Thank you to our Clubs at Level 7, 8 & 9 for their recent prompt action to provide information requested prior to the meeting held last night at the Holiday Inn, Lancaster. I am pleased to report that after consideration of the various proposals put forward from a variety of sources, the representatives were able to reach a consensus and agreement that the proposal put forward by RFU Governance on 29th July (and previously reported) has now been agreed. It may take a couple of days for the fixtures to come out from Snowden Sports but we have a league structure for Level 7, 8 & 9 for the Season 2018-19.
Once again we would like to thank the people at RFU Governance and Discipline for their assistance in resolving this matter. Last night’s meeting was attended by myself, David Ewing, John Downham and Adrian Senn and once again I would like to record my immense thanks to then for their perseverance and dedication. Notwithstanding, the Cumbrian Clubs have now been left in a position where they will need to form a separate leagues for the coming season. We thank them for their agreement in this matter and trust that the review that will be carried out by the RFU in the coming months will provide a way forward which will enable them to be fully engaged in the English Clubs Championship at the earliest possible time which we appreciate is vital for their recruitment, sponsorship and sustainability.
Full details of the email from Head of Discipline David Barnes is outlined below.
Chairman of Executive Committee
Following a meeting at the Lancaster Holiday Inn last night with 27 representatives from clubs and CB’s across Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria, an agreement was made to accept the RFU league proposal of the 29th June.
The consultation, chaired by Jim Chapman, took place following the directions of the appeal panel in the judgement of the 12th July 2018, in relation to the appeal of 5 Cumbrian clubs against the decision of RFU Governance Standing Committee to implement the RFU competitions league structure proposal.
At the meeting, a number of clubs expressed their concerns that a fixture list was not available for the 2018/19 season and that this was having a detrimental impact on player retention and sponsorship. There were also concerns over the potential mismatch of fixtures if teams were over-promoted and also the travelling distance for some teams. There were also a large number of written submissions from Clubs unable to attend the meeting and these were circulated to the attendees.
Four separate league proposals were discussed on the night, however, it was agreed that the 29th June proposal was the only one which placed all teams at the level which they would have expected to be at following promotion/ relegation from last season.
The agreement was only made possible due to the agreement of the Cumbrian Clubs to withdraw from the Lancs/ Cheshire leagues and they will now form their own league for the 2018/19 season. This agreement was made for 1 year and there is an expectation that Cumbrian clubs will form part of a new cross-border North Competitions structure next season.
Fixture lists will now be constructed over the next couple of days and released to all clubs as soon as possible.
There was also a commitment from Paul O’Leary and Jim Chapman that a review of the Northern Leagues will take place immediately and they hope to provide an outline structure by the end of December 2018 for the 2019/20 season.
There was an agreement that no appeals would take place, in order to allow fixture lists to be completed and for Clubs to secure necessary sponsorship and travel arrangements.
The League structure for 2018/19 is below. The Cumbrian clubs have the ability to decide their own league structure and these conversations are well advanced.
Head of Discipline