At a very well attended meeting last night the Chairman presented the club’s strategy for the coming seasons and updated everyone on the ineligible player crisis.
In the first part of the presentation the Chairman reminded everyone that, despite the fundamental issue of the ineligible players and the impact it has had on the Cougars and sport in general, they still have a club to run for the future and presented what they were going to do to ensure the club became progressively stronger.
The second part of the presentation focused on the ineligible player matter and outlined what the situation was, what has been done about it so far and what will be done about it.
The situation, simply put, is that it is undisputable that ineligible players were played on 27th July, that the clubs responsible were punished and then had their punishments withdrawn and, as a result of this, the Cougars were relegated on the last game of the season. To date, despite communication and pressure, the RFL has refused to do anything about the situation.
As a result, we have had to devise a strategy that progressively increases the pressure on the RFL to apply the rules of the game or at least look for a solution that is just and equitable for all. In this regard, an online petition has reached almost 2,000 signatures and this has been sent to the RFL, fans and rugby league supporters have written to the directors at the RFL and, likewise, they have written to over 20 MPs and the All Party Parliamentary Committee for Rugby League. The All Party Parliamentary Committee have responded that they are investigating. On top of this some fans have, unilaterally, decided to write to the sponsors of our much loved game alerting them to this issue.
The club has also been busy. We have embarked on joint legal action against the RFL, written to the MPs and the All Party Parliamentary Commitee and commenced fund raising for the legal action. We have also embarked on the process of potentially setting up an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the members to address this issue and, during the meeting, options for the resolutions that could be put to the EGM were discussed. On top of this the club has requested that the issue of the 13 club league is raised at the Championship CEO forum on 8th October.