NORTH WEST INTERMEDIATE RUGBY UNION LEAGUES
Main Sponsors Bateman BMW, and Raging Bull, who took over from The University of Salford as our main sponsor.
Committee Present. Fred. Swarbrick; Reg. Robinson; John Powell; Ian Cosens; Jon Daldry; Howard Hughes; Andy Thompson; Peter Rhodes.
Apologies. Tony Ayin; Greg King; Craig Hine.
Representing the clubs. Don Edmondson, William Borrett, Martin Parkinson (Eccles) Neil Hawkley (Marple) Clive Ennis (Broughton) Alan Marsland, Barry Allen (Broughton Park) Ian Hollis, Matt Grundy (Orrell) Ian Fortune (West Park) David Burrows, Bert Lambert, Simon Hoyle (Colne & Nelson) Mike Hampson Derek Leake (Leigh) John Jeskins, Dave Todd (Heaton Moor) Colin Durkin (Referees)
Meeting Opened 20.05hrs.
Fred Swarbrick opened the meeting by welcoming all present to the AGM of NOWIRUL in this 10th anniversary year. He said that another successful season had passed and the leagues go from strength to strength in spite of inclement weather and ever more complicated rules. His thanks went to Reg. Robinson and Barry Allen for managing a large number of re-arrangements due to bad weather. He acknowledged that this had been made a little easier by the change in the structure of the cup competitions which allowed one extra free Saturday for most leagues. This also made cup competitions more equal and better finals as seen at Caldy and Wilmslow last week. Further thanks went to all our sponsors and particularly to our main sponsor – Raging Bull – who had stepped into the breach left by the University of Salford. He reminded us all that there is still room for sub-sponsors of individual leagues at only £200 per season. This season the rules have been upheld pretty well with very few complaints and no appeals. As promised at the last AGM John Powell and Greg King had met with the Premier League teams to discuss Premier League structure with a final agreement to leave things as they are for a further 2 seasons and possibly look at things again in the light of further experience. Thanks are also due to John Powell for the excellent and accurate way he keeps the accounts and his report will follow shortly. Fred also praised to work and dedication of the Association referees and their organisers. Their efforts now mean that 95% of our matches now get a neutral referee which is a great result.
Fred asked for the minutes of the 2012 AGM to be approved.
Proposed by David Burrows. Seconded by Barry Allen.
Reg. Robinson reported that the season had been concluded successfully and gratefully acknowledged the assistance of Barry Allen in making many re-arranged fixtures due to bad weather. This seasons 14 teams were lost to the leagues due to inabilities to fulfil fixtures and to date 10 applications have been accepted to replace them. He proposes that next seasons league structure will be 14 team leagues down to division 3 with division 4 being 13 team leagues and division 5 being 11 team leagues. This will leave room to accommodate late applications and allow lower teams to start the season a little later allowing for cricket and late holidays to finish before rugby starts. However this may have to be re-thought for the 2014/15 season as it is possible that a number of the teams from Cumbria may be returning to us. Reg. apologised for confusion regarding the colouring of the relegation part of the league on the web site. The problem is now solved and will not be repeated. Finally Reg. thanked fixture secretaries from all clubs who had been very helpful to himself and Barry Allen in finding dates to play re-arranged matches.
John Powell reported that the financial health of the leagues is still very good although somewhat down from last season. This was due to less sponsorship money being received and fewer teams partaking in our leagues due to the loss of the Cumbria clubs. Expenses were also higher than before due to 2 extra cup competitions requiring extra trophies and higher quality mementoes being awarded. Approximately £3000 is still owed to the leagues from various sources but this will not account for the entire shortfall. John urged more sponsors should be sought to assist with funds but in the meantime he proposed that the annual fee for each team to be a member of NOWIRUL should be raised to £50. Reg. Robinson seconded this proposal and when put to the vote it was carried by 23 votes for and 2 against.
Election of Officers
As the whole committee is prepared to stand again it was proposed that all members should be re-elected en-block.
Proposed by Barry Allen, Seconded by Dan Edmondson.
At the vote, carried unanimously.
It was noted that Tony Ayin is unable to continue as Commercial Manager due to personal reasons.
Barry Allen proposed that John Adams should return to his previous position as Commercial Manager and confirmed that he was willing to do so. Seconded by Andy Thompson.
At the vote. carried unanimously.
The committee noted that Rule 20 might have a serious detrimental effect on small clubs if teams that are expelled 2 seasons running are refused re-entry to the leagues. Furthermore there is the possibility that the committee might be over-ruled by a County CB or by the RFU in the event of an appeal. It was therefore proposed that a refundable bond of £100 should be levied on any team that has been excluded and re-admitted the following season. This will be refunded upon completing the next season successfully. This bond will rise to £200 if a team is excluded 2 seasons running and so on.
This proposed by Andy Thompson, seconded by Reg Robinson.
At the vote. For 20, Against 0, Abstained 5. Carried.
Premier League. John Powell proposed that the Premier League should continue as at present for 2 more seasons in accordance with the proposal at the meeting he and Greg King held with the Premier League representatives. Seconded by Reg. Robinson.
At the vote, Carried unanimously.
The Premier League teams also suggested that trophies be awarded at the break point in the season and also at the end of the season for winners in Conference ‘B’. Discussion around the meeting felt that trophies at the half-way point in the season were unnecessary but perhaps teams in Conference ‘B’ should have something to play for. Alan Marsland proposed an amendment to the motion suggestion a trophy should be awarded at the end of the season for the highest team in Conference’B’. Seconded by John Jeskins.
At the vote, For 10, Against 4, Abstained 11.
Alan Marsland volunteered to supply the Trophy.
The Premier League teams also suggested that no winning margins should be recorded greater than 60 points difference regardless of the score at 80 minutes. Alan Marsland suggested this should apply across all leagues and not just the Premier league. After discussion around the room it was felt that this measure could lead to too much confusion and was rejected without a vote.
The committee feels that Rule 16 needed re-wording and clarifying to determine promotion and relegation more fairly. Match points scored can sometimes produce an unbalance view if a team has been fortunate to play opposition unusually weak or has been given ‘walk-overs’ and had no chance to score match points. Various views were aired around the room but finally John Jeskins came up with the following amendment.
League position shall be determined by
(1) League points awarded
Should this be equal,
(2) Team with least concedes takes senior position.
Should this be equal,
(3) Head to head results.
Should this be equal.
(4) Toss of a coin.
Proposer John Jeskins. Seconder Barry Allen.
At the vote, Carried unanimously.
Rule 14 should be amended to say that in the Premier League each side shall supply a minimum of 12 players for a game to go ahead. Other rules regarding difference in numbers of players starting a game to remain unchanged
Proposed by John Powell. Seconded by Reg. Robinson
At the vote. Carried unanimously
Rule 5 shall be amended to say that a minimum of 2 teams shall be guaranteed promotion from all leagues below the Premier League.
Proposed by Reg. Robinson, Seconded by Ian Cosens
At the vote. For 24 Against 1. Carried.
David Burrows announced that dates and venues for referee training were now available and candidates will be informed. Association referees should note that they would be welcomed at meeting of the various Referee Societies in the region which they might find useful.
Peter Rhodes announced to all clubs that any player receiving a red card for any reason should be suspended by his club until the outcome of a disciplinary hearing is known. Counties will endeavour to hold disciplinary hearing as soon as is possible.
Meeting closed 21.40 hrs.