Last year I promised that 2016 would be interesting. It turned out to be the case in more ways than could possibly have been foreseen!
Our Judicial Review regarding Sport England's non recognition of Bridge as a sport went ahead. Although we were ruled against, early in January we will be in court again for application for "leave to appeal". Should that be granted we will get a full hearing before the Court of Appeal sometime later. If the last time was anything to go by, that will generate very considerable interest from the media, and not just in England.
Our court dates with HMRC regarding the VAT status for competition bridge also went ahead. After a second hearing in the Upper Tier Tribunal, both sides agreed to refer the case to the European Court and we expect that ruling sometime in 2017.
Also, early in the New Year, we expect to implement our new membership management system. It has been a long time coming, but better we deal with issues before we implement, rather than after. We are aiming for an implementation in January.
As we are fast approaching the festive season I would like to send the best wishes of all EBU staff for a happy festive season and a healthy 2017.