Minutes of Committee Meeting held March 30th 2009

Minutes for Miller Homes Committee Meeting held at Preston Grasshoppers 30th March  2009 

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

J Daldry,   J Adams     


Apologies:      I Cosens,          G King,            H Hughes,        C Hine.


Pitchero:         The Secretary explained that Barry Allen had contacted him re the fixtures that he had passed to Pitchero the previous season asking whether they would be given again. The Secretary had asked Barry quite a few questions about Pitchero which Barry had answered. Because of this the Secretary had contacted both Jim Gooch and the League Solicitor to check on whether the fixtures were copyrighted. He had been assured they were. The Secretary had then contacted Pitchero and had been answered by Mark Fletcher who had requested that he be allowed to put a case to the Miller Homes Committee to be allowed to have the fixtures. He had been invited to the meeting for 8.00pm

The Secretary also provided evidence re the stats showing that hits on the website had significantly reduced since Pitchero were up and running.

After some discussion it was then decided that Mark Fletcher be invited into the meeting to explain his side.

Mark came in and was introduced to all the Committee. He explained that 34 Miller Homes Clubs had taken up his offer of being provided with a website for free. He explained that all these Clubs could now access all results and tables because Barry Allen entered all the Miller Homes results on the Pitchero website. These then showed up on all Clubs sites who were with Pitchero. He also explained that Clubs such as Preston Grasshoppers with their own site only bothered entering results for the 1st and 2nd teams although they had six teams in the Miller Homes Leagues. All the Clubs with Pitchero got all results and tables. He didn’t really agree that without the results being entered by such as Barry Allen that his system would fail. He thought that someone from one of the Clubs who had Pitchero would probably put results in. When it was pointed out that with 34 out of nearly 100 Clubs there were a lot missing and there would be massive gaps he still thought his system would work.

He then explained that he was not proposing any remuneration to the Miller Homes for taking the fixtures but he would agree to arranging that all hits on the results and tables would be included in his stats so that they could be added to the Miller Homes stats.  

Mark then proposed that he go away and provide a proposal of full detail for the next meeting on 27th April.

This was agreed by the Committee. The Secretary was then instructed by the meeting to carry out some checks before the next meeting.  


Matters Arising:       

(a)        The Chairman showed an example of a referee’s jersey to the meeting. This showed all our sponsors on the jersey and everyone was suitably impressed. It was planned to distribute all the jerseys before the start of next meeting to all the Associations.

(b)        2nd XV Competition. Nothing had been received from Twickenham re the proposed competition.

(c)        Wigan had been watched by John Powell in the semi-final of their Cup. There had not been any trouble whatsoever. Again the Chairman and Secretary had watched Broughton at Sale in an evening match and again no trouble in match with an excellent referee.          


Finance:          The treasurer announced a healthy balance. He said we still had an outstanding bill for the referees jerseys which would be approximately £1500.


Sponsorship:               John Adams said that John Smiths hadn’t agreed any further sponsorship for next season but hadn’t really worked on the Clubs. He stated that all our other Sponsors were with us for the next season but he was working with these Sponsors to try and gain long term contracts. He asked whether it would be possible to display some of the referees’ jerseys at the dinner. They showed off all our Sponsors and he thought it would be good for the Sponsors to see them. He was assured that this would be possible. The only doubts were whether they would all be there at the end of the evening. This would be monitored.


New Website:             The double showing of fixtures had now been sorted and there was now only the question of the “either/or” for Cup games. This had not yet been resolved but Jim Gooch was confident it would be sorted for next season.


RugbyFirst Website:             This was now working OK. The Secretary was instructed to approach the RFU to find out what would be happening next season re what we would be expected to do, and what the remuneration would be.


Halbro Cup Finals:                 The Chairman reported that Birkenhead Park were expecting at least 1000 spectators for the day. He also reported that the lid of the main Cup had to be replaced. 

He had sent his Chairman’s report and a report re the referees. The Secretary had sent the “Road to the Finals” and full list of Cup matches played.  He’d also contacted all Clubs to ask for Club reports and Team lists.

Rugby Times were to get a report from Stuart Vernon.

John Adams was to contact Halbro with regard to the match balls, all the referees jerseys for the day were sorted. All the T shirts for the Winners and Finalists had been sorted, as were the Tankards for the referees. It was suggested that a Miller Homes tie be included with all the Tankards, this was agreed.

Andy Thompson sorted a minibus for the Finals during the meeting, this was now in place.

All the referees had been contacted and told which Final they would officiate in and also that they would be expected to be a Fourth Official for one of the other Finals. All had agreed.

The list of Referees and Touch Judges had been sent to Birkenhead Park for inclusion in the programme.   


Dinner, May 8th:        The Secretary gave a list of all the Guests who had confirmed that they would be coming to the dinner. Some of the Committee still had to confirm whether they would be attending. The total of forty would include a table of ten for referees.

It was decided after a count up of the Guests and Officials that John Powell would allow 240 for all other tables.

Although we now have 13 Leagues with a possible 260 if all Teams asked for 10 tickets it was agreed that it would be on a “first come first served basis”. He was asked whether any payments had been received for the dinner but replied that although he had received enquiries he hadn’t received any cheques.

Regarding a photographer, John Adams said that he had a contact at Heaton Moor who he would ask.


A.G.M.           It was decided that this would be held at Vale of Lune on Monday 18th May 2009. As in previous years a Committee meeting would be held at 7.00pm with the AGM starting at 8.00pm.

It was agreed that a cut-off date for all new proposals would be April 27th, 3 weeks prior to the AGM.


Applications to join League:  The Secretary reported that there had been ten applications to join the Leagues at the present time. Twelve had been expelled so we still had room, however all applications would still be treated on a first come/ first served basis. He also reported on being questioned that there had been no applications from any teams expelled.


Penalties for Teams not playing when the Lower Teams play:       This matter had been prevalent in the last couple of weeks when both Sedgley Park and Buxton had been guilty of playing at a lower level and not the Senior teams. It was thought that the penalties for the Senior teams not playing should be increased to include all teams within the Club. It was agreed that the Secretary would alter Rule 19 to include a heavier penalty and send out to all the Committee and when approved would be put forward with Andy Thompson proposing and Reg Robinson seconding. This to go forward as a full proposal to the AGM.


County Cups:             The Secretary explained that in the last couple of weeks we had problems with a Club’s 1st team conceding in the Cheshire Vase. When this was found out  and pointed out to them that their 2nds and 3rds would lose all their points in the following week’s fixtures there then resulted a series of negotiations to try and prevent any possibilities of team loading by allowing games to be postponed. However, after allowing this to happen on the understanding that the Cheshire Vase game between the 1st teams would be played during the following week it was then found out that the match had taken place on the Saturday after all. This meant that the Miller Homes games should have been played as per the original fixture. Because the Miller Homes Rules Committee had allowed the postponements it was decided that they would have to be replayed at a later date.

Because of the uncertainty of when Cup games should be played it was agreed that the Secretary would try and arrange a meeting with both Lancashire and Cheshire Cup Committees to try and come to some agreement as to when the senior Cups should be played to give Miller Homes Committee some idea of what was happening. At present time both Cheshire and Lancashire websites had games over 3 months behind schedule. It was pointed out that Miller Homes fix dates and stick to them which didn’t seem to be the case with Lancashire and Cheshire.


A.O.B.:           Fred Swarbrick thanked the Committee for paying his expenses for the recent trip to the England versus Scotland game at Twickenham as guest of the RFU. He had been recommended by Lancashire.

He had also spoken to Twickenham recently re possible prizes for our raffle for the Benevolent Fund. He wasn’t very optimistic re the outcome.

He explained that Sale Sharks had offered a table for 10 for their 1st home game next season as a prize. This was worth about £1500. It had been gratefully accepted.

Bill Newton from Kooga had also offered a prize again.


The date of the next meeting was agreed for Monday April 27th 2009


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


R Robinson

League Secretary