The County’s Annual General Meeting is scheduled to take place on 24 June 2020.
In view of the current Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown, the Executive Committee has been considering whether the AGM should proceed and, if so, how this might happen, taking account also of its legal obligations. In formulating its proposed approach, the Committee has also taken advice from the RFU’s legal department.
The County’s Rules state that that AGMs should be held ” not later than 31st July each year”. In addition, we have to consider our legal obligations as a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. The Act is silent as regards AGMs, but requires a registered society, within the period of 7 months beginning immediately after the end of a year of account (end-June, in the case of the KCRFU), to send to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA):
(a) a return relating to its affairs for that year (the society’s “annual return” for that year),
(b) a copy of each balance sheet made during that year, and
(c) a copy of any relevant auditor’s report for that year.
It is for this reason that the County’s Financial General Meeting is held no later than the January immediately following the financial year-end in question, in order to approve and sign-off the accounts prior to their being submitted to the FCA. The Companies Act states that the latest date to hold an AGM is six months after the financial year-end; so, in the case of the KCRFU, by end-December.
One option is to proceed with the AGM on 24 June, but on a ‘virtual’ basis, using telephone / video conferencing facilities. This does not, in the Executive Committee’s view, provide a failsafe method to conduct the AGM, not least because all those who may wish to attend and participate in the meeting may not feel comfortable in using such facilities, there is the risk of broadband instability, and because the Committee wishes to propose and seek approval to major amendments to the County’s current rules, where we want to encourage as wide and transparent a debate as possible. A virtual meeting is likely to hinder this.
The Executive Committee therefore intends to postpone the AGM, in the hope that a physical meeting can take place, ideally no later than the end of August and before the new season commences, when we all hope that the lockdown by then will have been lifted and life will have returned to some form of normality. The RFU has confirmed from its perspective that it has no difficulty with holding a physical AGM later than planned, given the exceptional circumstances we all find ourselves in.
We hope that members will agree that this is a sensible and pragmatic approach in view of the prevailing situation. We will of course keep you informed of developments.