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Revolt in the North

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PiffPaff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PiffPaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2019 at 07:43
To be honest I think the Sub-Committee got a bit too giddy. The issue was long distance travel at Level 7 down in the North West, solved in my opinion by going down the CB based Leagues feeding into Level 6 North One West. There is already 3 promotion spots, winner of Cumbria 1 and winner of Cheshire/Lancs 1 followed by Playoff winners from the runners up. Go to CB Leagues at L7, yes Cheshire will have a mixed bag and so will Cumbria to some extent and Lancashire with or without the Clubs already in their own County League would have two or more viable Leagues. Winner of each L7 League promoted! No need to change anything at L6 and certainly not on t'other side of the Pennines.

Not sure what voting out any of the two Yorkshire RFU Council members will achieve I assume both Jim Chapman and Ted Atkinson are standing again and both are  apparently quite diligent, just because Mr. Chapman was handed the poisoned chalice of chairing the Competition Sub-committee with a remit that seems to have wander somewhat and probably at the insistence  of the Competitions Department.

By fudging things at Level 6 all they seem to have down is move and make the issue bigger. I doubt very much if K0ckermouth who have had a great season in the Cumbria League will be looking forward to game after game of 280 mile round trips next season which was start of the issue in the 1st place.


Edited by PiffPaff - 28 Feb 2019 at 07:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trident Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2019 at 11:34
Just seen the response from Cumbria regarding the changes.
They are not happy at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2019 at 14:30
Why are we not surprised. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trident Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2019 at 16:53
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Why are we not surprised. 


Yorkshire are not too keen either
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PiffPaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 07:41
Big Lancs Club meeting tonight to discuss X and Y. Hearing that Yorkshire Clubs plan to vote "no change"....... been told that is NOT an option so that doesn't bode well for peace and harmony. Also interesting letter from Cumbria posted on the Yorkshire Rugby Forum, cut & paste below......

Response to North DOC – League Structures Proposal by North RFU Leagues Consultation Working Group (Jim Chapman,Helen Duggan, Matt Bryan, Paul Astbury and Paul O’Leary).

The remit, as prescribed by the Appeal Panel, was to carry out “....a comprehensive review of adult male rugby in the North with the intention of identifying a league structure for implementation in 2019/20”.

Unfortunately the Consultation Working Group have failed in their objective as they have singularly failed to learn the lessons of last season and are making proposals that are undeliverable whilst also containing a demonstatable unfairness in their delivery.

It is hard to believe that the expected result was the unfair reduction of a Cumbrian presence at L7 along with a restriction of the ability of Cumbrian Clubs to operate in a x-border league at Level 7 of the RFU structure which is a completely inequitable arrangement.

Cumbria League

I believe that Cumbria RFU Clubs made their position known that a retention of a Level 7 Cross Border league was our preferred intention and that a Cumbrian League at L7 was unsuitable for many reasons, not least the relative playing strengths of Cumbrian Clubs being promoted in to a L6 which they will be totally unprepared for.

The Cumbrian league proposed in either option will not operate as published. For instance, the likes of Creighton, Egremont, Moresby, Windermere, Millom & Furness may consider the current Cumbria 2 more to their liking (Just as the Clubs decided last year when the Cumbrian Clubs were forced in to a Cumbrian League). The fact that a Club exists at 1st team level does not mean that you really want to match up Creighton with the likes of Wigton, Huckleberryermouth, Hawcoate Park & Upper Eden. No consideration whatsoever appears to have been given to Cumbrian preferences which were apparent last season in the formation of Cumbria 1 and Cumbria 2.

The Cumbria 1 & 2 option put in place by Cumbria RFU last season was known to be flawed but was the only solution that could be agreed upon by the majority of Cumbrian Clubs. I do not envisage a better option suddenly becoming acceptable to all Cumbrian Clubs and can not ever envisage a single Cumbrian League being operated due to the evident disparity of standards. 

The 8-Team Cumbria 1 is an experiment not to be repeated as it has been a disaster for the majority of those Clubs removed from the X-border League last season. Playing the same side at least four times is unacceptable and two clubs will meet six times this season with a potential for that to be seven. Financial consequences of this League have been severe with Wigton RUFC having relayed concerns relating to a 30% drop in income this season and anecdotally other clubs are forecasting similar losses. 

Cumbria 2 however, seems to have been a relative success being bolstered by the returning Creighton and 2 additional 2nd teams. Unfortunately under either option the remaining Cumbria 2nd team clubs, currently playing at Cumbria 2 (L8) will be cast adrift by their acceptance..

The Cumbria League proposed would therefore seem to be undeliverable due to financial concerns and disparity of playing standards and therefore both options would seem to fail at the first hurdle.

Option X & Y Flaws, Unfairness in delivery & Unmerited Relegation

The proposals submitted by the Committee are ill-conceived and have been done without giving any thoughts as to the relative strengths and requirements of Clubs and have unfairly punished Cumbrian Clubs for accepting the one season only Cumbrian League whilst this proposal was prepared.

Of the 7 Cumbrian Clubs that held L7 Status last season in the N Lancs/Cumbria League, under option X,  one is promoted to L6 as Champions and one retains L7 status. Five are relegated to L8. Under option Y,  two are promoted to L6 (3 with Huckleberryermouth) and five remain in a L7 Cumbrian League. Compare this with other Counties and the comparison is alarming:-

?   Under Option X Lancashire/Cheshire 1 (L7) see’s 2 teams automatically promoted to L6 and the retention of 8 teams from this years structure. Under Option Y 3 teams are automatically promoted to L6 and 8 teams retained from this years structure.
?   Under Option X Yorkshire (L7) see’s 1 team automatically promoted to L6 and the retention of 10 teams from this years structure. Under Option Y 3 teams are automatically promoted to L6 and 10 teams retained from this years structure.
?   Under Option X Durham/Northumberland (L7) see’s 2 teams automatically promoted to L6 and the retention of 10 teams from this years structure. Under Option Y 3 teams are automatically promoted to L6 and 11 teams retained from this years structure.

Whilst it is appreciated that this body has a wide remit, the basic premise of a fair resolution should be foremost in their minds. RFU Regulation 13.2.8 (E) indicates that if clubs are being reprieved from Regulation from a Level the number of clubs retained should be equal in each league. I would suggest in a merger of Leagues, this rule should also apply. 

At a current points per game ratio, to achieve fairness, under Option X clubs should be retained at L7 (once promotions have taken place) as below:-

Club   Points per Game
West Hartlepool   4.4
Glossop   3.7777
Stockton   3.7
Rochdale   3.5263
S ShieldsWestoe   3.45
Bolton   3.4444
Novocastrians   3.35
Aspatria   3.3125
Winnington park   3.1176
Middlesborough   3.0555
Wigton   2.4375
Hartlepool Rovers   2.4
Whitehaven   2.25
Tarleton   2.2222
Barnard Castle   2.1578
Southport   2
Acklam   1.9444
Leigh   1.8947
Gateshead   1.8888
Horden & Peterlee   1.85
Medicals   1.85
Hawcoate park   1.6875
Sefton   1.4736
Upper Eden   1.4666

In Option X, effectively  Wigton and Whitehaven should replace Medicals and Sefton assuming two Clubs are still promoted in Lancashire/Cheshire otherwise Medicals could retain its L7 status.
 
Wigton RUFC have most cause for complaint having finished in 4th place in 2017/18 N Lancs/Cheshire League and likely to finish 4th again this season, only to be relegated to L8 (X) or retain L7 status in a Cumbrian league which can not possibly exist in the proposed form (Y).

Aspatria RUFC who finished 2nd in 2017/18 N Lancs/Cumbria League and are likely to finish 2nd again this year could end up being the only Cumbrian Club retained at L7 in a Lancs/Cheshire dominated League (X) where 8 teams are retained from this years L7.

Failure to preserve RFU Core Values

Whilst Cumbrian Clubs have tried to be accommodating in accepting the situation whereby Cumbrian Clubs at L6 & L7 may need to be shared out between Northumberland/Durham (NE) & Lancashire/Cheshire Leagues (NW) it does not appear the RFU have recognised this and are actively punishing Cumbrian Clubs whilst seemingly rewarding Lancashire Clubs for last years rebellion, especially those who resigned from the leagues last year being readmitted at L7 (Y) without penalty (in the Lancashire League they desired).

To add to the unfairness of the proposals the intention to penalise Cumbria Clubs for having the temerity to get increased numbers at L7 is to revert to a Cumbrian League once numbers exceed four i.e. two clubs per league (More than one trip into Cumbria every 4-months seems to be unacceptable to the RFU).

This can hardly be a situation acceptable under the RFU Core Values.

Proposed Voting for Options X & Y

If acceptance of one of these proposals is based on a pure vote in number of clubs terms, then the result is unfairly weighted towards the preferences of larger Counties and the difficulties likely to be encountered by the smaller County ignored. The RFU must ensure the concerns raised by Cumbrian Clubs are addressed and that the number of Lancashire Clubs compared to Cumbria are not the only reason for implementation of a particular option. 

Summary

Cumbrian Clubs are, to say the least, not best served by these proposals. Whilst not unexpected this is disappointing all the same.

The retention of x-border Leagues at L7 was a mainstay of the Cumbrian argument. Option Y is therefore unacceptable.

While Option X achieves this, it appears to have been unfairly populated discriminating against Cumbrian Clubs.

More appreciation must be given to Cumbrian Clubs who accepted a one season option of an unacceptable Cumbrian league but can not accept being penalised twice. A Cumbrian League at L7 is not acceptable nor is a Cumbrian League which does not take in to account the relative disparity in standards of Clubs nor the financial implications inherent in forcing Cumbian Clubs in to this situation.

Alternative Proposal

Without the option of a return to a N Lancs/Cumbria League in any form, I would suggest a combination of  the best parts of X & Y may be more appropriate.

This alternative proposal avoids the necessity of placing Rebel Lancashire Clubs at the same level they resigned from and thus rewarding their rebellion whilst aiming to reduce Lancashire travelling to Cumbria which was their stated aim. 

It also avoids installing an undeliverable Cumbrian League at L7 or L8 as in Options X or Y and does not place the few remaining Cumbria 2 Clubs into a position where they will fail.

Cumbria Clubs will accept being divided between two Leagues to reduce travelling concerns of Lancashire Clubs if it is seen to being done fairly.

Any proposed league must be sustainable and provide stability therefore any threat of moving to a Cumbrian League at L7 once a specified number of Clubs is reached can not be acceptable. I would imagine this provision does not exist anywhere else in RFU structures as it would be seen as inequitable. Additionally, any such manufactured Cumbria League would never actually start for reasons already stated.

There are good things in Options Y which if built upon could pave the way for an acceptable proposal.

Option Z

The three League structure at L6 (Y) seems viable but it has to be replicated at L7 without the restriction on numbers of Cumbrian Clubs being imposed but with a fair division of Cumbrian Clubs between SW & NE.

Of the 4 trips Lancashire/Cheshire (NW) Clubs would be asked to undertake, only two are into deepest Cumbria (Silloth & Whitehaven) with Upper Eden and Hawcoate Park being readily accessible from the M6 (Hawcoate Park did operate in the Lancashire League structure for several years).

Promotion from L8 Cumbria 1 would be into North L7 NE next season and thereafter be amended accordingly to preserve best balance. Level Transfer of Cumbrian Clubs at L7 should also be utilised to preserve best fit and minimisation of travel requirement. 

A better balance/split at L7 would be appropriate if one could be found or manufactured over future seasons.

The Cumbrian League is sustainable in the short term but that is the most we can hope for in the current circumstances. This is also the only option which would retain a future for the 2nd teams who are trying to survive in a troubled 2nd team level in Cumbria.

Level 6   North Level 6 SW      North Level 6 NE      North level 6 SE
   As Option Y
               
Level 7   North Level 7 SW      North Level 7 NE      North level 7 SE
   Bolton      South Shields Westoe      As Option Y (Yorkshire 1)
   Winnington Park      Novocastrians      
   Tarleton      Hartlepool Rovers      
   Southport      Barnard Castle      
   Leigh      Horden & Peterlee      
   Sefton      Medicals      
   Liverpool Collegiate      Gateshead      
   Aspull      Acklam      
   Congleton      Whitley Bay Rockliffe      
   Fleetwood      North Shields      
   Upper Eden      Ponteland      
   Hawcoate Park      Guisborough      
   Whitehaven      Whitby      
   Silloth (P)      Wigton      
               
Level 8   Cheshire 1   Lancashire 1   Cumbria 1   Durham/North 1   Yorshire 1
         St Benedicts (R)   As Dur/North 2 (Y)   As Yorkshire 2 (Y)
         Workington   Plus Hartlepool   
         Furness      
         Windermere      
         Millom      
         Moresby      
         Creighton      
         Egremont      
         Carlisle Crusaders      
         Aspatria Eagles      
         Wigton Wanderers      


The Way Forward

Cumbria Clubs are more than willing to compromise by having their playing strength divided between the NE and NW Leagues. 

History tells us that the likely scenario for the future is that level 7 will be populated with between 4 & 6 Cumbrian Clubs so the two leagues are unlikely to be overwhelmed with Cumbrian Clubs. 
If other Counties are willing to travel to Cumbria every two months we would have a compromise every Club should be able to live with.

I trust the RFU will honour its commitment to all of its clubs and uphold the RFU Core Values when implementing a true pyramid structure that gives a fair chance to all clubs wherever they are located. The RFU went to great lengths to preserve the Isle of Man’s participation in the RFU Structure without any restrictions, it would be a great shame if the same values that encouraged the islands participation were forgotten when dealing with mainland Cumbria.

The RFU must make a decision for the benefit of all clubs and must not put in place a league structure that demonstrably disadvantages any of its clubs.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Ford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 08:17
An impressive and well researched post from Cumbria.
How it will be resolved is entirely another matter as Cumbria and Lancashire want entirely different things. Cheshire are somewhere in the middle of the argument with less exposure to Cumbrian clubs.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trident Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 15:16
So, which clubs are going to choose an option that increases their journey's now the RFU are looking at pulling travel subsidies and reducing CB funding??

Questions need to be asked.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TimesLikeThese Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 23:04
These options presented by the committee are a bit disappointing, to say the least, and I don't think there's any way that option Z will get much traction either.

I'm still quite intrigued as to why there appears to have been very little talk of bringing the NOWIRUL into the fold. 

All but 4 teams in Div 1 upwards are at least Level 6, so for these teams there'll be some travel involved if players for teams in these leagues are asked to play higher, which they will be at times - the higher the club is in the system, the greater the travel will be. We've already established this.

Consider also that in the Championship and Div 1 in this system, it's split basically between North Lancs/Cumbria and Cheshire with very little in between - the odd trip to Loo or Glossop or the Liverpool Uni Vets. Basically, you're on the M6 every other week.

No one wants to be playing the same teams 4 times a year - this is a complaint in the Cumbria leagues and it has been mentioned, particularly at the top 2 levels of the NOWIRUL, where this does occur. At the same time, travel time is obviously a bit of an issue, else we wouldn't be here in the first place.

The question I have is would it not make some sense to merge the NOWIRUL and RFU system at say level 6/7 down in the NW, and then split it into 3? North/Mid/South or North/East/West or something like that? Or open it up to allow clubs from the NOWIRUL into the system and let those who wish to just stay in the merit league stay there?

Obviously it hinges a lot on whether there's actually any mood to compromise, and that teams from the higher reaches of the NOWIRUL will expect these players to travel with their 1s when called upon to other parts of the country, but there has to be some compromise somewhere because currently I don't think anyone really wins in this situation, especially the Cumbrian clubs.
And that's the bottom line, 'cause Stone Cold said so!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PiffPaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2019 at 09:11
er.....where to start....
 
So the ECC is for 1st XV of Clubs (in some areas that has been blurred)
 
NOWIRUL is an independent competition and there is no way they would given that up to come under the auspices of the RFU/North DOC.
 
Cheshire RFU  are trying to drive thru bringing 2nd XVs into the RFU Leagues Caldy & Chester are at the vanguard of this (pulling out of NOWIRUL) and I believe now several other Cheshire Clubs 2nd XVs because they don't like the travelling or the level of rugby on offer in NOWIRUL.
 
what you are suggesting is that certain Clubs 2nd XVs come in to a RFU league system pushing out Clubs at that level. (I assume that's what you mean by merging NOWIRUL Level 6/7 with the RFU Level 6/7, ok so you are looking at 20 or so 2nd XVs coming in to dislodge those teams currently at Level 6 and 7 in the RFU Leagues? Yep great idea.........said no one ever!
 
 .....or are we planning to have 25 Team Leagues as these levels?
 
Sorry for being so dismissive of your post but you really need to sit down and think about what you're saying - trying to solve an issue be increasing the load to my knowledge has never worked.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TimesLikeThese Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Mar 2019 at 01:26
Where to start indeed.

I've thought plenty about this issue as it's not a new subject. But one thing I will say is that I wouldn't be so quick as to dismiss including these clubs. In fact, my idea is actually not overly dissimilar to a post of yours at the top of this page from the 28th of Feb:

"The issue was long distance travel at Level 7 down in the North West, solved in my opinion by going down the CB based Leagues feeding into Level 6 North One West. There is already 3 promotion spots, winner of Cumbria 1 and winner of Cheshire/Lancs 1 followed by Playoff winners from the runners up. Go to CB Leagues at L7, yes Cheshire will have a mixed bag and so will Cumbria to some extent and Lancashire with or without the Clubs already in their own County League would have two or more viable Leagues. Winner of each L7 League promoted! No need to change anything at L6 and certainly not on t'other side of the Pennines."

I actually agree with most of this, as long distance travel at L7 is the root cause, and I agree that there is no need to change anything at L6 and certainly not in Yorkshire and the North East. 

But the main thing I agree with is to do with the leagues being split into 3 - however there is no way you could have decent leagues at CB level with 1XVs alone. You acknowledge as much yourself by saying you'd get a mixed bag in Cheshire and Cumbria, and you'd get as much in Lancs as well - and a mixed bag is absolutely putting it generously.

In my post, you'll see this:

"The question I have is would it not make some sense to merge the NOWIRUL and RFU system at say level 6/7 down in the NW, and then split it into 3? North/Mid/South or North/East/West or something like that?"

3 leagues based on location. Given the root cause of these issues is at L7, this would be the best starting point. My ideas for arranging them would be as above:

- North/Mid/South
- North/East/West

Find a sponsor for the leagues for all I care if the names don't suit.

We have 31 teams currently at L7 across 3 leagues in the NW. With 3 leagues, you need 5 more teams to have 3 leagues of 12, or 11 for 3 leagues of 14. I personally think 3 leagues of 12 is a better format, as it gives a decent number of games whilst still maintaining some competition - something which would not happen with just 1st XVs at CB level.

What this would mean is that some teams, particularly those at the bottom end of the leagues, may end up moving down and playing clubs at the top end of the league below as well as the merged NOWIRUL teams. That would be contentious to some, and understandably so, but the idea is to have as many games as locally as possible but without compromising too much on quality.

Without being overly educated on how they operate, I believe that in the South West there is something like this going on, but nowhere near to this extent obviously.

This is entirely hypothetical - unless it's even implemented, it's impossible to say whether or not it would work. It's also very radical - but then so was the creation of the Lancashire League because nobody listened for years. 

Whatever happens though, I feel that the issue will continue to drag on for some time. It would not do anyone any favours if the North West dragged Yorkshire and the North East counties into their problems either.
And that's the bottom line, 'cause Stone Cold said so!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Touchjudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 hours 51 minutes ago at 22:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 47 minutes ago at 15:00
Some comprehensive posts on this and other threads and congratulations to those who have attempted to clarify the issue(s) and options available.

The problem appears to be that the RFU are not going through the same process - or have I missed something?

Its a bit like Brexit with individuals/organisations who raise queries or legitimate objections are bullied into submission by those who failed to consider the facts before deciding upon  a course of action.
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