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Unions in support

Paulini Ratulailai
Sunday, October 29, 2017

FIJI Rugby Union, with the support of all unions during their special general meeting yesterday, has endorsed their constitution and this will see them function as a Charitable Company.

Chief executive officer John O'Connor said the special general meeting mainly focused on adopting the constitution to allow them to register as a charitable company and to change their structure from a charitable trust.

"We had to seek legal advice and consultation with all members and the board felt the best option for FRU is to move and register itself as a charitable company and the meeting was to discuss a constitution that supports that move," he said.

"We have been going through consultation for the past two months where we met all the unions where they were given the opportunity to comment and agree to ways to move forward.

"I am happy that with the draft and with a few minor changes was anonymously endorsed.

"All the unions supported and there were no subjections."

He added there were still more work to be done as they work towards achieving their target.

"Our current setup based on the practices that we were going beyond or breaching our own registration guidelines as a charitable trust where we were not allowed to make investment and so forth.

"In a Charitable Trust Act, profits that were generated were retuned back to the charitable organisation.

"While we were operating as a company our registration did not support it, so it was a chance to move as we have big investment plans. We are now finalising some of our sponsorship deals and we want to move in to areas of opportunity in investment. One of the investments that we have is that we've advertised for project engineers for our headquarters building and also our stadium.

"This is part of the reform gender for the board to move FRU from amateur to professionalism and commercial reason. We operate and adopt the principals and guidelines in terms of rating a business."

He added that since the endorsement of the constitution they would have to apply for their registration and see what the next step is.

"One of the things that we've learnt as we move along is that there are a lot of restrictions that we can do to the current structure and to allow us to operate as a business and support our unions and players which is important to crossover.

"When we were acting as trust one of the things that we've learnt that there is no accountability and responsibility which fully defines there is a lack of trust to deal with us and that's why we hope to move to this and adopt good governance to encourage more companies to sponsor FRU.

"Fundamental to this drive it will support women's and welfare of players the more we can earn it will benefit the players as it is part of the plan.

"At the moment we're looking to strengthen our financial sustainability ensuring that we embed good practises, governance with the organisation and we believe if we do that the rest will take care of itself."

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