4 BIGGA-IOG Merger Talks End

The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) have ceased their investigations into a possible strategic merger of the two organisations.

A statement by the IOG says: "The IOG Board has decided that it would not be appropriate at this stage to proceed with the merger talks because the benefits to individual members and the profession as a whole do not justify such a course.

"However the IOG Board, in the same context, remains convinced that discussions should continue with a view to developing a closer working relationship between the two bodies."

The IOG Board decision was taken on Sunday, 2 December 2007 when all avenues of the possible merger were discussed. The IOG Board's decision was unanimous.

Alex Millar, IOG chairman says: "Every avenue has been explored and whilst at this current time it has not resulted in the recommendation for a merged body, it is hoped that the lines of communication between IOG and BIGGA will remain open and continue to benefit both organisations and the profession.

"In the meantime, the IOG will enthusiastically maintain the development of its exciting forward-thinking Challenging Perceptions strategic plan of action that is designed to raise the industry's profile and professionalism."

A statement from BIGGA

The Board of The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) has announced its intention to withdraw from merger discussions with the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) with immediate effect.

The IOG cite a lack of tangible additional membership benefits as the main reason for the decision therein highlighting the existing value of being a member of either organisation.

"It is agreed by both the IOG and ourselves that the principles of a merger are sound, however, following a period of deeper investigation several key issues remain unresolved, one of which is membership benefits. The BIGGA Board is naturally disappointed in this outcome and, having put several initiatives on hold pending the outcome of the talks, the Board will now reconsider its development policy," said John Pemberton, BIGGA's Chief Executive

"I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the talks, or supplied thoughts on the matter, and, in particular those, people from the BIGGA and the IOG and independent Chairman, David Teasdale, who gave up so much of their valuable time to sit on the working party," added John.

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