Thomas Resigns as Chairman of Rugby Football Union

July 11, 2011

Martyn Thomas has stood down from his position as chairman of the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

The announcement came as the RFU’s disciplinary officer published a report into the ousting of former chief executive John Steele in June.

It is understood Judge Jeff Blackett’s conclusion called for Thomas’s resignation along with nine non-executives on the management board. He will remain acting chief executive until a permanent appointment is made.

The rest of the management board have survived after a vote of no confidence was reported to have been defeated by a majority verdict.

In an RFU statement, Thomas said: “This was a difficult day for the Union but at the end of the day this does now mean we can finally move on.

“The most important thing was that we maintained stability for staff and our other partners and in the coming weeks I will be ensuring that we navigate to calmer waters and that we can get on with our core purpose of rugby.”

The RFU council discussed the 52-page report’s findings in a four-hour meeting on Sunday.

The full report will not be made public, but an executive summary will be put together by the panel in “a timely fashion”.

Thomas, who was made RFU chairman in April 2005, will remain chairman of Rugby World Cup 2015 – which is being staged in England and Wales – and will stay as an RFU representative on the International Rugby Board.

His decision to stand down leaves the RFU without a permanent chairman or permanent chief executive.