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British Cycling reforms doubtful - former chief exec King

From BBC - July 16, 2017

It is "doubtful" that crucial governance reforms for British Cycling will be approved next weekend, plunging the organisation into a financial crisis, a former chief executive says.

Peter King, who ran the governing body from 1997 to 2008, told the BBC that he expected the proposals to be rejected at an extraordinary general meeting of its national council on Saturday.

The government has warned British Cycling that funding is dependent on adoption of reforms designed to improve governance standards across sport.

But King believes that opposition among the organisation's 130,000 members will mean the board fails to secure the 75% majority required to vote through the changes.

The background

Funding agency Sport England has allocated 17m to British Cycling to boost grassroots participation, while UK Sport is set to invest 26m for its Olympic and Paralympic teams' preparations for Tokyo 2020.

But both sums hinge on complying with sports minister Tracey Crouch's governance code. From November, boards of governing bodies must be more independent and diverse, and be "the ultimate decision-making body and exercise all of the powers of the organisation".

British Cycling executives - including chairman Jonathan Browning and president Bob Howden - have been attending a series of regional meetings in a bid to convince members to support a package of reforms designed to meet the new standards.

These include:

Proposals are 'too severe'

However, King says the board now faces a fight to get the measures passed.

"My original view was that the members would vote in favour of the proposals because of the threat of losing funding," he said.

"But I think the feeling is now moving the other way, and from the meetings I have attended, I think it's doubtful.

"People realise money will be stopped, but they are prepared to do that. It's right that we modernise, but there's a sense the changes are too severe, have been rushed through, and that members are losing control, with too much authority residing with the board, not the national council."

A British Cycling spokesperson told BBC Sport: "These changes to our governance are necessary, timely and in the best interests of our members whether they race, help out at their local club or just love riding their bike.

'People have lost confidence'

Mixed results

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