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The five constraints limiting the performance of sport boards



The five constraints limiting the performance of sport boards

Mike Squires, SRI Chairman


In over 30 years working in the sports industry I have never seen such disruption across the sector.

The intense commercial pressures of the modern sporting landscape range from falling media rights values and increasing corporate sponsor demands through to the need for an effective digital strategy.

These challenges inevitably fall at the feet of the Chair of the sports board with whom, quite correctly, the buck stops. But I also see added demands on executive management teams, which is reflected in their increasingly higher salaries.

Of all the responsibilities of the modern sports board, the most fundamental is probably the governance, structure and make-up of the board itself. From our experience of advising a wide range of sporting bodies there are five critical constraining factors influencing board composition and effectiveness. These constraints often exist because of historic rules created for very different times.

The big four of Rugby, Tennis, Football and Cricket can trace their governance structure back to the mid 1800s.

These constraints include; Eligibility, Suitability, Remuneration, Diversity & Tenure.

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About the author

Mike Squires became an executive search consultant in 1982, leading his first CEO assignment in 1985 to appoint the first external CEO of the then Football League, some years before the breakaway of the Premier League. Following his appointments as CEO of major search firms and working in Zurich and New York, he returned to London, and has been Chairman of SRI for the last 12 years. During this time, SRI has grown in size and reputation to become the recognised leader across the converging global sports, media and entertainment sectors.