The series of blunders that the Managing Committee was committing in the last two years culminated in the embarrassing defeat of the special resolutions and amendments to the Articles of the Association by the majority of the members who participated in the postal ballot.
The Managing Committee insisted on having a postal ballot to get the approval for online betting and added so many resolutions. The members believed the majority of resolutions were far-reaching and that they needed a discussion before being put to vote.
What was shocking was that more than 100 odd members did not bother to exercise their franchise thus showing their lack of commitment to the sport. The others simply surrendered their right to somebody else to exercise the vote. Those who spearheaded the move to defeat the resolutions collected the forms from the members who signed and allowed these people to fill up the response and forwarded it to the club.
All the resolutions were defeated including the crucial one of seeking the clearance to conduct online betting for which the government had given the nod. This was crucial in the post COVID era but in the eagerness to shame the committee, the members did not bother to see the larger picture.
Since the crucial resolution relating to online betting has been rejected by the members, this Managing Committee cannot ethically reintroduce the resolution to incorporate online betting again. The professionals and racehorse owners associated with the sport are getting restive while the Managing Committee is shamelessly busy playing politics. There was a move to remove the chairman. There is also talk of a no-confidence resolution against the Managing Committee.
The members should set aside their difference in the interest of racing. They should unite and resolve the impasse and break the deadlock. The Managing Committee would do well to convene an informal meeting of members to secure the consent of the members themselves to seek a requisition meeting towards resolving the matter. This is no time for bickering. The informal meeting could be convened as early as Saturday to save time.
The Special Resolution relating to online betting having been defeated, it would neither be legally correct nor ethically justified to introduce it again. However, the way out of the impasse could be for the Board to persuade members to requisition a meeting under Section 100 (2) of the Articles of the Association seeking an amendment to the Articles for the sole and limited purpose of introducing a suitable clause to facilitate online betting. . The members thereafter could give a requisition for such a meeting. In the normal course, such a resolution may not have been required as the government had given the go-ahead for online betting but since the move has been made by the Managing Committee, they cannot go back.
It would not be difficult to secure the signature of about 40 members for seeking an EGM. The Board would then be legally bound to convene an EGM under Sec 100 (2) of the Companies Act 2013. The entire process can be completed before October 31 and racing can commence from November 1. There is a way out but what is required is a will to start racing.
To avoid any confrontation and setback, the requisitionists who had opposed the postal ballot have to be informally talked to and their concurrence sought before stepping forward. The Managing Committee can thereafter even have a physical meeting organized (in lieu of the meeting through Zoom) and have seating on two floors which can accommodate more than 100 members. In fact, balloting can be kept open for two days after the EGM so as to avoid physical congregation and breaking the existing rules due to COVID Pandemic.
Reasons may have to be adduced for re-introducing such a resolution but the compulsions have to be set out in the explanatory statement. It needs to be emphasized that the legal premise of the disputed land belonging to the club as long as the racing is conducted will stand eroded if no racing is held.
Each blockage is a blockage. Each impasse is an impasse. You have to find a solution; there is no recipe that fits all. If you keep the welfare of the institution and the sport, nothing is impossible.