What is happening in Rugby?
By Laurence Gale
Hot on the heels of Tony Horne's dismissal from the Millenium stadium comes the news that Heather McKinnon has left her position at Murrayfield.
There has been no official press release regarding Heather's departure, however one of the Murrayfield PR staff stated that a recent restructuring of the grounds maintenance department has seen the appointment of a new Head Groundsman who has been given additional responsibilities within the running of the stadium. All existing staff were entitled to apply for the new post. Heather was not appointed but was offered a position within the new staffing structure. Heather declined this offer and has left Murrayfield.
Probably more mystifying, however, is the sacking of Millenium Stadium Head Groundsman, Tony Horne, and assistant Dave Pearce. Tony is regarded as one of the most experienced groundsmen in rugby. He has been preparing pitches for 18 years, including the old Cardiff Arms Park.
Apparently, a new management team had been tasked with streamlining operations to help solve the Welsh Rugby Union's cash crisis.
A statement issued on behalf of the WRU confirmed that the two men had been dismissed on 1 March. "The decision to terminate their employment came after a 10-month review of the operation of the Millennium Stadium by the general manager, Paul Sergeant."
The WRU says that the terms of the pair's dismissal remains "private between the individuals concerned and the Millennium Stadium".
Not surprisingly, Tony and Dave are taking legal advice over whether it is unfair dismissal by the Welsh Rugby Union.