At the Table Tennis England AGM on July 8, the Board put forward a proposal so that table tennis would meet the standards of governance required by the Government and Sport England before they would allocate public funding to sports. That proposal needed 75 per cent of support from leagues and counties to be accepted. It received 74.93 per cent and therefore failed.

As a result, Table Tennis England is now in breach of its funding agreement with Sport England as it is not compliant with the mandatory provisions of the Government’s Code for Sports Governance, which sets out how sports governing bodies such as Table Tennis England, must operate at Board level.

Our total funding from Sport England over the 2017-21 period was set at about £9million. We were due to receive the latest tranche of this funding from Sport England this month, provided we showed we were compliant with the Code. The vote against the Board’s proposal means this funding has been suspended with immediate effect.

This will have obvious implications on Table Tennis England’s ability to service you, our members. The Board met immediately on Saturday night and will do so again this week. We are also in close contact with Sport England, who have issued their own statement here.

Please rest assured that every single one of you, our members, matter to us and we intend to work harder than ever to ensure you receive the service you deserve. However, non-committed spend is now on hold. All non-committed expenditure will be considered on a case by case basis.

Chairman Sandra Deaton said:

The Board had the only workable proposal on the table, together with a strong commitment that we would continue to work together to see if there were any improvements which could be made. Had this received the support of three-quarters of the counties and leagues, we would now be compliant and our future would have been secured with a guarantee of nearly £9 million.

Despite being told of the consequences, the action of a small number of the individuals, some with their own agendas, have meant that the Association is now in a suspended state of business.

Table tennis has become the first sport to fail to deliver on the Government’s requirements for funding. This has put our future at risk, as well as every programme we operate.

The Board’s absolute priority is to work with Sport England to agree a satisfactory plan of remedial action to see if we can get the immediate funding payment released. Then and only then can we consider the next steps to ensure full compliance with the Code which would secure the rest of the c £9m of 2017-21 funding.