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The Football Pools, an iconic Liverpool business, first started selling its coupons outside Old Trafford, home of fierce rivals Manchester United

On average we have a winner every 3 minutes

We have a presence in over 25 countries

The Football Pools is the UK’s favourite football gaming brand

Pools, or tote betting, is the most popular legal form of sports-based betting outside of the UK

The global pools market in football and horseracing is worth $80 billion

We donated £600 million to help fund major improvements in stadium safety across many clubs in the UK

The global gaming market is worth $350 billion and growing +5% year on year

Sportech is one of the leading suppliers and operators of pools/tote betting in the world

Sportech has launched a Joint Venture in India

The biggest ever Football Pools top prize was £4 million won in March 2010

The Football Pools is the world’s oldest football gaming company

Across North America, Sportech Racing has a 50% market share in horseracing pools

We have paid out over £3.2 billion in prize money to our customers

We are the exclusive operator of pools/tote betting on horseracing in the Netherlands

We are the leading provider of horseracing wagering solutions in North America with over 25,000 terminals

The Football Pools has over 360,000 players every week

We process over $13 billion in bets every year

Over the years we have donated over £1.3 billion to good causes


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Corporate governance 

Nomination committee


We aim to provide transparent
and regular information to
our stakeholders


1.2 The committee shall comprise at least three directors. A majority of the members of the committee shall be independent non-executive directors.

1.3 Only members of the committee have the right to attend committee meetings. However, other individuals such as the chief executive, the company secretary and external advisers may be invited to attend for all or part of any meeting, as and when appropriate and necessary.

1.4 Appointments to the committee are made by the board and shall be for a period of up to three years, which may be extended for further periods of up to three-years, provided the director still meets the criteria for membership of the committee.

1.5 The board shall appoint the committee chairman who should be either the chairman of the board or an independent non-executive director. In the absence of the committee chairman and/or an appointed deputy, the remaining members present shall elect one of themselves to chair the meeting from those who would qualify under these terms of reference to be appointed to that position by the board. The chairman of the board shall not chair the committee when it is dealing with the matter of succession to the post of chairman.

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The company secretary or his or her nominee shall act as the secretary of the committee.

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The quorum necessary for the transaction of business shall be two both of whom must be non-executive directors. A duly convened meeting of the committee at which a quorum is present shall be competent to exercise all or any of the authorities, powers and discretions vested in or exercisable by the committee.

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The committee shall meet at least twice a year and otherwise as required. Meetings may be held by telephone.

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5.1 Meetings of the committee shall be called by the secretary of the committee at the request of the committee chairman.

5.2 Unless otherwise agreed, notice of each meeting confirming the venue, time and date, together with an agenda of items to be discussed, shall be forwarded to each member of the committee, any other person required to attend and all other non-executive directors, no later than five working days before the date of the meeting. Supporting papers shall be sent to committee members and to other attendees as appropriate, at the same time.

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6.1 The secretary shall minute the proceedings and resolutions of all committee meetings, including the names of those present and in attendance.

6.2 Draft minutes of committee meetings shall be circulated promptly to all members of the committee. Once approved, minutes should be circulated to all other members of the board unless it would be inappropriate to do so.

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The committee chairman should attend the annual general meeting to answer any shareholder questions on the committee's activities.

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The committee should carry out the duties below as appropriate.

8.1 The committee shall:

  1. 8.1.1 regularly review the structure, size and composition (including the skills, knowledge, experience and diversity) of the board and make recommendations to the board with regard to any changes;
  2. 8.1.2 give full consideration to succession planning for directors and other senior executives in the course of its work, taking into account the challenges and opportunities facing the company, and the skills and expertise needed on the board in the future;
  3. 8.1.3 keep under review the leadership needs of the company and the group, both executive and non-executive, with a view to ensuring the continued ability of the company and the group to compete effectively in the marketplace;
  4. 8.1.4 keep up to date and fully informed about strategic issues and commercial and regulatory changes affecting the company and the group and the market in which it operates;
  5. 8.1.5 be responsible for identifying and nominating for the approval of the board, candidates to fill board vacancies as and when they arise;
  6. 8.1.6 before any appointment is made by the board, evaluate the balance of skills, knowledge, experience and diversity on the board, and, in the light of this evaluation prepare a description of the role and capabilities required for a particular appointment. In identifying suitable candidates the committee shall:
  7. use open advertising or the services of external advisers to facilitate the search;
  8. consider candidates from a wide range of backgrounds;
  9. consider candidates on merit and against objective criteria and with due regard for the benefits of diversity on the board, including gender, taking care that appointees have enough time available to devote to the position;
  10. have regard to the requirement that any appointed candidate will need to comply with the disclosure requirements and meet the suitability criteria of any gambling regulatory authority that has jurisdiction over the company’s activities from time to time;
  11. 8.1.7 for the appointment of a chairman, prepare a job specification, including the time commitment expected. A proposed chairman's other significant commitments should be disclosed to the board before appointment and any changes to the chairman's commitments should be reported to the board as they arise;
  12. 8.1.8 prior to the appointment of a director, require that the proposed appointee discloses any other business interests that may result in a conflict of interest and acknowledges a requirement for them to report any future business interests that could result in a conflict of interest;
  13. 8.1.9 prior to the appointment of a director, ensure that the proposed appointee is fully aware of, and acknowledges the requirement for them to comply with, the disclosure requirements and meet the suitability criteria of any gambling regulatory authority that has jurisdiction over the company’s activities from time to time;
  14. 8.1.10 ensure that on appointment to the board, non-executive directors receive a formal letter of appointment setting out clearly what is expected of them in terms of disclosure requirements for regulatory purposes, time commitment, committee service and involvement outside board meetings;
  15. 8.1.11 review the results of the board performance evaluation process that relate to the composition of the board; and
  16. 8.1.12 review annually the time required from non-executive directors. Performance evaluation should be used to assess whether the non-executive directors are spending enough time to fulfil their duties.

8.2 The committee shall also make recommendations to the board concerning:

  1. 8.2.1 formulating plans for succession for both executive and non-executive directors and in particular for the key roles of chairman and chief executive;
  2. 8.2.2 suitable candidates for the role of senior independent director;
  3. 8.2.3 membership of the audit and remuneration committees, and any other board committees as appropriate, in consultation with the chairmen of those committees;
  4. 8.2.4 the re-appointment of any non-executive directors at the conclusion of their specified term of office having given due regard to their performance and ability to continue to contribute to the board in the light of the knowledge, skills and experience required;
  5. 8.2.5 the re-election by shareholders of directors under the annual re-election provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code (the "Code") or the retirement by rotation provisions in the company's articles of association, having due regard to their performance and ability to continue to contribute to the board in the light of the knowledge, skills and experience required and the need for progressive refreshing of the board (particularly in relation to directors being re-elected for a term beyond six years);
  6. 8.2.6 any matters relating to the continuation in office of any director at any time including the suspension or termination of service of an executive director as an employee of the company subject to the provisions of the law and their service contract; and
  7. 8.2.7 the appointment of any director to executive or other office.

8.3 All recommendations of the committee, in respect of the appointment of directors, shall be referred to the board and shall only take effect when approved by resolution of the board at a meeting which is properly convened and constituted and otherwise made in accordance with the company’s articles of association.

8.4 The committee may consider nominees put forward by any member of the board.

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9.1 The committee chairman shall report to the board on its proceedings after each meeting on all matters within its duties and responsibilities.

9.2 The committee shall make whatever recommendations to the board it deems appropriate on any area within its remit where action or improvement is needed.

9.3 The committee shall produce a report to be included in the company's annual report about its activities, the process used to make appointments and explain if external advice or open advertising has not been used.

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The committee shall:

10.1 have access to sufficient resources in order to carry out its duties, including access to the company secretariat for assistance as required;

10.2 be provided with appropriate and timely training, both in the form of an induction programme for new members and on an ongoing basis for all members;

10.3 give due consideration to laws and regulations, the provisions of the Code and the requirements of the UK Listing Authority's Listing, Prospectus and Disclosure and Transparency Rules and any other applicable Rules, as appropriate; and

10.4 arrange for periodic reviews of its own performance and, at least annually, review its constitution and terms of reference to ensure it is operating at maximum effectiveness and recommend any changes it considers necessary to the board for approval.

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The committee is authorised by the board to obtain, at the company's expense, outside legal or other professional advice on any matters within its terms of reference.


May 2011

Annual Report

Related links

IR contacts

Private shareholder enquiries
Capita Registrars

Seema Shah, EA to Chief Executive
Tel: 020 7268 2400

For any other Sportech PLC enquiries please call 020 7268 2400 or email