Stuart Hogg is to lead Scotland in this year’s Six Nations, but, in and amongst the winds of Storm Brendan, the headline grabbing revelation this week has been off the pitch, as it was revealed Mark Dodson, Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive, was paid £933,000 for the year up to the 31st of May 2019, which was double his 2018 earnings and makes him one of the highest earning executives in World Rugby.
Some estimates place Dodson’s received earnings at a truly ridiculous 1.6% of total turnover.
This is absolutely outrageous. Scotland under-performed badly at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, failing to make it out of their group and succumbing feebly to defeat against Japan, and such a woeful on the pitch showing is increasingly endemic. They have had little to celebrate for decades, their grassroots game is on its knees, and Scotland have never won a Six Nations. At youth level, their perfomance at the U-20 World Cup was disastrous.
Quite naturally then, Scotland fans have a right to ask, to demand, in fact, what it is exactly that Dodson his doing to justify such an extortionate wage. Already earning £455,000 a year for running Scottish Rugby, Dodson earned in 2019 £478,000 in bonuses, accrued over three years and paid in one lump.
This is absolutely staggering. The last three years have been one of stagnation and failure for Scotland, and a period in which some of their top talent, Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg, Johnny Gray, have left the country to secure larger pay checks elsewhere. In the last year, the fees and salaries for all the company directors jumped from £1.13m to £2.246m. What, then, is justifying such bonuses?
Well, those who admire Dodson point to his business acumen and negotiating skill, particularly in regards to the prospective deal between the Six Nations and CVC Capital partners.
Nevertheless, when stacked up against other chief executives, who, one would assume, also possess such attributes, it is clear to see Dodson is being disproportionately rewarded for his abilities, and Scottish Rugby, essentially, mugged off.
Philip Browne, for example, chief executive of the IRFU, is paid in the region of £175,000 off a turnover of £74m, Martyn Phillips, chief executive of the WRU, is paid £351,000 off a turnover of £90.5m and Bill Sweeney, chief executive of the RFU, is paid around £500,000 off a turnover of £213m. Scottish Rugby’s annual turnover is just £61.1m.
A culture in which wages to do not reflect results is never going to bring success, that much is for sure.
Written by Joe Ronan.