Minutes for 2010 AGM



                                           MAY 20th 2010    

Committee members attending;   F. W. Swarbrick,  Reg. Robinson,  John Powell,  Ian Cousins,  John Adams,      Howard Hughes,   Andy Thompson,  Jon Daldry 

Apologies received:    Greg King.    Craig Hine.     

From the clubs: 

Barry Allen                    Broughton Park            

Allan Marsland               Broughton Park

Paul Quare                    Burnage                         

Ron Hall                        Liverpool St. Helens

Barry Jubb                    Lostock                            

Matthew Butterworth      Acton Nomads

David Burrows               Colne & Nelson                

Bert Lambert                 Colne & Nelson

Mark Johnson                Tyldesley                        

Dominic O’Sullivan           Altrincham Kersal

David Todd                   Heaton Moor                  

Neil Hawkley                  Marple 

Les Towler                    Bolton

Apologies received:      Les Briers. 

Meeting commenced 20.00 hrs. 


          Chairman, Fred Swarbrick opened the meeting by welcoming all attendees to

the 7th AGM of the North West Intermediate Rugby Union Leagues. He reported

another successful season in spite of all the inclement weather could throw at us.


Special mention should be made to acknowledge the efforts of Reg Robinson and

Barry Allen who took on the massive job to re-arrange over 450 fixtures postponed in

the middle of the season. Sadly, though, 19 sides had left us for one reason or

another but a healthy 23 applications for next season meant that the season 2010/11

would start with 14 leagues each containing a full compliment of 14 teams. The

leagues now have 100 clubs represented and a record total of 196 teams.


Fred went on to congratulate all winners of League and Cup Competitions with thanks

to Wigan for staging a highly well organised Finals Day and to Preston Grasshoppers

for another excellent Presentation Dinner. On both occasions there were certain

matters arising but these were well on the way to being resolved.


In the matter of our sponsors Fred was sad to report that, due to the economic

climate, Miller Homes found themselves unable to support us any further but all

expressed their thanks to Miller Homes for their excellent support over the past few

seasons. Fortunately, due to the efforts of John Adams we were fortunate to receive 

support from the University of Salford Faculty of Health and Social Care. Bateman

BMW and Raging Bull remain in place and will continue as before. It will be necessary

for all concerned to re-educate themselves to not use the term “Miller Homes League” in the future.


Fred expressed his thanks to the committee and particularly to Reg Robinson and

Barry Allen for completing the massive job of all the re-arrangements required this

season and ensuring that all games got played. Fred also expressed his thanks to all

referees and officials without whom no games would be played. We all welcome the

new sides joining the leagues this term and look forward to another successful season. 


            Secretary, Reg. Robinson began by thanking Barry Allen for all his help in

re-arranging postponed games. He also thanked Burnley RUFC, Rochdale RUFC,

Heaton Moor RUFC, Preston Grasshoppers RUFC and Sale FC for the loan of their

pitches and floodlights to enable mid-week matches to take place and so complete

the league programme.


Reg stated that decisions made are intended for the good of the majority of teams

and provision cannot always be made for teams with unique problems. He asked that

certain clubs (Liverpool SH) refrain from asking for special consideration.

The new league structure is now on the web site with Reg and Barry having done

their best to make the leagues as competitive as possible whilst keeping travelling to

an acceptable minimum.


Fixtures will not be available until the RFU fixtures have been published even though

the RFU have been asked for co-operation in setting up matrix positions. No

co-operation has been forthcoming. Reg hoped that with the changes to the rules, to

be voted on later in the meeting, we could look forward to another successful season 

with the minimum of disputes. 


          Treasurer, John Powell, reported that we had a healthy balance which included

over £4000 for the Benevolent Fund. Costs had been broadly similar to last season

with the exception that there was no new web site design required this time.


He stated that the league had just 3 sources of income; namely subscriptions from

the clubs, grants from the RFU and from our sponsors. Indications were that income

from the RFU will reduce over future seasons and in an uncertain economic climate

interest from sponsors could swiftly decline.


Should the worst happen he doubted that the league would be able to function as it now does from a financial point of view. He felt the need to plan ahead and therefore proposed that the subscription for each participating team should be raised to £40. This proposal was seconded by David

Burrows and carried unanimously. 


         Fred Swarbrick confirmed that all Committee Members were willing to stand for

next season with no additional personnel required. Barry Jubb proposed that the whole

committee should be re-elected en-bloc and this was seconded by Neil Hawkley.

Carried unanimously. 


Rule 19

Dominic O’Sullivan proposed a change to rule 19 as he felt that any team unable to

re-apply after exclusion in April was being treated unfairly. He suggested that “In

addition any team excluded from the leagues in April will not be allowed to apply for

re-entry the following season.” Be deleted and replaced with “In addition any team

excluded from the leagues may have to provide evidence that they will be able to

reform this team to be allowed to apply for re-entry the following season.” It was

agreed that the double concede in April would remain. Motion seconded by Barry Allen.

Motion carried  20 for    1 against. 

Rule 13

John Powell proposed that rule 13 should have added the following sentence. “The

non-offending teams shall be awarded 4 points.” Seconded by Fred Swarbrick. This has

been common practice in recent seasons but is now to be written in the rules. Alan

Marsland pointed out the difficulty of applying this rule rigidly but it was agreed that we 

have to rely on the integrity of the clubs and take action where a transgression can

be proven. Matthew Butterworth observed that when league points are deducted

under this rule, match points gained remain the same and league positions could be

affected. Andy Thompson confirmed that this was true but has very little effect.

Where a promotion or relegation issue is to be dealt with it is the results between the

teams concerned and other factors that are taken into account and not a whole

seasons match points.


Motion carried.  20 for     1 abstention 

Rule 4

John Powell also proposed an addition to the wording of rule 4. He wishes to insert the

words “Teams using more than the allowed number of replacements will have 2 points

deducted.” Seconded by Fred Swarbrick. Once again this has been common practice

but is now to be written in the rules for clarification. Alan Marsland expressed concern

that referees often do not know the league rules and consequently sometime

encourage teams to act incorrectly. In addition well known rules are sometimes

mis-used particularly in relation to blood injuries. Furthermore, frequently team

Managers and Captains are unsure of this rule and how it applies to them. Andy

Thompson stated that in a season there are 43 differing competitions in the North

West and referees cannot possibly know the rules of each one in great detail. Referee s

are responsible for the Laws of the Game as laid down by the IRB and Competition 

Rules are the responsibility of the Clubs and their Officials.

Motion carried   Unanimous 

Rule 23

John Powell further proposed an amendment to rule 23. Seconded by Fred Swarbrick.

Section B. of this rule to be deleted and replaced by. “That all complaints received by

the NOWIRUL Secretary re. Infringement of League Rules by other teams/clubs

MUST be in writing and received within 7 days of the incident/s occurring. Such

complaints must be accompanied by documentary evidence including any referees

report and written statements from officers of the complainant club. On receipt of the

complaint the Secretary shall forward details of the complaint to the club the subject

of the complaint, who shall respond within 7 days. The rules committee shall the issue

their findings within 7 days and inform all involved.” This is simply a tidying up proposal

making all lead times 7 days.


Motion carried     Unanimous. 

Rule 26

Fred Swarbrick proposed the re-writing of rule 26 seconded by John Powell. Simply put

the committee have found themselves without the necessary knowledge and

expertise to deal with matters of Discipline, Red cards, Abuse of Match Officials, Citings,

Bringing the game into dis-repute and Bad disciplinary record by Clubs. All these

matters will now be dealt with by the various County Disciplinary Bodies and

procedures have been put in place with assistance from Clif Barker (Lancashire) and

Peter Rhodes (Cheshire).

Motion carried     Unanimous. 


All Leagues at present known as Miller Homes, and all Rules mentioned as such be changed to “North West Leagues” and “North West League Rules” respectively.

The sponsors name to be added where relevant. 

Proposed:      R Robinson          Seconded:      J Powell

Motion carried.    Unanimous 



The meeting witnessed the draw for the Cup, Shield, Trophy and Plate knock out

Competitions sponsored by Raging Bull.  Full details of the draw can be viewed on the

web site shortly. 


Fred Swarbrick explained to the meeting that next season it was proposed to

experiment with a conference system for the Premiership only. This is an attempt to

reduce mis-matches as far as possible. Premiership teams would play their first 13

games as normal and then the league would be split into two small leagues of 7 each.

They would then play each other twice in the remainder of the season with 2 teams

resting each week. 

David Burrows wished to raise the matter of “CANNINGGATE”. This is where 1 player

had played whilst banned with the full knowledge of the club they played for. It was

acknowledged that this matter had been dealt with by Lancashire disciplinary but as the game was under the auspices of NOWIRUL the Rules Committee agreed to investigate to see if any further action was appropriate. 

David Burrows asked if all subscriptions had been paid on time at the beginning of the

2009/10 season, or if any points had been deducted for late payment. John Powell

confirmed that all monies had been received on time. 


David Todd observed that Carlisle 2 had now been admitted to the leagues and

wondered if this was the geographical limit of the league structure. Reg. Robinson said 

we would not accept teams from far away without a commitment to travel but the

league had adopted a policy to assist Cumbrian rugby where ever possible as they

have known difficulties. Any decisions on further expansion will be taken if and when

teams apply to join.

Paul Quare asked if the web site could include a contact list for each league including 

e-mail addresses and phone numbers. He would regard this as a great help to Fixture

Secretaries. Reg Robinson will speak to Jim Gooch about this. 

Meeting closed at 22.15