On the evening of 1st October we received the disciplinary and appeal panel minutes from the RFL’s lawyers. I am constrained by legal confidentiality in providing any details but, suffice to say, the minutes were as we expected with a couple of surprising details which serve to strengthen our legal case.
Notwithstanding this we are awaiting a substantive response from the RFL due on 17th October regarding our pre-action legal letter went sent a week or so ago. Clearly time is moving on and the fixtures await so we have kicked off another part of our strategy this week.
We are in the process of writing to all members requesting an Extraordinary General Meeting so that this issue, and concerns pertaining to this issue, can be resolved by the members. Some people may not know but the Rugby Football League is owned by the member clubs. The directors are appointed to serve the RFL for the betterment and protection of the sport. Sometimes it may become necessary for the members to exert their fundamental rights to control when problems become too complex or problematic. I believe that this is a valid scenario for the members to empower themselves to decide on the solutions to a number of problems the sport faces.
As a result, I have almost completed writing to all members requesting a meeting to vote on 5 proposed resolutions as follows:
– Resolution 1 – request members to record a vote of no confidence in the compliance to the Operational Rules
– Resolution 2 – a 7 member working party is to be formed to review the governance of the game and propose recommended changes to a subsequent meeting of the members
– Resolution 3 – members to consider prohibiting the RFL Board from spending monies in defending a legal action taken by member clubs against the RFL unless the expenditure is expressly sanctioned by a majority of members
– Resolution 4 – the members to vote to overturn the decision of the appeals panel that returned the points to Doncaster and Batley
– Resolution 5 – the member to require the Board to come forward with detailed proposals of how the problem of Sheffield and Keighley can be solved. The members to vote on the best solution to solve this issue
Clearly, each member will have a view on each resolution and how they will vote. They may also want to consider additional resolutions for their own purposes. The 5 resolutions I have proposed above are ones that obviously have a direct relationship with the issue facing Keighley Cougars.
As I have said to the members in a covering email, “You may not think this request applies to your club. However, if next season, or the season after, you have to bear the brunt of what you feel is an unfair situation, and have no remedy but litigation, then the opportunity available now to change the process will be lost to you.”
This is an opportunity to change our much loved sport for future success so I hope the members responded positively to my request.