Thursday, 20 November 2008

Business & Pleasure = Oil & Water

The bun fight currently raging over the management of British Eventing was inevitable. Who wasn't go to ask "how do you justify making the CEO position redundant and then appointing a new one?" (just ask a lawyer!). Imagine my surprise, the newly appointed CEO is none other than MES. 

Frankly, BE is a complete shambles. Financing of the sport is in complete disarray, because no fundamental business principles are being used to justify spend and investment. I personally lost any respect for the BE management when Mike Tucker was forced out ( one of the few people who truly do things for the sport without a personal agenda). 

The upshot of my grumbles is, it really is time to split management of "Eventing UK plc" into 2 distinctly different functions. The business end of eventing and the sporting end of eventing. I'd go even further and remove all fiscal responsibility from BE and insist all this was centralised at BEF level (BE can't do much of note without the BEF anyway). If the other disciplines followed suit then we could all benefit from the economies of scale that are possible. As separate entities they just can't seem to get themselves organised  to produce economies for our benefit and are woefully inefficient. 

There is one very good reason for this:

The whole 'pleasure' thing (sport element) clouds good  judgement of sound business practice

all the failures in BE, when you analyse them, come down to this one single reason.

Just how many membership organisations do we need? All of the international disciplines should be brought together under the BEF with independent sporting bodies for each sporting discipline that only looks after the competitive elements of the discipline. 

Why does someone who wants to event, show jump & dressage need to have three memberships, three sets of bureaucracy, three times as much public liability insurance (and a bunch of other insurance types), three horse registrations etc etc etc. Its ridiculous. 

It time for change, and a major shake up in the way our international equestrian sports are run.