Minutes for 7th Dec 2014

Minutes of Committee Meeting held at Bolton on

7th December 2014


Committee Present.    Fred. Swarbrick; Peter Rhodes; Reg. Robinson; John Powell; Ian Cosens;  Jon Daldry;  Howard Hughes; Greg King; Craig Hine.

Apologies. Andy Thompson;

Meeting Opened 18.30hrs.


Matters Arising.          None


Finance.                     Our new treasurer, Greg King, reported a healthy balance in the main account with a further useful sum in the Benevolent Fund. Monies are still outstanding from our main sponsors, Raging Bull, and from County Couriers who sponsor Division 2 North. These monies are expected soon along with the first Tranche payment from The RFU. It was noted that referee expenses were up and a sum will soon be paid to Jim Gooch for setting up the link from “Film My Match” to YouTube. A further combined sum of £2500 will be received from Lancashire and Cheshire RFU’s but this will entirely taken up in providing referee equipment and training.


Sponsorship.    Ian Cosens reports that sponsorship matters are all in hand but he is still trying to identify support for individual leagues.


Dinner             The annual Presentation Dinner is confirmed to be held at Bowdon RUFC on May 8th 2015. Members of the committee will visit Bowdon to finalise arrangements with officials there and set menus and costs. A full guest list will be drawn up at a later date but it was agreed to invite a Past President of the RFU and also Daniel King in appreciation of the valuable assistance afforded to his father; our treasurer; during a very busy period immediately prior to the season when Subscriptions and Codes of Conduct have to be received from all our clubs.


Finals               Our cup finals will be held on May 2nd 2015 and clubs have been invited to bid to hold this lucrative event by a notice on the web site. So far no bids have been received but proformas have been sent to West Park (St. Helens); Sandbach; and Aldwinians. It is understood that Rossendale are likely to add to this list shortly. Clubs are reminded that with the new format of 6 cups and the finals held at 2 venues on the same day, it is within the capability of almost any club to bid for this event.


Adult Review   Many people will be aware that the RFU has conducted this review of Rugby Union throughout England. It is believed that this review was conducted by Royal Mail and from the replies received the RFU concluded that leagues throughout England should revert to 12 team leagues for the 2016/2017 season and beyond. This change seems to be largely supported by clubs in the South of England.

                                    In the North West most clubs feel that the 14 team format is preferable and has operated most successfully for some years. This way clubs get maximum use from their facilities, particularly bar turnover, and without this may struggle to survive financially.

Fred Swarbrick is violently opposed to the new proposals and, with a number of like minded rugby men has canvassed 232 clubs in the North of England to seek their opinions. He and his team received over a 90% response to his questions and concluded that well in excess of 80% of clubs throughout the north prefer 14 team leagues. This matter is by no means resolved and further meetings and consultations are scheduled to take place around the country to determine the final outcome. If, in fact, 12 team leagues are introduced attempts will be made to allow 14 team leagues in the North West if possible. If 12 team leagues are forced upon the Clubs in the RFU leagues it is expected that The NOWIRUL leagues will remain at 14 teams in spite of the likely difficulties in matching fixtures conveniently. Further reports on this matter can be expected.


A.O.B.  Reg. Robinson confirmed that this will be his last season as Secretary. A replacement needs now to be identified to ensure a smooth takeover. Grass roots rugby should be grateful to have had this fine servant of our great game in this position for 11 seasons.

                        Barry Allen is to retire from his fixture making responsibilities. Once again we are all grateful for his valuable input and a person with good I.T. skills needs to be found to replace him. Howard Hughes is to speak to Barry to find a way forward.


                        Reg. Robinson, and others, expressed concern at the high numbers of conceded matches in the first 2 rounds of our cups. Reg. would like to propose to the next AGM that cup concedes should count double. As yet he is unable to find a seconder for this proposal. All committee members to try and think of changes that may result in fewer concedes in cups.


                        John Powell is also concerned at the number of concedes in the leagues. So far this season 9% of matches have been conceded and 9 teams have already been excluded with several teams with only 1 life left. Not good with the season not even half way through. He also reported 12 games postponed for various reasons. Re-scheduling these games is not expected to be a problem. On the plus side the Premiership is proving to be a good close competition this season with fewer mis-matches. At least 3 teams are competing closely to get into Conference ‘A’ with 2 games to go.


Cup Draw                    At the conclusion of the meeting the draw for the next round of the cups took place. Pairings will appear on the web site later this week.


Meeting closed 19.35