Rugby: McKie claims SRU was close to liquidation

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Former Scottish Rugby chief executive Gordon McKie has claimed that the business was “very close to being liquidated” until his arrival in 2005.

Newly installed in a similar position with the Hong Kong Football Association, the 54-year-old McKie has been painting a gloomy picture of life at Murrayfield in the middle of the last decade.

“I am not afraid of change, just like in 2005 when Scottish rugby was very close to being liquidated and I had to take a lot of tough measures to make the business work again” McKie has told the South China Morning Post, adding: “There is the perception the (Hong Kong football) association is not a well-run organisation, and I will change this perception as I have done similar things in Scottish rugby.

“At that time, the SRU had been run badly, with money being wasted. But thereafter, the business increased revenues and improved its reputation with key stakeholders including the Scottish Government, partner organisations and sponsors. It is a similar situation in Hong Kong, but here soccer is the No.1 sport and rugby is not in Scotland.”

At his departure it was acknowledged that McKie had cut debt but an abrasive management style coupled with an inability to grow the game on the rugby front were blamed for an internal coup.

During his term in charge on the pitch Scotland recorded 23 wins and 35 losses with one draw.

Meanwhile, the 2013 British and Irish Lions, to be managed by Edinburgh’s Andy Irvine, will kick off their tour in Hong Kong on June 1 against the Barbarians before playing three Tests against Australia as well as top Super 15 opposition in a 13-match schedule.