As part of our preparation for the Sport for Business Smart Minds Event on Sporting Governance, we polled our Members for a snapshot of their views on how they see Governance in Irish Sport in 2019.
We must stress it is nothing more than that with less than 100 responses in the 24 hours for which we kept the poll open but it does give an indication of the way in which the subject is viewed.
We asked our Members their general view on how sport is governed. None of our respondents felt that it was generally good, a harsh assessment but one that needs to be taken for what it is. 16.6 per cent said that it was ‘Mostly OK but needs work in some areas’.
Worryingly the vast majority erred on the negative side with 58.3 per cent feeling that ‘It’s in need of some work’ and 25 per cent saying that it was generally poor.
Of those who replied we asked whether they worked in sports administration (45.8 per cent), Volunteered within sports administration (37.5 per cent) or were not involved in sports administration (16.7 per cent).
Those who came from the latter group, representing perhaps more of the general public mood, that is important in political and perception terms, over-indexed on governance being generally poor.
This will, of course, have been influenced by events at the FAI, but our audience would be knowledgable about the way that sport is run and the benefits it brings in many ways so the general mood is probably even darker.
We asked should regulation be tighter in terms of governance, without being specific about how that might come about. 75 per cent answered Yes with the remaining 25 per cent saying Up to a point. None of our respondents said they did not believe in the need for tighter regulation.
Because we are optimists though we finish on something of a more positive note. 62.5 per cent said that increased obligations on volunteers would have no impact on their getting involved at club level. 33.3 per cent felt that it might, depending on what it looked like and less than five per cent felt that it would.
Whether that degree of commitment remained in the face of potential scare stories about the penalties that those in positions of authority might face is open to some degree of doubt but that is for another day or maybe not at all.
We stress again that this is an unscientific poll of a closed group of Sport for Business members drawn from across sport, business, education and those with an interest in the commercial world of sport.
It does nevertheless provide some measure of the mood at a time when failings of the past and opportunities in the future are ready to meet like the brackish waters of a river running to the sea.
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