Bill Pulver won’t be stepping down as ARU CEO following today’s Extraordinary General Meeting, nor will Australian rugby’s governing body be backing away from their decision to cut one Super Rugby team for next season.
Prior to the EGM, Pulver had said he would step down as CEO if asked by the board.
“If everyone in the room stood up on Tuesday and said, ‘Bill, we think it’s time for change now’, I will step down immediately,” Pulver said.
“It’s not an issue of anyone having to push me out.”
However, ARU chairman Cameron Clyne said there wasn’t any discussion about Pulver’s position during the EGM, meaning he won’t be vacating his position at the helm of Australian rugby.
In bad news for the Melbourne Rebels and Western Force, it was agreed at the meeting that the ARU will be continuing with their plan to cut one Australian Super Rugby team for the 2018 season.
“As we’ve said right from the outset, it was a difficult decision but we are here because our on-field performance and financial performance are not where they need to be,” Clyne said.
“We want to see success, and although this has been a difficult process, we believe that this gives us an opportunity to improve that and the majority of members agree.”
However, a motion to facilitate the establishment of a Super Rugby commission was passed at the EGM.
Clyne claimed on April 10 that the ARU hoped to reveal the team that would be making way at the end of this season – one of the Rebels and Force – but the decision has continued to be delayed, in part due to the matter becoming embroiled in legal proceedings from both sides.
“We acknowledge that this process has had an impact on the health of our game, and most importantly on our people including players at the Super Rugby clubs,” Clyne said.
“We are trying to bring this to a conclusion as soon as possible to give everyone in the game the certainty they deserve, though there are some factors out of our control.”
It is still not known when the final decision will be revealed, however the ARU and RugbyWA agreed to move their dispute to arbitration, a process that is expected to begin in the week starting July 31.
UPDATE: The ARU released a statement following the conclusion of the EGM, outlining the resolutions that were proposed and their results.
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) Board has welcomed support of members as it proceeds with plans to reduce one Super Rugby team from Australia ahead of the 2018 season.
At an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held at ARU headquarters in Sydney today, three resolutions were put to voting members, as proposed jointly by the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) and the Victorian Rugby Union (VRU);
1. The EGM considers that it is in the best interests of Rugby in Australia that Australia maintain its five current teams in the Super Rugby competition until at least the end of the 2020 Super Rugby season.
2. That the Company re-consider its decision to reduce the number of Australian teams playing in the Super Rugby competition.
3. That the Company facilitate a forum of all Voting Members, to be held as soon as practicable and at the costs and expense of the Company, for the purposes of considering the establishment of an Australian Super Rugby Commission which will act as an advisory body to the Company on the future participation of Australian teams in the Super Rugby Competition.
Following a vote of all Voting Members present at the EGM the first and second resolutions were defeated, while the ARU has committed to facilitating a forum to discuss the potential for the establishment of an Australian Super Rugby Commission, as proposed in resolution three.