Minutes of Committee Meeting held January 14th 2009

Minutes for Miller Homes Committee Meeting held at Preston Grasshoppers

14th January  2009  

Present:          F W Swarbrick,           R Robinson,     J Powell,          A Thompson,  

I Cosens,          J Daldry,          G King,    H Hughes,        C Hine.           


Apologies:      J Adams.         


Matters Arising:       

The referees jerseys being provided for the Association Referees had now been sorted as regards the printing for all the sponsors. On the back of the jerseys would be the Miller Homes logo. On the front the Halbro logo and NOWIRUL logo plus refs own Association will be either side of the chest. John Smiths and Bateman BMW would be on each shoulder.

They were now ready to go to Halbro for make up.      



The treasurer announced a healthy balance.

He announced that the RFU cheque had now arrived and was in the total.

Unfortunately there had been a slip-up with the Scottish Newcastle cheque in that it had been made out to John Adams instead of to NOWIRUL so had gone back to be replaced.


New Website:            

It was explained to the Committee that certain items were still being dealt with. 3 Items had been outstanding, but one of them had been sorted, the new John Smiths logos were now on all the necessary pages.

One or two little blips had occurred and he asked all Committee members to ensure they put a “P” in the fixtures for all postponed games to ensure he could work on the postponed games correctly.

Jim Gooch had promised to have the other two items sorted out for the weekend. These were the provision of  “either/or” for the Cup draw. However in this case it would be temporary fix until it could be completely sorted. The other was the matter of postponed games not showing on the league results sent to the press. In Cup games postponed games come through OK.


RugbyFirst Website:            

The Secretary explained that this was now functioning well. However, he brought up the possibility of providing the Halbro Cups on the RFU website. He had already approached the Technical people on the website re providing this. He had been informed that it would probably meet all the requirements that we needed next season. Because we allow best losers back in after the first round he had been informed that there would be a new programme up and running for next season which would allow this.

He was now going to approach the Funding department to see if there would be any input from them for the work involved. 


Sponsorship and Sponsorship Secretary:                

The Chairman had met with John Adams and put forward some ideas re sponsorship to John. He now put these ideas to the Committee. The Committee discussed these ideas and agreed that they should be implemented. The Chairman would go back to John and see if he was in agreement.

The Chairman reported that Miller Homes would be OK to sponsor the following season but future seasons were not secured.

John Adams reported through the Chairman that he was interested in gaining sponsors for all our Leagues. It was pointed out that it could be difficult in getting sponsors for the lower Leagues. It was also queried whether we would allow a similar type of sponsor for another League, i.e. other Building firms for another League.

C Hine suggested that we leave it to John Adams to pursue the matter as it was his field. This was agreed by the Committee.


Halbro Cup Venues:             

The Secretary reported that we had four applications to hold the Halbro Finals.

These were from Birkenhead Park, Blackburn, Preston Grasshoppers and Stockport.

All applications were discussed and it was decided to leave Preston out of the bidding because they already host the League Dinner and there was a lack of detail in their presentation.

It was then decided that the Cup Committee would visit both Birkenhead Park and Stockport but not Blackburn, because they held the Finals last year and all particulars re the venue were well known.

The Cup Committee would report back and the Final decision would then be taken later on the Cup Committee’s recommendations.

The Secretary would reply (e-mail) to all four applicants explaining the decision. 

It was hoped to organise viewings at Birkenhead Park and Stockport early next week.

The Chairman reported that he had started to organise return of all the trophies. He had also visited the Trophy Centre in Lancaster to get assurances that all Trophies could be dealt with OK this year.

The Chairman also brought up the matter of what to give out to the Winners and Finalists in all the Cups. After discussion it was decided that we approach Halbro again to provide polo shirts, which seemed to go down well last year. The Chairman would contact John Adams to ask him to sort this out. It was agreed that we provide 22 shirts for each team, 20 for players and one each for the Manager/Coach and Physio. If a team wanted any more shirts John was to supply them with a contact at Halbro for them to buy additional ones.

Regarding the refs jerseys for the Finals Andy Thompson said he had some left over from a previous season and these would be used this year.         

The next item discussed was the refs. It was felt that our Association refs should be involved with the Finals because they control a large number of the matches involved. After a great deal of discussion it was decided that we would invite eight Association refs to run touch in all the finals. It was also decided that we should invite two referees from the Manchester Society and two from the Liverpool Society to officiate in the finals. These refs would also be invited to act as the fourth official in all games.


2nd XV Competition:

The Chairman explained that he and the Secretary had been invited to Twickenham to take part in discussions about setting up a competition to take place at the end of the season which would involve the top 16 teams in the Country playing off with the final to be held at Sixways,

(Worcester’s Ground). This had been chaired by Terry Burwell.

Both he and the Secretary were unsure of the actual make-up of the Competition and would pursue the details later. The presentation said that it was planned to use four weeks in April for this Competition.

The Committee discussed this and decided that we were against anything that disrupted the Miller Homes Leagues in such a way. We already used April for fixtures unlike most of the other Leagues and Merit tables involved. It was felt that if we reduced the Premier League to 12 teams to finish in March this would be unfair on the 10 teams that did not qualify and who would have no rugby at all in April.

The Committee recommended that a streamlined version of the set-up be provided with only 8 teams qualifying, to mean only 3 Saturdays required and to use the last 3 Saturdays in May. 

The Chairman would write to the Competitions Committee to put forward the recommendations made by the Miller Homes Committee.


Dinner, May 8th:       

The Chairman informed the meeting that John Adams will be arranging a meeting with the Preston Committee to negotiate the price of the meal and the possibilities of a reduction on drinks etc.

It was proposed that the tickets be kept at a price of £10 and the League would subsidise the rest of the cost. This was agreed by all the Committee.

The guests were next discussed. It was agreed that the following would be offered to Sponsors etc.

Miller Homes, 10 tickets, Bateman BMW, 2 tickets, Scottish Newcastle, 4 tickets.

In addition it was decided to put invites out to the following:-

Manchester and Liverpool Referees Societies, each President, plus Geoff Gill of Manchester for all the help he provides us with.

Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria Presidents, plus John Owen, RFU Senior Vice President.

Mrs Christine Ranson and daughter Emma.

A table of 10 for the Association Referees.

The question of MC was then raised and it was decided that Ian Cosens would again do this.

The question of a speaker then arose. After some discussion it was agreed that the Chairman would again say a few words. However, if John Owen agreed to come it was decided that he should be asked to speak. This would then mean that the Chairman’s speech could be reduced to words of introduction for John.


Fixture Re-arrangements:    

The Secretary informed the meeting that there were 161 games outstanding with certain teams having 6 games to play. There were not enough Saturdays left and it was agreed that Good Friday and Easter Monday would be used if required, or just Easter Saturday.

Concerns were raised by the Committee that Clubs should be informed as soon as possible about matches that would need to be played over Easter. The Secretary agreed to give dates out as soon as possible after the 7th February, the next round of the Cup. Once the Cup draw was made he would be able to sort out

re-arrangements for that date and all dates after. He agreed that all fixtures for Easter would be out by the end of that week, 14/02/09. There would still have to be midweek games.

He had advertised on the website that Clubs with lights arrange midweek fixtures as soon as possible and give him the dates. This was essential to prevent double booking of games and to keep all parties in the picture. 

It was unfortunate that the weather had played a much larger part this season with the last two weeks decimated. The last week, 10/01/09 was the first time we had ever had a complete shutdown since the Leagues were started.



The Committee applauded the swift action that Wigan Committee had taken in connection with the Bolton 3rds  v  Wigan 3rds game.


Jon Daldry asked that in future seasons the League Dinner be put out to tender as per Halbro Finals.

This was discussed and agreed, after pointing out that we needed a venue that would hold close to 300 people.

It meant that it would have to be advertised in early September, agreed.


It was agreed that the next meeting would be arranged when required.


There was no other business and the meeting closed at 10.00pm.


R Robinson

League Secretary