsequent dialogue spread over nine months between members of the MCC Reform Group on the one hand and MCC Committee members and staff on the other, it is now clear that the leadership of the Club is determined not to honour properly the President’s seemingly unequivocal commitment.
On 25 February 2013 MCC released to members a 20-page document “MCC Strategic Plan 2013-2022”, the product of eight months’ work by the Chief Executive and his team. Despite the time taken and its length and glossy appearance this “Plan” fails completely to address the compelling business opportunities available to the Club from development of the leasehold land. Having waited, at the Club’s request, until the Strategic Plan was released (following assurances from the MCC Chief Executive and Committee members that the plan would fully address all concerns raised) the MCC Reform Group is now proceeding at full pace with the call for an SGM.

The MCC Reform Group
The MCC Reform Group comprises many concerned members of the MCC united by a common desire to see MCC operate as an open, effective and business-like Members’ Club. None of the Group has any material interest in any aspects of the Lord’s Estate nor is it backed financially by any parties who may have such an interest. It is now building the necessary support to oblige the Club to call an SGM and to institute a full, open and independent enquiry.

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