Funding Issues Delay Transfer to HRA
Published: 18 November 2004
Funding issues delay transfer of Regulation to HRA
Uncertainty over the nature of the future funding of racing following the surprising ECJ judgement in the BHB / William Hill case has resulted in a delay to the proposed transfer of the regulation of racing from the Jockey Club to the Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA). It had been the Jockey Club’s intention to delegate its regulatory responsibilities to HRA with effect from 1st January 2005.
In view of this setback the Jockey Club has announced today further changes to its regulatory structure so that, in the meantime, the move towards an independent regulatory authority can continue. Two of the proposed independent directors of HRA, including the Chairman designate, will be appointed to the Jockey Club’s Regulatory Board in January.
Julian Richmond-Watson, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, said: “The launch of the HRA has always been dependent on satisfactory funding arrangements being in place between HRA and BHB to provide for the regulatory function and its annual budget of £14m.
“Unfortunately, last week’s judgement has resulted in uncertainty over the nature of the future funding of the sport. In the circumstances we concluded that in the absence of the necessary financial commitments required to secure the long term funding of regulation there was no realistic option other than to defer the delegation of the regulatory role to HRA.”
The funding arrangements require the establishment of a new ‘Administration Agreement’ between the relevant parties and the transfer to BHB, as the funding body, of the regulatory employees’ pension scheme. Under the existing Jockey Club / BHB ‘Administration Agreement’ the regulatory costs are protected.
He added: “Despite the delay in establishing HRA we are determined to maintain the momentum of change in the regulatory process. To that end, the Regulatory Board of the Jockey Club will be reconstituted to closely reflect the planned structure of HRA and those persons identified as prospective independent directors will be appointed to the Board.”
Greg Nichols, Chief Executive of BHB, said: “We fully understand the reasons for the Jockey Club’s decision to postpone the transfer of regulation to HRA and we will be working with them to resolve the outstanding issues.”
Notes for Editors:
1. As from 1st January 2005, the Regulatory Board of the Jockey Club will be reconstituted and those persons identified as prospective independent directors of HRA will be appointed to the Regulatory Board. The Board will then be as follows:
Julian Richmond-Watson Chairman }
Andrew Merriam } The Jockey Club
Sir Michael Connell }
Michael Henriques }
John Bridgeman }
Ben Gunn } Independent
A N Other }