Nick Bunting’s sudden and shock departure from his role as Chief Exec of the MSA yesterday caught the majority of people within the sport by surprise. Indeed it would appear that only senior staff members within the MSA were aware of the decision before it was made public.
Earlier this week a senior sporting figure talked with Mr Bunting at which there was no inkling that within 48 hours Mr Bunting would no longer be there and in a position to address the issues being discussed.
Which suggests the whole affair was all rather sudden and unexpected. So who fired the bullet, or was it simply a matter of Mr Bunting staring down the headlights?
With 28 members of the Motor Sports Council (not counting the Chief Exec who has a position in Council) plus the President, two vice presidents and an Honorary member, it would have been pretty impossible to get a consensus quickly.
Had it not been for the fact that he was only appointed to the post less than 7 months ago, it would have made few headlines. However, the shock departure, after such a short time scale, and after all the praise and expectation that was promised when the MSA made the initial appointment last March, has created more questions than answers.
For the present, no one is willing to go on record. In the press statement both sides praised each other, but if they thought that would end the matter, it has only raised more questions.
Running any sporting governing body is never easy and there are always factions within attempting to influence or control decisions and directions, and motor sport is no different. Which is a pity because it is always the sport and its participants who suffer most from bad decisions.
So for the moment we really don’t know what provoked this unexpected turn of events and will need to wait till the MSA publishes their annual account before we find out if there were any ‘golden hello’ or ‘golden goodbye’ payments made, as seems to be the way with senior execs these days!
The trouble is, these people are not just dealing with sporting matters, they are responsible for the income generated by licence holders, event permit payers and championship organisers to conduct the ‘business’ of running this primarily amateur sport.
We have a right to know what is going on.
And here’s another thing, who selected and appointed Mr Bunting in the first place? And will the same people choose his successor?
The regulation and promotion of Motor Sport may just present an interesting intellectual and logistical challenge to some of these folk, but it can be the very essence of life for the rest of us. There are many people in positions of sporting authority these days who fail to comprehend that simple fact.