********** NOTE TO ALL **********
Original closed thread here -> http://www.weststigersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10842
This thread is for the posting of news and updates only. To avoid a repeat of the problems in the original thread we request that any comments or opinions be posted on the Wests Supporters Forum located here -> http://s9.zetaboards.com/Wests_Magpies_Forum/topic/7318595/1/
The Wests Supporters Forum is free to join and many members here are also members there.
Regardless of individual opinions regarding the Save our Sides movement, it is an ongoing contentious issues that is related to the Wests Tigers and therefore should be acknowledged here with an open thread. However, as mentioned above, we do not want to have a repeat of the last thread where opinions degenerated into personal abuse and attacks.
News, updates, etc. can be posted in this thread. Any comments, opinions or debate must be posted in the Magpies forum as it is the most appropriate place for them.
Some photos of the Rally for those who may be interested…. I am just posting the pics and not making any comments.
Extract of quotes regarding for the Rally for the information of members of the WT Forum. Once again posting only without comments. Remember - All Macarathur area Rugby League issues (Magpie related or not) should be just as equally Wests Tigers related.
Quote on twitter from Melbourne Storm player and Magpie Junior Ryan Hoffman
“It’s killing me seeing the way @westsmagpies are getting treated. Had 2nd rate treatment since the merger began. Westies love a fight though”
Quote on twitter from Cronulla Sharks, former Wests Tigers premiership winning player and Magpie Junior Bryce Gibbs regarding the Wests Tigers decision to stop supporting the Wests Magpies
“balmain fans are in charge there now! Disgrace”
“I grew up on Rudd Rd right next to Campbelltown Stadium! You need a Magpies team for the kids in the area to prevent them going to the Parramatta district! No Magpies = No future for the kids of Campbelltown and a bigger chance of them going to AFL!!”
Quote from former NRL Wests Magpies and Wests Tigers player, Kevin McGuiness
What will happen to the kids in our area? What will they aspire to be? Wests Magpies is our Local Representative Team and I’m worried about the future and Development of the children in our area. I have a young child that wants to play Rugby League in the area but what opportunities will he have?
Quote from Coaching and Development Co-ordinator Campbelltown Eagles RLFC Daniel Draper
“All we want is our club to play and train in Campbelltown whilst competing in a well run competition, its not that hard”
“With our three local clubs gone and the Magpies killed off, we face the real possibility that there will no senior football played in Campbelltown on a weekend”
“It is rare for clubs like ours with such a fierce on field rivalry to be united 100% behind this cause and this rally”
Quote from Heath Attard President Campbelltown City Kangaroos RLFC
“Our concern for the lack of Rugby League opportunities for the youth of Campbelltown, Liverpool and Macarthur. With the demise of the Magpies NSW Cup, the highest grade of Rugby League now being trained and played in Liverpool- Campbelltown LGAs is NSWRL SG Ball U/18s.”
“There is less Rugby League being played in the Campbelltown & Liverpool LGAs in 2012 than there was in 1986. Why is this?”
Quote from former Wests Magpies NRL player Damien Kennedy
I got a start in Jersey Flegg, under 21’s, Reserve Grade and learnt how to play NRL Footy with the Magpies at Campbelltown, I was an outsider living and Representing Campbelltown and I wouldn’t of got this opportunity if it wasn’t for the Magpies and the Campbelltown area. The Wests Tigers couldn’t lead a Horse to Water for what they are doing to the area. It’s also ludicrous that Campbelltown Council would allow this to happen, Campbelltown Clubs that cannot Train and Play in the Campbelltown LGA, these clubs should have the backing from Campbelltown Council and it is ridiculous on what is happening in senior Rugby League in Campbelltown.
Quote from Magpie 1st Grader and Life Member on the club Bruce (Bruiser) Clarke
“I gave nine hard years to the Magpies and I feel disappointed that the boards of Ashfield and Campbelltown Leagues Clubs can’t better support them.”
“I am a life member of the Magpies, but the way things are going I might soon be a life member of nothing”
Quote from Campbelltown Eagles Junior and former Magpie NSW Cup player of the Year Fataitoa Asa
“Wests Magpies give children in our area an accessible avenue of becoming like their NRL heros and may even become hometown heros like legends of yesteryear such as John Skandalis, Bryce Gibbs and Brett Hodgson. Without the Magpies, junior Rugby League will suffer in this, with many defecting to other competitions or giving up on their dreams all together.”
Quote from Laurie Ferguson MP, Member for Werriwa.
The Magpies as a foundation club has earned its place in the NSW Rugby League and its history. To argue money cheapens a proud jumper. The area has the facilities the passion and the pride to have their local team – the Magpies.
That was the proclaimed figure. I personally say there was around 350-400. Rally attendees were happy with the feel of the intentions of the rally. However there was some tension with staff and security from leaumeah Leagues club by not letting any protesters into club at all including league club members. How the rally will impact decision makers at WT,ashfield leagues,ctown leagues and NSWRL remains to be seen.
Posted using RoarFEED
REMINDER ALL - As per first Post
This thread is for the posting of news and updates only. To avoid a repeat of the problems in the original thread we request that any comments or opinions be posted on the Wests Supporters Forum located here ->
Chairman: Wests Tigers NSW Cup team is an Option
Posted: 06 Feb 2012 06:13 PM PST
NEW Magpies chairman Mick Liubinskas said the Wests Tigers fielding a combined team in the NSW Cup next year was a “possibility”, but there were still key issues to work through.
The former Balmain and Wests player was elected Western Suburbs Magpies football club chairman last week as part of a new-look board.
The Concord resident said the Wests side of the NRL joint-venture needed to work together.
The Wests side of the club is made up of Wests Ashfield Leagues, Wests Campbelltown Leagues and the Magpies football club.
Wests Ashfield Leagues gave in-principle support recently to Balmain and Wests fielding a combined team in next year’s second tier NSW Cup under the Wests Tigers banner.
Liubinskas supports a combined team, which would alternate between Balmain and Magpies colours.
Balmain are yet to make a decision on the combined team.
“It’s a possibility, but nothing is set in concrete. I see a lot of credit in it though,” Liubinskas said.
“Wests and Balmain haven’t won a comp in the NSW Cup for a while now and if you look at St George Illawarra they are moving forward with a combined team this year.”
But Liubinskas said it was vital the different Wests stakeholders worked together to ensure the success of the Wests Tigers and the future of the Magpies.
Footy lovers unite to support Magpies
08 Feb, 2012 01:00 AM
IT HAD been a while since a “Magpies” chant had been heard in Campbelltown, but more than 200 rugby league supporters revived it as they joined the “Save Our Sides” rally on Sunday.
The peaceful, police-escorted protest started at Campbelltown Council and ended at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Leumeah.
Participants expressed their views on local rugby league, but three main topics were talked about by speakers: to allow senior Campbelltown teams to train and play in Campbelltown, to keep the Wests Magpies alive in the NSW Cup, and for Wests Tigers to host more than four games a year at Campbelltown Stadium.
Camden mayor Greg Warren said he was there to support people who wanted to sustain local junior rugby league.
“It’s a large philosophical thing for me,” he told the Advertiser at the rally. “Rugby league helps kids learn mateship, leadership and other good qualities. What’s going on here [at the rally] is making sure kids have that opportunity locally.”
Mr Warren said he’d be disappointed if Campbelltown didn’t have its own senior representative team. He was supported by Campbelltown councillor Fred Borg.
“It’s imperative to keep a senior team representing Campbelltown,” Cr Borg said.
“A lot needs to be changed. It all sounds good from a distance, but kids need a team near them to inspire them and to support.”
¦The general manager of NSW Rugby League, Geoff Carr, has appointed former Sydney Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan to conduct a complete review of senior football in south-west Sydney.
“All stakeholders will get an opportunity to talk to Brian Canavan about the future competitions in Macarthur,” Mr Carr said.
“At the end of the day Brian will make a recommendation to the NSW Rugby League which will be in the best interest of the competitions in the area rather than individuals or individual clubs.”
The hunger for rugby league
6 FEB 12 @ 05:22PM BY MANDY PERRIN
THE passion of the participants in the Save Our Sides rally on Sunday is good news for rugby league. Marred by division and disagreement at all levels of the game for many years, the march showed people still care deeply about their sport.
The challenge for the game’s administrators, from the junior league to the NRL, is to ensure this passion is harnessed to rejuvenate the game.
Everyone has had their say and their grievances are well-documented.
The next step must be to appoint an independent mediator to consider the issues and work out a way forward.
As for the future of the Western Suburbs Magpies, the joint-venture club, the Wests Tigers, must ensure the proud black-and-white legacy is not forgotten if the Wests senior State Cup team folds next year. Rugby league is a great sport. With a bit of give and take from all parties, it can have a bright future in the Macarthur region.
Western Suburbs Magpies rally for future of rugby league
6 FEB 12 @ 04:46PM BY VERA BERTOLA
ORGANISERS of the Save our Sides (SOS) rugby league rally in Campbelltown on Sunday have resolved to continue the fight for a better deal for players and fans of the game in the Macarthur region.
The SOS group said the rally was successful as it gave them a public forum to air their grievances and ask for a fairer go for the game.
Read editor Mandy Perrin’s comment on the Save Our Sides rally
See more images from the rally here
One of the organisers, Graeme Szynal, said that following the rally SOS had again resolved that a self-sustainable senior representative rugby league team was needed in the Macarthur region.
At this stage, Western Suburbs Magpies senior team is on the brink of extinction after Wests Ashfield refused to guarantee funding beyond 2012.
“We will continue to protest, it’s not been confirmed for sure but probably next time at a Wests Tigers home game at Campbelltown,” Mr Szynal said.
“It will be a peaceful protest. We will be supporting the ‘Wests’ in Wests Tigers.”
The extraordinary move to organise a protest rally, in what is traditionally recognised as rugby league heartland, evoked a positive response from the community. About 400 people rallied at the Campbelltown Council chambers in Queen St with about 200 of them walking to Wests Leagues Club, in Leumeah, to voice their concerns about the game’s future in the area. In addition, almost 400 people signed an online petition.
Camden Mayor Greg Warren, Campbelltown councillor Fred Borg and Magpies director and former chairman Paul Dillon also attended the rally.
Mr Szynal said for him one of the rally’s highlights was the “Magpies” chant again echoing around the Campbelltown district.
“I think the main thing was the groundswell of support for what we were doing,” he said.
Meanwhile, NSW Rugby League general manager Geoff Carr weighed in to the Save our Sides list of grievances last week to clear up when he said were some misunderstandings.
He issued a statement prior to the rally, saying he wanted to correct ``misinformation or misunderstanding’’ about the status of the three Campbelltown-based Group 6 clubs.
He also clarified the position of Wests junior league.
Carr said the three Group 6 clubs had been given a number of options and elected go with the option that required them to play and train in that competition’s district.
He also explained the Wests juniors had requested, and received, affiliation with Wests Tigers rather than a district club. The Tigers, in turn, had been granted affiliation with the NSW Rugby League.
Dear Mr Szynal
Before this rally takes place it is important that I correct some misinformation or misunderstanding that has clearly biased the Western Suburbs situation.
(A) The three Western Suburbs clubs that wished to play in Group 6 in 2011 were given several options by the Board of the NSW Rugby League:
1. Join a proposed ‘Super A Grade’ competition as proposed by Terry Rose from Parramatta DJRFL. Terry already had interest from five teams and the three Western Suburbs teams would have made it a viable competition where the Western Suburbs clubs could have played and trained in Campbelltown.
2. Participate in the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League competition which would also allow the three clubs to train and play in Campbelltown.
3. Work with the NSWRL to reform the combined Western Suburbs/Group 6 competition which would be run by an independent administrator paid for by the League. This would also allow the three clubs to train and play in Campbelltown.
4. Play in the Group 6 competition but because it is a Country Rugby League competition the three clubs would be required to play and train in Group 6.
It was the three clubs’ decision to play in Group 6 and play and train in Group 6 and gave very little regard to some of the other options that would have allowed them to stay in Campbelltown.
(B) It has continually been asserted that the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League has no affiliation with the NSW Rugby League. This is a proposition that is absolutely incorrect and regardless of the efforts made to correct misleading statements they are ignored.
The Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League asked for and was granted affiliation with their NRL club, Wests Tigers. In turn Wests Tigers sort and were granted affiliation with the NSW Rugby League and this allows Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League to act in the same way as other Junior Leagues with their affiliation through an NRL club rather than a District Club.
The success of the combined competition between Group6 and Western Suburbs in senior football was outstanding and considerably increased the number of participating teams. This competition unfortunately ceased and the NSW Rugby League and the Country Rugby League have tried in vain since then to come up with suitable senior competitions to take the game forward in the west.
At the end of last year the NSW Rugby League commissioned experience Rugby League administrator, Brian Canavan to do a complete review of senior football in the South Western Corridor. He will be talking to as many stake holders as possible in an attempt to get their views so we can establish growing and viable competitions in the future that the District deserves.
It would be appreciated if people could put aside their pettiness and personal attacks that will allow a thorough revision of senior football in the best interests of all concerned.
NSW Rugby League Limited
Dear Mr Carr
So let me get this straight…
So Wests Tigers are now affiliated with the NSWRL yet don’t have a side in any NSWRL comp
and Wests Junior League broke their affiliation away from the Magpies District club
but the Magpies District Club constitution ratified by the NSWRL says they have power over the Wests Junior League
but Wests Junior League refuse to acknowledge this
so somehow Wests Junior League is now affiliated to the Wests Tigers
but Wests Ashfield want Wests Junior League affiliated back to the Magpies District Club
and its ok for the Campbelltown Eagles to play in a Sydney comp, but not the neighboring Group 6 comp
and the NSWRL want to remove Group 6 and have a comp run by an independant administrator which Wests JL will accept
but Wests JL wont accept allowing Group 6 to just run the comp
and Group 6 wants nothing to do with Wests JL
and Wests Tigers wont allow Group 6 board members onto the Magpies board
and Wests Tigers now want to change their constitution to allow a Wests Tigers NSW Cup side based from Concord
and Campbelltown Leagues club votes in line with Balmain at Wests Tigers board meetings
and soon we wont have a single senior rep side for the entire Macarthur district
and there is the strong possibility there wont be a single game of senior football played in Campbelltown on a weekend.
I’m sorry but that pretty much sums up the mess we are in out in the Macarthur and your response does nothing to fix the situation we have found ourselves in.
Kindest of Regards
Dear Mr Szynal
As you may be aware the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League became an Incorporated Body in the late 1980s and severed their ties with the Western Suburbs District Rugby League. Despite numerous attempts to reconcile the two bodies this has not happened hence the NSWRL Board’s decision to have the Western Suburbs Juniors affiliation through the Wests Tigers. The fact that the Wests Tigers do not have a team in the NSW Rugby League competition is irrelevant as they are an affiliated body.
You must appreciate that metropolitan competitions are run by the NSW Rugby League and the Group 6 competition is a competition of the Country Rugby League which the NSW Rugby League has no jurisdiction over. Hence the different treatment of the Campbelltown clubs when they elect to play in Group 6 rather than competitions conducted by the NSW Rugby League.
All stakeholders will get an opportunity to talk to Brian Canavan about the future competitions in Macarthur and at the end of the day Brian will make a recommendation to the NSW Rugby League which will be in the best interest of the competitions in the area rather than individuals or individual clubs.
Thankyou Mr Carr for your prompt reply.
It is a shame that issues such as differing governing bodies has created the problems we now face. This issue highlights to me why the game needs a single administrator to make the best decisions for Rugby League. An administrator that isn’t bound to old restrictions such as CRL and NSWRL boundaries.
As for Wests Junior Leagues affiliation I am still unsure of a few things.
What was the exact date that the Wests Tigers become affiliated to the NSWRL? I thought the NSWRL constitution stated you must be a district club or association?
What exact date did the Wests Junior League affiliate with the Wests Tigers?
Why has it taken so long for the Wests Junior League to affiliate to a club? Prior to affiliating with the Wests Tigers, were they un-affiliated during that whole time? 20+ years? How did NSWRL allow that to happen?
Why were no press releases made when Wests Tigers affiliated to the NSWRL or when Wests Junior League affiliated with the Wests Tigers?
Can Wests Junior League Clubs now approach the Wests Tigers and appeal the decision to deny them the right to train and play at their own home grounds?
Finally I find it interesting that you mention a recommendation to the NSW Rugby League will be made which will be in the best interest of the competitions in the area rather than individuals or individual clubs. Yet you a using a single individual to make these recommendations. I am sure Mr Canavan is a capable person, but why is it being left up to a single individual to decide what is best for Rugby League in the area?
The fact three clubs have decided to play in Group 6 rather than in the Wests Junior League highlights there is an issue in the Wests Junior League. Maybe you should consider putting an administrator into Wests Junior League before you decide to dictate terms to Group 6.
Dear Mr Szynal
Because of the fractioned relationship between Western Suburbs District Rugby League and Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League, there has been no affiliation with NSW Rugby League until recently. This was not ideal but we needed competitions to be run in the Western Suburbs and we took that as the priority.
Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League were granted conditional affiliation with the NSWRL in 2009. They were granted this on the basis there would be meaningful negotiations between the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League and the Western Suburbs District Rugby League in the traditional manner. These talks did not eventuate or reach a conclusion so as a result the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League were affiliated with Wests Tigers by a Board minute of the NSWRL on the 8th March, 2011.
If the three Campbelltown clubs wish to play and train in Campbelltown they need to enter into meaningful negotiations with the NSWRL about either of the three options which they previously dismissed, ie assist us to re-establish the combined competitions with Group 6, participate in a competition such as the Sydney Shield which is up and running in season 2012 or participate in the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League A Grade competition.
If you are as passionate about Western Suburbs RL as you say you are it seems strange that you are attempting to destroy your own A Grade competition by participating outside your district.
I notice a lot of these facts which I have passed on to you were conveniently overlooked with your interview on 2UE. This continual misinformation about the facts is not helping to resolve the situation.
You have also misunderstood Brian Canavan’s role in the process. Brian’s role is to talk and listen to the stakeholder groups in the South Western corridor to determine the best model for senior rugby league in the South Western corridor. Brian has had considerable success with similar projects in the last year and the idea is to include input from all stakeholders to determine what is the best way forward.
You will get plenty of opportunity to state your case to Brian but in the meantime you need to consider all the options for participation that will allow you to play and train in Campbelltown. You need to be reminded it was the three clubs’ decision to go to Group 6 knowing they would have to commit fully to Group 6. This was their decision and their decision alone.
Thanks again for your reply Mr Carr. I do appreciate you taking the time to clear up some of the murky water we have found ourselves in surrounding this whole issue.
I still have some questions and concerns that need further clarification.
1. How was Western Suburbs Junior League allowed to operate the junior league competitions during the years when they were not affiliated with either the NSWRL or their district club. Is this permissible under the NSWRL constitution?
2. When the Wests Junior League refused to affiliate why wasn’t their license to operate withdrawn and a new administrator installed?
3. Why wasn’t the WSDRLFC (The Magpies) board informed immediately when the Junior League affiliated with the Wests Tigers?
4. When did Wests Tigers become affiliated with the NSWRL?
Wests Tigers, as it currently operates, is a company, not a district rugby league club, as required udner the NSWRL constitution. Can you please advise when Wests Tigers became a district club or, failing this, when the NSWRL changed its constitution to allow private companies to affiliate with it.
5. Will the Wests Tigers be granted a license to play in the NSW Cup in 2012?
6. Given the well documented disciplinary disputes which occurred involving Wests Juniors and Group 6, as well as public statements made about the administration of the respective competitions, are you suggesting that the three clubs in question, in order to continue playing rugby league at the current level they play at, must either play in a competition they do not feel safe in, absorb the consderable costs of relocation, or fold? If so, why are these clubs being penalised for wanting to enjoy their football in a safe environment?
6. As you would be fully aware;
in 2007 Wests junior League were unable to run a senior competition. Therefor three teams (Campbelltown Collegians, Ingleburn Bulldogs and Liverpool All Saints played in the Parramatta competition. East Campbelltown Eagles played in the Canterbury competition.
in 2008 five senior local teams paticipated in the Wests Junior League which saw a competition full of lob sided results and forfeits.
In 2009 and 2010, all senior teams were told to play in the Country Rugby League’s Group 6 competition by Wests Junior League.
in 2011 to this current date, these same clubs have been told they are not allowed to play in the Group 6 competition and the reason you state is that NSWRL teams cannot play in a CRL competition. This makes me confused.So they were allowed in 2009 and 2010, but not now?
Speaking to these clubs it is the actual players that made the decision to go to Group 6 as they just want to play in a stable competition, one where violence on and off the field is not tolerated and a competition with good administration. Something that they haven’t had in the Wests Junior League for at least 15 years.
It is the players that have made the decision that they want to play in the Group 6 competition and the Clubs have simply followed their players wishes. If Wests Junior League is so good, why have not only the Campbelltown City Kangaroos and Campbelltown Eagles jumped over to Group 6, but also the majority of players from the now defunct Ingleburn Bulldogs, Macquarie Fields and Eaglevale St Andrews sides as well.
The players continue to support their decision to play in Group 6 even though the NSWRL and the Wests junior League have made it extremely difficult on them by forcing them to travel long distances due to the ruling forcing them to train and play out of their own areas. Yet they continue to do so willingly.
Maybe a simple solution would be to hand over the running of the Wests Junior Leagues Senior competitions to Group 6 who have proven over many years they know how to run a very professional, successful and vibrant senior competition. Wests Junior League can then focus solely on running the areas junior competitions which I often feel are neglected due to the constant attention required to deal with the turmoil that is the Wests Junior League senior competition.
7. In all this turmoil I think it is imperative that we remember these clubs are run by volunteers. These volunteers just want to do what is best for their local clubs and their area. I feel the way these volunteers have been treated can be described as regrettable at best. Our game has a proud tradition of having passionate volunteers at all levels and it is an essential part of keeping our game the strong code that it is. We must stop treating them like criminals or we will lose them, and then who is going to cut up the oranges for half time, mark the fields, wash the jerseys or man the bbqs?
8. I am disappointed you have resorted to questioning my motivations regarding the Wests Junior A Grade comp. It is precisely because these clubs have felt disenfranchised enough to seek defection to Group 6 that I am raising these isues. If the Wests Junior A Grade competition is so strong and professional, clubs would not be looking to defect.
Mr Carr, all I and my colleagues are doing, like yourself, is to ensure rugby league in the Macarthur is given every opportunity to develop to its maximum potential.
Whilst we may disagree on some aspects of what is best, surely it cannot be in rugby league’s best interests to disenfranchise participants to the extent they may seek to leave the game. Rugby League is in a battle with a cashed up GWS in the AFL, and a growing Sydney FC in the A League, and we need all the help we can get.
Dear Mr Szynal
The three Campbelltown clubs when given the options last year had no intention of exploring them because they wanted to play in Group 6 regardless of the implications for Western Suburbs A Grade or the NSW Rugby League. They didn’t want to discuss or consider options and it was always was their intention to do whatever they could to play in Group 6. As a result of this they accepted and were granted the rights for 12 months only to be a Group 6 club which required them to play and train in Group 6.
It would be nice if they could consider the other options and stop predetermining how strong alternative competitions are. I’ve spent more time on the three Western Suburbs A grade clubs in the last two years than any other project. The way they have used the internet to try and destroy the Western Suburbs A Grade and the Western Suburbs Junior League is a disgrace and the Board of the NSW Rugby League have not been impressed. The misinformation that has been put out by the Clubs which has clouded the debate has also not been helpful.
In answer to your questions:
1 I cannot speak for the NSW Rugby League administration in the late 80s but I can imagine they had an appreciation that the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League was a not for profit company which had a democratically elected Board which represented the teams in the Western Suburbs competition. Because they were organized to run rugby league in Western Suburbs and the alternative may have been a break down in those competitions, they obviously allowed them to proceed.
2 Again I can’t speak for previous administrations but we do not issue licenses to run junior rugby league. It id done by incorporated bodies with democratic elections and Wests Juniors qualified in this regard.
3 Because the relationship between Western Suburbs Juniors and Western Suburbs DRLF was disfunctional and as much as we tried to fix it, it was beyond saving. The affiliation with Wests Tigers was our only option and correspondence from the District Club at the time clearly showed they had knowledge of the affiliation.
4 The Board of the NSW Rugby League has affiliated many organizations that are not districts and have been able to do so under their rules. Such organizations as Schoolboys, Wheelchair Rugby League, Disabled Rugby League, Women’s Rugby League, etc are all affiliated. These are bodies involved in the conduct of Rugby League in NSW and Wests Tigers is no different. They are not a member club and do not have any representation on the General Committee. They are an affiliated rugby league organization in the same way that other bodies are that I have mentioned.
5 Wests Tigers are not participating in the NSW Cup in 2012.
6 The NSW Rugby League and the CRL offered to have an administrator step in to run senior football in the Macarthur area. Under the control of the Leagues any issues would have been cleaned up. The significant exaggeration of the issues by the three clubs has again been misleading. Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League are interested in discussing handing over the running of over 18 competitions in their district to such an independent administrator. Again, the three clubs have made up their mind about what they want to do and it is the view of the NSW Rugby League Board playing in another League in another District is not in the best interests of the Western Suburbs District.
As previously mentioned the NSW Rugby League have employed Brian Canavan to go out and work through all the issues with all the stakeholders. It would be nice if people in the Western Suburbs could co-operate with the process and have an open mind to what any final recommendation may be. You will certainly be included in all discussions and hopefully these issues can be resolved in the best interests of Rugby League in the Western Suburbs.
I feel we are finally starting to get some answers to questions we have all asked for so many years. Answers that should have been made public a long time ago, especially considering all the stake holders in Rugby League have been constantly asking them to the Wests Junior League, the Magpies, the Wests Tigers, and have in the past all just been shrugged off.
I thank you sincerely for clarifying the situation as it currently stands.
I personally do not know how Rugby League got into such a mess out in the South West of Sydney. I probably made a mistake by assuming there were suitable checks and balances and a strategic plan that would ensure that such an important area would be looked after. Once I became involved with volunteering help to the Western Suburbs Magpies 8 years ago, I quickly realised this isn’t the case.
The entire districts rugby league just hobbles along, day by day. No long term plan, too many conflicting interests, too many hierarchies and who suffers? The kids, the players, the supporters, the sponsors… Rugby League!
I have sat down with the 3 ‘renegade’ clubs and had numerous chats. The first chat that lasted a good 5 hours. To hear how many grievances they have had with Wests Junior League, the Wests Tigers, Campbelltown Council, the Magpies and the NSWRL made me understand completely why they are so keen to continue playing in Group 6.
Finally they are in a comp that just cares about playing footy.
Good clean footy, one where players are not afraid of being bashed, a competition where after the game everyone shakes hands and has a beer and a steak sandwich. A competition where the rivalry is fierce on the field, but the Group and its clubs actively try to help each others clubs out with working bees and logistical support.
A competition that doesn’t tolerate violence and hands out hefty suspensions to players that don’t play to the rules and spirit of the game.
A competition that allows clubs to have a vote and a say in how the competition is run. I quote one of those"rogue" clubs at a meeting I attended
“I may not have agreed with the outcome of the vote, but boy it was nice to be even included”
It was the Wests Junior League and the NSWRL that sent these clubs to Group 6 in 2009 and 2010. This showed them and their players Rugby League Utopia, and then the NSWRL tried to yank them out of it to put them back into the Rugby League shambles that is the Wests Junior League. Of course they would resist. They did resist and so now your organisation is punishing them.
Group 6 previously offered to take over the complete running of the senior competition for the area, to re-establish a Combined Competition (something that your organisation seems keen to see happen as long as it is run by an independent board). But the NSWRL doesn’t seem keen to just allow a CRL organisation with a proven track record to have control over a NSWRL area. NSWRL, CRL, ARL, NRL. Too many hierarchies! Again Rugby League suffers.
As for the choices NSWRL have offered these ‘rogue clubs’, Has the NSWRL thought they might have actual valid reasons for not wanting to be a part of them?
We have already documented that the clubs are fed up with the violence, unstable nature and poor administration of the Wests Junior League option.
But it seems the NSWRL also agrees that the Wests Junior League doesn’t offer a high enough level of competition for these clubs, as to why NSWRL are willing to allow them to enter the Sydney Super A grade comp.
But what about this Sydney Super A Grade option?
Campbelltown City Kangaroos summertime income for example is a few hundred dollars from a few raffles they run at a local pub. How are they expected to compete in a Sydney competition against clubs like Cabramatta, Wentworthville, Mounties, St Marys, Ryde Eastwood etc etc who all have the financial backing of profitable leagues clubs?
They will be out of their depth, and the players will simply leave and join clubs like Camden Rams and Narellan Jets over in Group 6.
The final option was to work with the NSWRL, the Wests Junior League and Group 6 to see a return to the Combined Competition. Well, Wests Junior Leagues administration burnt Group 6 with their repeated lack of action on disciplinary action in regards to violence from certain clubs they controlled, and therefor I completely understand why Group 6 do not want to be a part of any dealings with Wests junior League.
Now over 400 clearances of players from Wests Junior League to Group 6 should be telling you something. Players have voted with their feet. They want to play in Group 6 for they believe it is one of the best Rugby League competitions in NSW and definitely the best local option for them. What a shame they cannot play in this competition and play and train in Campbelltown.
As for your claims that the clubs (and I assume you include myself in your statement), have destroyed the Wests Junior League through the internet.
The Wests Junior League competition was destroyed long ago, was it the internet that saw only 4 sides in 2007, 3 clubs went to Parramatta and 1 club went to Canterbury, was it the internet that saw 5 A Grade Clubs in 2008? Was it the internet that saw the Combined Competition thrown together at the last minute in 2009 when AGAIN Wests Junior League didn’t have enough teams. The internet is a valuable tool for information and the internet was used to state the truth. Forfeits, Fights, and the poor running of the game. How were the clubs clouding the debate about an out of date rule that continues to stop players from playing and training at their home grounds when they dare to ask to play in a better competition.
As for the affiliation of the Wests Junior League, you stated it was past administrators that were in charge. Well I have read a public document that the Wests Junior League had its constitution changed to disregard the Magpies District Club in 2000?
Were you not at the helm then and why did NSWRL ratify this new constitution? Seems the Wests Junior League was pulling the strings over the NSWRL when it should have been your organisation pulling them back into line, or removing them and replacing them with an administrator.
Why does it seem so many of the problems we face keep coming back to the rogue administration of the Wests Junior League?
You again state you have spent more time on this issue than any other project yet you still haven’t come up with a solution?
Maybe your time could be better spent tackling the bigger issues if you just handed over control of the Wests Junior League senior competition to Group 6 whilst you worked out a thorough strategic plan for Rugby League in the area?
As for Wests Tigers affiliation with the NSWRL, and the Wests Junior Leagues affiliation with the Wests Tigers.
Was the Western Suburbs Magpies district club consulted prior to this happening, and was it informed in writing by the NSWRL that this had occurred. The NSWRL would clearly understand this matter was one of high sensitivity but it appears again another decision was made behind closed doors and were hoped to have slipped bye quietly.
I know for a fact clubs in the Wests Junior League repeatedly asked who the Wests Junior League were affiliated with and they were never given a clear answer. Now we understand why. For 20 years they weren’t affiliated with anybody and then they did a hidden deal with the Wests Tigers.
As for Wests Tigers affiliation with the NSWRL, I understand that many other bodies are affiliated with the NSWRL, however these bodies remain non-profit bodies. How many private companies have been permitted to affiliate with the NSWRL?
Now that the Wests Tigers are affiliated with the NSWRL, I would assume (but I am not the naive) that the NSWRL and Wests Tigers have signed an agreement that they will hear to the Rules and Regulations of the NSWRL. Does that mean you have the power over the NRL club?
Could the NSWRL then pressure the Wests Tigers to maintain keeping the proud heritage and a rare asset such as the Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers alive in our game and alive in the NSW Cup as per Wests Tigers constitution?
Could the NSWRL also release a statement in support of the strategically important Macarthur region by strongly recommending Wests Tigers play more than 4 games a year at Campbelltown Stadium?
What are the NSWRL thoughts on the last local senior representative team for the entire Liverpool, Macarthur and Southern Highlands in a NSW competition being winded up and replaced by a side being based in the inner city suburb of Concord?
Do you support the motion that Western Suburbs Magpies should be allowed to have a member from Group 6 (and Wests Junior League for that matter) to sit on its board to ensure the Magpies better integrate into the local area? Why were certain individuals from Wests Tigers so keen to oppose this idea and in the end, see the idea crushed with a silly rule about not being allowed on two boards. Surely this idea would be a benefit to local Rugby League?
Mr Carr, surely you can see we are desperate out here to see our game prosper.
We have many passionate people with great ideas and the motivation to make them happen.
There is no doubt things need to change, and we look forward to talking with Mr Canavan. I myself have talked to a lot of people regarding these issues and as much as the complexity of the issues leave one bamboozled, I have concluded that a solution to most of these could be as simple as:
Allow Group 6 full control to run the senior Combined Competition which would allow all sides to play and train in their own areas.
Ensure the survival of the Western Suburbs Magpies at a senior level preferably in the NSW Cup, but alternatively at a Bundy Cup level with a suitable level of support by the Wests Tigers.
Integrate the Western Suburbs Magpies into the local Rugby League environment by allowing more local Rugby League stakeholders onto its board, then it can return to being the true district club run by locals.
Put pressure on the Wests Tigers to play 6 games a year at Campbelltown and to give much greater levels of support the junior development in the area, to help us hold off rival codes like AFL and Soccer.
Put pressure on Campbelltown Council to provide better facilities for Rugby League.
Again I thank you for your time. I think we can all agree we are in the end all aiming for the same outcome, we are just getting stuck on silly roadblocks that is slowing down this process and that is why the Rally went ahead with great success and why further protest action will have to continue until we see real change.