The Board of Directors has called an EGM as they are required to do upon the request of company members representing at least 5% of the voting membership. This came about following publication by Tony Catt, an elected director, of his intention to table motions of no confidence and to have Sandra Deaton, Chairman and Sara Sutcliffe MBE, Chief Executive Officer removed from office. The majority of the Board does not support these motions and have given their unequivocal support to Sandra and Sara. Tony has also proposed a similar motion regarding his own position on the Board.

It is important to understand how this position has arisen. Since summer 2020, a number of issues were raised concerning the behaviour of Tony Catt towards other members of the Board and Senior Leadership. Despite a number of attempts to deal with this internally, it proved unsuccessful. A formal complaint was then raised by the Chief Executive on behalf of those people directly affected.

Under the terms of our funding agreements with both Sport England and UK Sport, we reported this fact to both organisations. Both funding bodies made it clear that they expected the complaint to be fully and properly investigated independently. Arbitration service organisation, Sport Resolutions, was then engaged by the Board and an independent investigator was appointed.

The independent investigation commenced in December 2020 and the report has this week been received by the Board who are considering it. The cost of the investigation is £6,500 plus VAT. In the interests of everyone involved, it is not appropriate for us to comment further on the investigation at this stage.

Tony Catt had also raised concerns about Table Tennis England governance with Sport England last summer. Sport England investigated and concluded that it was ‘assured that the Board is operating effectively and that there is no evidence of governance malpractice.’

Table Tennis England will communicate further information in relation to the EGM on Friday 8 January. To access the most recent information regarding the EGM, or to register to attend, please visit our General Meeting page by clicking here. Please direct any enquiries to [email protected].

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all members and the table tennis community for their support during 2020, in what was a difficult year especially without being able to play the sport we all love. After the Government announcement on Monday 4 January, 2021 is starting off equally as challenging.

The Board and the staff have worked incredibly hard to manage the constantly changing Government advice for clubs, leagues, coaches and members as well as balancing the challenging financial position the pandemic has brought about. Table Tennis England’s Board and staff are committed to providing you and the sport with the support you need during these unprecedented times.