What they did not do, however, was shake the Board’s insistence that this is a necessary step, with a clear indication that the power of the clubs to influence the course of events is now severely limited.
Nor have they been able to gain much insight into the internal arrangements of the company, the Board insisting that ‘it is not required that the BV’s budget is laid before the general meeting.’
The general meeting’s role within the BV is indirect, through its three representatives on the company’s Raad van Commissarissen (Supervisory Board), who are revealed by the minutes of the December general meeting, now belatedly circulated, to be Axel Fuhri Snethlage, Pierre Paul Derkx and Hans Peter van Arkel.
The financial policy and the budget of the BV were discussed, the Board informs the clubs, at meetings of the RvC on 5 February and 14 April, with the implication that that body stands behind the proposal to transfer up to $300k.
In the absence of an actual meeting, of course, whether physical or virtual, it is impossible for club representatives to raise their concerns with their representatives on the RvC, and it is in any case far from clear how far any such powers might extend, or indeed, whether it is incumbent upon RvC members to attend a general meeting and/or answer any questions.
On the central issue of why, now that the home international fixtures for 2020 have been postponed indefinitely and it is certain that there will be no events to organise this year, the Board does not withdraw or reduce its proposal, there is only the slightest hint of movement.
It does stress that the $300k., proposed before the announcements by the Dutch government and the ICC which led to the postponement of the summer programme, was in any case a maximum, suggesting that a lower actual figure might actually be needed.
But the calculation was based on the fact that the ICC’s Competition Grant to the KNCB for running its home part of the Super League amounts to $600k., and the Board (and, presumably, the BV) had decided to split this over two years, 2020 and 2021; in the original schedule for the Super League, the Netherlands had no home matches in 2022.
The only information about the size of the BV’s budget comes in reply to a question from Excelsior ’20, in a statement that the total budget for 2020 was €1.3m. excluding VAT, so that the proposed transfer from the KNCB of around €275k. represents less than a quarter of the overall budget.
No further indication is given to explain this, since these are matters which are internal to the BV’s operations.
In response to a question from Rood en Wit Haarlem about what would happen to the money if it were not spent in the current financial year, the Board indicates that it would remain in the BV’s reserves, although it leaves open the possibilities that some could be repaid to the KNCB or that a dividend might in due course be paid to the Bond as the BV’s sole shareholder.
Since, however, the Board also states flatly that ‘there will be no profit this year’, the latter seems likely to be at best a distant prospect.
On the thorny question of payments to staff, the Board again plays a solid forward defensive stroke.
There is, the clubs are informed, an agreement about salary costs incurred on behalf of the BV, which will be billed for these by the KNCB where they involve the time of staff employed by the Bond.
Since the CEO of the KNCB, Jaap Wals, is also CEO of the BV these costs might be expected to be significant, but they will not include the salary of the BV’s Events Co-ordinator, Betty Timmer, who also happens to be chair of the KNCB but whose relationship with the BV is formally separate from that function.
The Board indicates that while there will be no matches played in 2020, costs will be incurred in planning and organizing the schedule for 2021, which may now also include the postponed series against Pakistan.
Whether these arguments are sufficient to convince the clubs, who have been given until this Thursday to vote, remains to be seen.
On the one hand, the Board has the power under the Constitution to allocate up to €100k. without the permission of a general meeting, but it clearly takes the view that even in present circumstances that is insufficient to meet the BV’s immediate needs.
Some might think that these are matters which need more discussion, and the clubs do have the power under article 15 of the Constitution to requisition a general meeting if they believe that the procedure imposed by the Board is inadequate in the circumstances.
But with only four clubs sufficiently engaged to make use of the question-and-answer process, this seems unlikely to be the case.