IF you were someone daft enough to bring your company or organisation into disrepute by going public in the media to slag off one of the main stakeholders in your firm, then I suspect your feet wouldn’t touch the ground on the way into the HR department for your P45.

I speak with some experience here as a former shop steward. Bringing a company into disrepute is a catch-all phrase that used to be commonplace and meant exactly whatever the company wanted it to mean. That’s why it was always very easy to win such cases for the employee’s side – there were always cases of managers doing something worse and getting off scot-free and HR professionals are aye reluctant to face an employment tribunal in such cases.

In any case of industrial dispute based on alleged transgression by an employee, there is a laid-down procedure which usually follows a simple path: the person is suspended to allow an investigation into the alleged offence, the company’s management duly inquires and brings forward its case, the employee and his representative – usually but not always a trade union rep – can challenge the findings and then management do what they were always going to do in the first place, whether that was giving the offender a warning or the sack. You may detect my cynicism about industrial relations here.

I have waited in vain these past few hours for an announcement from Murrayfield about the suspension of Mark Dodson. The Scottish Rugby Union chief executive has been named by a World Rugby disciplinary panel that found the organisation brought the sport into disrepute after Dodson’s words prior to the Japan v Scotland cancellation that never happened.

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Let me say at the outset that I believe World Rugby’s playing of the World Cup finals during Japan’s typhoon season was incompetence of the highest fashion. You don’t need to be an ardent environmentalist to know that Japan is being hit by more and stronger typhoons as a result of climate change and it was highly likely, given the extent of the tournament, that a major typhoon would hit one of the locations where matches were being played – as duly happened.

Whoever thought that the finals would luck out and avoid a typhoon that was going to be anything other than a disaster for Japan, never mind the tournament, must have been stocious from imbibing the Black Stuff in World Rugby’s home city of Dublin.

That the rules did not allow postponement or transfer of matches that were under threat from a typhoon is just ludicrous. It is incumbent on World Rugby to find out why there was no flexibility and fire the people responsible.

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Yet the rules were the rules, the SRU signed up to them and Mark Dodson was on the World Rugby Council that oversaw those rules. For the chief executive to then imply that the SRU might take legal action against the organisers – a wholly owned subsidiary of World Rugby – and carry on doing so even after being warned was crass and insensitive. Especially given the fact that even as Dodson was mouthing off, Typhoon Hagibis was barrelling towards Japan with ultimately fatal effect.

It doesn’t matter that the “independent” disciplinary committee was appointed by World Rugby, the tribunal are all senior lawyers from England, New Zealand and Australia, led by English QC Christopher Quinlan – hint, hint SRU chaps, trying to get the chair to stand down from the case was a stupid move, as is attacking their independence. Doh!

Given the extensive rules covering the tournament, the committee is correct in its findings, if completely over the top in ordering a fine of £70,000 to be paid to charity. And the fact that England’s beaten finalists are not being hit by the same disrepute charge for taking off their losers medals really sticks in my craw because that was way worse than Dodson’s offence.

The key paragraph in the committee’s findings was about Dodson’s campaign against the possible postponement: “We find that this was part of a campaign wrongly played out in public designed to put pressure on Rugby World Cup Limited to have the match played.”

There you have it in a nutshell: Dodson’s campaign was misconduct “in public” and that’s where the disrepute element comes in.

The findings make the point that Dodson personally was not charged. But the SRU was charged over his remarks and as a consequence, £70,000 is going to be lost from the Scottish game, while the reputation of the sport in Scotland has been dragged through the mud.

Mark Dodson should accept responsibility for his misconduct and resign. Otherwise, the SRU board and council must suspend him and investigate his conduct forthwith, at the very least deducting the £70,000 from his ample salary.