At the suggestion of the Chairman, the remaining nine members of the Board ?_x001C_the Member?_x001D_), excluding the Chairman and the RCA representatives, met under the chairmanship of Martin Broughton to discuss the†_x0018_Arena correspondenc?_x0019_.
On several past occasions the BHB Chairman/Executive had referred to legal opinion obtained to the effect that far from it being BHB that had breached the Future Funding Plan (“FFP”) it was in fact the RCA/racecourses that had breached it.
Until this meeting, none of the Members had seen, nor sought to see, this opinion – because, although the Board has always been of the view that the RCA/racecourses breached the FFP, quite simply the Board had no intention of taking legal action that would serve only to enrich the legal profession at the expense of racing.
The Members accept that the FFP is dead and see no constructive purpose over further debating the reason for its demise. Rather they see the Board’s role as being to further constructive future relations between BHB and racing’s constituent parts. Those constituencies include all 59 racecourses, not just those who signed up to the FFP in the first place.
The Members believe it appropriate to operate philosophically as though the principles of the FFP were still in place and accordingly fully supported the BHB Prize Money Incentive Scheme put forward by the BHB Chairman and the Executive as being entirely in accord with those principles. The Board is encouraged that 41 racecourses have supported the Scheme. Whilst they would have liked all the racecourses to have joined they fully respect that it is entirely voluntary.
The Members are encouraged that Arena have expressed their own positive approach to future relations in their correspondence and demonstrate this in their investment in the industry and the Members welcome that and reciprocate accordingly.
Following this meeting the two RCA representatives supported the views of the Members from their BHB perspective and confirmed from their RCA perspective that, whilst holding contrary views to those expressed in the legal opinion, they too saw no merit in legal action by anyone or in debating the issue further.
The BHB Chairman endorsed the view of the Members and commented: “My goal has always been to bring all segments of this industry together as initiatives such as the Future Funding Plan, BHB Prize Money Incentive Scheme and BHB Structure Review have demonstrated. It is BHB’s role to balance the interests of all sectors of the industry and do its best to ensure that all sectors are treated fairly.”