John Claughton, the chairman of the cricket committee of Warwickshire, quit at the end of last week. I have mixed feelings about it as I write this piece. On the one hand I feel very happy that a person who was clearly not suited to the job has left. I remember vividly his performance at the watershed members forum in September, when he insisted the club was making progress and looked stunned and somewhat lost as his statements were greeted with howls of derision and heckling. He was involved fairly strongly in the (in hindsight) disastrous appointment of Mark Greatbatch and seemed blind to the coach and team's failings throughout last season.
On the other hand I feel somewhat sorry that an individual in a voluntary position has clearly had a rough ride and has had to quit a role at a club he seems to care for.
I would say that although being a volunteer, the chairman of cricket cannot be held to account in the same way as say a chief executive or coach, who are handsomely rewarded for delivering success and therefore have a right to expect to cop flak when they fail to deliver that which they are paid for. However being a volunteer in itself is no defence against receiving criticism for doing a poor job. Equally where a voluntary position affects others, those with a vested interest have a right to expect at the least competence from the individual in question.
I think the criticism he received at the members forum in September was disproportionate, and my general feelings about that meeting are documented elsewhere in this blog. I feel he should have expected some criticism, but the manner in which some members expressed their feelings at that meeting bordered on disgraceful and I can therefore understand how he could then feel he had to resign in order to preserve his reputation at large.
It is a shame that he ended his tenure on quite such a sour note. I feel that he probably should have gone following the results last season, so the outcome is correct. However it is a disappointment that his end had to come about in fairly acrimonious circumstances. I think there are some people who were responsible for some of the more confrontation behaviour at the forum who have no reason to feel proud at having forced Claughton out in such a way.
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