MINUTES OF AGM OF NORTH WEST INTERMEDIATE RUGBY
UNION LEAGUES.MEETING HELD AT TYLDESLEY RUFC on
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. Theleagues 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 certainmatters 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 necessaryfor 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 thatcertain 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.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
CHANGE OF NAME FOR LEAGUES
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
RAGING BULL KNOCK OUT COMPETITIONS
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