Dance faces challenge for place on RFU CouncilBy Alan Manicom
February 15, 2012
Jonathan Dance is facing his first challenge in 18 years as Berkshire’s representative on the RFU council.
Grassroots clubs’ dismay at the way the RFU is being run has led to support for former Premiership referee Ashley Rowden to stand against Dance.
Rowden, who has been a professional referee since 1994 and is also the owner of ARMS Logistics/Couriers, is reported to have said: “Clubs feel disenfranchised and want to be represented by someone more in touch with the modern game.
“I’m open and honest and what clubs are telling me is they need a new voice. There’s a perception among clubs, rightly or wrongly, that council members fudge decisions to suit their own ends. Well, I’m not going to fudge anything because I’ve been making big decisions every weekend for the last 20 years.”
Dance, a solicitor and former director and group secretary of Calor Group, has been on the county committee since 1977.
He is also Bracknell president and a vice-president of several other Berkshire clubs.
His RFU work includes serving on the governance committee, being chairman of the ticket sub committee, on the management board and the 2015 World Cup working group as well as being a representative on the International Rugby Board.
He declined to comment on being challenged, saying only: “We have an agreement not to talk to the press.”
All nominations have to be made by the end of this month, but at the moment it looks like being a straight choice between Rowden and Dance.
Berkshire’s 14 class one clubs – Redingensians, Reading Abbey, Reading, Shire Hall, Aldermaston, Thatcham, Hungerford, Bracknell, Broadmoor Staff, Maidenhead, Newbury, Newbury Stags, Tadley and Windsor – must notify the RFU of their decision by April 1.
Andrew Harris, president of the Berks RFU, said: “Each candidate will be talking to the various clubs in the county as to why they should be elected.
“I do not want to be seen to be on one side or the other, but it is healthy to be constitutional even if we have not had an election in recent years.”