KNCB governance crisis: Betty Timmer responds

Betty Timmer Netherlands

Former KNCB chair and current CEO of Cricket Nederland BV Betty Timmer has responded as follows to the article ‘Former KNCB vice-chairman Lubbers steps into the fray’, published on 30 November:

“Over recent weeks I have read my name very regularly in your extremely one-sided articles on the Emerging Cricket website and you accuse me time after time of matters in which I have no part or dealing. I would have greatly appreciated it if you had approached me for clarification.

“The imputations against me in your most recent article really go too far. You suggest that I personally established a Governance Committee and that under my leadership a competing structure was established in order to evade the control of the clubs.

“Cricket Nederland BV was established with the objective of incorporating risk-filled activities, including the Super League events, and to be able to operate decisively. There was extensive consultation with the KNCB’s members about the establishment of Cricket Nederland, and a general meeting of the KNCB agreed to the establishment of this body.

“Making a profit is not the principal purpose of the enterprise, but it would be a pleasing by-product. That no profit has yet been made is not surprising in view of the pandemic we are current experiencing. No event was possible in 2020 and in 2021 we organised a series of matches against Ireland behind closed doors. If the events of the past two years had been organised by the KNCB the ‘loss’ would have been greater.

“I have always taken the view that Cricket Nederland must be part of the KNCB and that the involvement of the KNCB in this entity must be great. Both are striving for the same goal, to put Dutch cricket on the map. There is as far as I am concerned no question of a competing entity, and I have in the past year repeatedly sought contact with the KNCB.

“It is noteworthy that the Restore Trust group accuses the BV of insufficient financial transparency. The BV is required to account transparently to the Raad van Commissarissen [Supervisory Board] and this does take place, on the organisational as well as the financial side.

“Last summer I already signalled the importance I attach to transparency in relation to the activities of the BV and my willingness to be accountable to the KNCB’s Finance Committee, despite the fact that this is not required by the constitution of either body. The first meeting with the KNCB Finance Committee is scheduled for 7 December.

“It is worth recording that the financial question-and-answer session before a KNCB general meeting is attended by only a few people, and that the general meeting relies upon the judgement of the Finance Committee.

“The suggestion that I personally appointed a Governance Committee is incorrect; the Board of the KNCB did so. The KNCB Board has the power to call together an advisory committee and has frequently asked for advice on varying matters. The Governance Committee comprised four independent members who all contributed their own expertise. I want to point out that I did not know two of those committee members and had never previously met them. After the members of the Governance Committee had agreed to serve I informed the chairmen of their clubs.

“It is indeed true that the KNCB budget for 2021 was established during my chairmanship and that Mr Mulder was a member of the Board with responsibility for High Performance. The responsibility for the implementation of the programmes lies with the managers and in the final analysis with the CEO of the KNCB. The CEO of the KNCB quickly put the Board at a distance, and you can ask yourself whether that produced the desired result.

“There was open discussion in the Board which I was able to lead for five years and we did not avoid tough discussions, but there was always mutual respect. Personally, I therefore find it extremely regrettable that two experienced Board members have resigned. I worked productively with them for years, and have always greatly valued their professional contribution.

“I support the call for the appointment of an independent committee to investigate the current problems within Dutch cricket. No stone must be left unturned and all questions must be answered. I shall naturally co-operate fully with that.”

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