Minutes of a Special Meeting called for Premier Teams and top 2 in
Miller Homes Committee:- F Swarbrick, R Robinson, J Powell,
I Cosens, A Thompson, J Daldry, C Hine. ( Also representing Kendal)
Clubs:- Chris Hehir, 2nd XV Manager, Macclesfield:
Ernie Neely, John Widdop, Sedgley Pk:
Dave Crank, Waterloo:
Ade Jebb, 2nd XV Manager, Preston GH:
Alan Marsland, 2nd XV Manager, Barry Allen, Broughton Pk:
Andy Norcott, Lymm:
John Robertson, Ron Hall, Liverpool SH
Chris Busby, Sandbach
Mick Drew, Richard Hope, Stockport
Steve Barnes, Altrincham Kersal
Apolgies:- Duncan Meehan, Birkenhead Park, Roger Flashman, Caldy
Not Represented: Chester, Fylde
The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed all who were attending. He did comment that there would be four options put forward.
He explained that the reasons for calling the meeting had been because three members of the Miller Homes Committee, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer had attended a meeting at Kirkby Lonsdale called by Mike Harrison, Chairman of the North NCA.
In essence Mike Harrison (Wharfedale) and John Shotton (Tynedale) wished to create a Northern Super League which would include teams from Bateman BMW League, Candy League and Yorkshire 2nd Team League.
Mike Harrison had selected 5 teams from the Bateman BMW League to take part in this saying he had contacted these teams who had expressed an interest. However, both he and John Shotton expressed wishes that the Miller Homes Leagues would run the new League. John Shotton had said that Tynedale were putting £4500 forward for travelling for their team.
The reason for the new League would be to stop the imbalance of teams with a more even set of teams in this new League.
It was pointed out that it would be highly likely that there would still be an imbalance because some of the teams put forward were probably weaker than the Bateman League teams.
This would be the first option.
The representatives attending expressed doubts that they had been canvassed.
The Chairman then asked for comments from the floor on the above item.
Ernie Neely commented that when they were in the original NCA League they went away to a lot of Clubs but many would not return the fixtures at Sedgley. He was of the opinion that Sedgley would not support a return to the NCA.
Chris Hehir then commented that it was impractical to join the NCA because of the travel problems. It would cause a lot of extra expenditure for Clubs at a time when everyone was tightening their belts.
Andy Thompson informed the meeting that the Miller Homes Clubs contrary to Mike Harrison’s comments had not been contacted.
Steve Barnes said it was a complete non-starter.
Chris Hehir commented that although games at home against teams such as Kendal, who had a young side, were fairly easy they became a tough battle when travelling away.
Dave Crank said there would be problems when it came to away fixtures with possibility of games not being fulfilled. This would take them back to the old system with games not played.
It was pointed out from the top table that if the Miller Homes Committee ran the Competition the Rule would be brought in only allowing ONE concede. In addition if a team were to be excluded all the Clubs other teams would be expelled from the Miller Homes leagues.
Alan Marsland commented that the main difference between the top teams and the lower teams in the Premier was fitness brought about by the semi professionals playing for the higher teams. Most Clubs were now spreading their nets further afield and bringing in more University players.
Ernie Neely commented that any Club wanting to play the Candy League and Yorkshire League teams could still do so. They still played Wharfedale as a midweek fixture.
Ron Hall reckoned that teams were paying a high price for trying hard to stay in the Premier League. It was leading to more injuries to players because of playing against the stronger and more physically fit paid players.
The Chairman decided that there had been enough comments and asked all the representatives to make a decision and reply to the League Secretary with their wishes by December 6th.
The Chairman then put forward the other three options.
The 2nd was to stay as we are, the 3rd and 4th were to go to a “Conference” System which was running in France. He had asked Barry Allen to make up the “Conference” options, the first of these was to go to a system of all Teams playing each other once up to Dec 5th, based on this season. Then after that the league would split into a 7 - 7 system where the top 7 Teams would play each other twice and the bottom 7 Teams would also play each other twice. This would take the fixtures through to April 10th as at present. This would mean a bye every week for one of the teams in each section.
The second of the “Conference” options would be a 6 - 8 split with the bottom 8 teams playing each other twice and finishing again on April 10th. However the top 6 teams would play each other twice but would be finished on March 6th.
Andy Thompson said it could be forced on us by the RFU to make the Miller Homes take up the Conference system. This was refuted by the Top Table.
Adrian Jebb suggested that the spare weeks at the end of the season could be used to play the Yorkshire and Candy top teams in a playoff.
Richard Hope thought that if we went outside our recognised structure there could be problems with team loading, most Clubs’ 1st teams would have finished their seasons. There would be a need for registering players and he thought we should keep it within the season.
Ernie Neely commented that if we did set up any final competition it would be expected that the RFU would have to set up some means of funding, especially if games against the Southern teams were to take place.
John Widdop said he preferred the 7 - 7 split and suggested it be brought in as a trial for one season.
Chris Hehir said he preferred the split, teams could play friendlies at the end of the season.
Dave Crank didn’t like the 6 - 8 split.
John Robertson stated that when Terry Burwell saw these ideas he would try and take them over but the Top Table were of the opinion that Miller Homes would be left to run their own Leagues.
Craig Hine was of the opinion that we keep it simple. Try the 7 - 7 split for one season and if it didn’t work we could always revert to the existing system or try one of the others.
Ian Cosens said it must now be taken away to the Clubs and they must decide the system that they preferred.
Most attending then asked that a straw poll be taken on the preference.The Chairman asked how many were in favour of the 7 - 7 split, asking for one vote per club. He received a vote of 10 for this and as this was therefore a majority decided not to ask the room for any others.
It was decided then to close the meeting and the Clubs would send their preferences to the Leagues Secretary by December 6th 2009..
His telephone number as requested by some members present to be in the minutes.
It is:- 01524 770166.
The Secretary did point out that the number could be obtained from the website but hoped that the Clubs would reply by e-mail.
The meeting closed at 8.50pm.