RFL Community Club Partnership

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RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by KEN TINSDALE on Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:44 am

Many clubs will now have received a copy of the, "RFL Community Club Partnership Agreement."

A document which invites amateur clubs to sign up to a contract and become associated to the RFL. In return for signing up to this contract, the RFL offers various services as well as complimentary tickets.

Most of the services on offer are and have been for some years, available through BARLA without the need to sign any contract whatsoever. Added to this, many clubs at present participate with their local professional club, on a "Cashback match ticket scheme."

Following is a memo from the BARLA Chairman:

Tuesday, 03 February 2009

To all Leagues and Clubs

At the Open Forum of Leagues on Sunday 1st February 2009 held at the George Hotel Huddersfield. Certain concerns were raised.

One of the major ones that caused great concern was the agreements circulated by the RFL without consultation with BARLA to our leagues and clubs.

The BARLA Chair has written to R Lewis RFL on Tuesday 3rd February to raise this issue and request a meeting. In the meantime BARLA would urge all leagues and Clubs not to sign this document until consultation has been completed

Yours Sincerely

AS Allison
BARLA Chair


The Management of the Yorkshire League would also urge all our Clubs to heed the memo and delay in any decision concerning the signing of any contract regarding an agreement with the RFL.

If you have any doubt contact myself, Ken Tinsdale.

I strongly believe that this is a direct attempt by the RFL to eradicate BARLA completely and seize total control of the Amateur game.

Ken Tinsdale
CMS Yorkshire League PRO


Last edited by KEN TINSDALE on Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Big Bad Bri on Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:23 am

Is this legal? It's certainly underhand, and shows a clear intent to do away with BARLA all together.
I thought part of the agreement when unified was that the RFL or RLS had to support BARLA, could someone clarify that part of the agreememt?

does anyone know what other positions does Mr Lewis holds apart from his RL position, as someone told me he is also involved in the allocation of funds to sports, I don't know whether that is true or not

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Lee Marchant on Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:16 am

I wonder what the take is from the members of this forum,

thoughts please?


Last edited by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Paul Stephenson on Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:39 am

Speaking as an individual (and not as an administrator of this site) for me the most interesting statements in the agreements with clubs and leagues are those that follow

o Priority access to......(a number of items)

o Be bound by .......RFL Memorandum, Articles of Association, Bye-Laws and Operational Rules)

o accept the primacy of .....(the RFL Memorandum. Articles of Association, Bye-Laws and Operational Rules)....in the event of conflict with the League’s own Memorandum, Articles of Association, Bye-Laws, Constitution, Operational Rules or similar.

Those for me are interesting and some creditable advice and expansion / clarification is (for me at least) clearly necessary.
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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Swordfish on Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:07 am

To be honest, I must admit to feeling that a lot of the complaints by BARLA that the RFL were acting in an underhand way in dealings between the two organisations was just sour grapes. But after reading the content of both partnership agreements (Club and League) I have changed my opinion. Apart from the concerns already expressed in this thread I fail to see any other objective from the RFL than an attempt to elicit clubs and leagues into moving away from BARLA with the offer of services already available and I thought offered in partnership. (Despite the RFL "forgetting to put the BARLA logo on any/all documentation).

This seems to be a big mistake by the RFL and shows their true intentions regarding the amateur game i.e. domination. They said about a certain Tory politician "There is something of the Dark about him" I am begining to have the same feelings about Richard Lewis.

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Coshida on Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:06 am

22 January 2003


Amateur and professional rugby league became a step closer this weekend after the decision to unify its two governing bodies was agreed.

After lengthy discussions the British Amateur Rugby League Association agreed at a special meeting on Sunday 26th January voted to accept proposals to have one organisation representing the sport.
The move has been supported by Sport England as a way to channel funding and create continuity from the grassroots to the international stage.
The Rugby Football League Executive Chairman Richard Lewis welcomed the British Amateur Rugby League Association's decision to accept proposals to create a unified governing structure for the sport this country.
Lewis commented, "This decision is a massive step forward for the sport of Rugby League at all levels and everybody involved in the game should be delighted. The new unified structure will govern the game from grass roots to international level and create many benefits for all concerned.
"It will enable us to develop a unified, cohesive approach to many existing initiatives and strategies which will reap dividends for all sectors of Rugby League and help the sport build further on the excellent progress it has recently made in many areas".
Lewis added, "Unification means that grass roots Rugby League will - for the first time - have a clearly defined and expanded role in the sport and a greater influence within the game in general. The benefits of this include access to and involvement in the sport's marketing and commercial strategy.
Richard Lewis said the new structure would give Rugby League a strong, and united case, to put before agencies such as Sport England and UK Sport, who distribute funding.
Sport England's Acting Chief Executive Roger Draper also welcomed the news and praised the work of all parties to broker the agreement.
"I know a lot of hard work has gone into this plan to ensure it benefits every aspect of rugby league and the decision by BARLA marks the start of a new, and exciting period, of development for the game."
The Rugby Football League will now meet on Wednesday 29th January to formalize the proposals.



For who exactly - The RFL? Twisted Evil

Am i right in saying that BARLA represent close to 70% of clubs?

Will BARLA recieve 70% of the funding from Sport England

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Paul Stephenson on Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:50 am

It would be interesting to hear from someone at those clubs & leagues who have signed what their thoughts are on this and the concerns raised by some regarding the wording of the agreements.

Anyone out there who has signed up reading this?
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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by shadowman on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:18 am

The complexities and intricacies of the original unification agreement were alarming to many at the time of approval, and many of the current Board of management cannot be held to account for actions that were taken in the past. However, the disintegration of the relationship between the RFL and BARLA has been taking place for some time now, and my thoughts are that things are coming to the proverbial head. Both sides have been guilty of unprofessional behaviour, but I suppose BARLA never claimed professionalism!

One does wonder how the RFL intend to distribute their most recent windfall from sport England without proportioning a considerable percentage of the sums to grass roots via BARLA, who are still the governing body for the majority of Amateur Rugby League clubs in England.


It is indeed obvious that the recent communications from the RFL to the BARLA member leagues and clubs shows clear intent to eradicate the “menace” of little BARLA once and for all, and this I believe, should be seen as a ringing alarm bell throughout the Amateur Rugby League game.

You may ask, why do we need BARLA, surely we would be better of under the professional guise of the RFL, but this may not be so. BARLA are there for those who will never make a career out of their skills, they are there for those that desire to leave the factory on a Friday, and represent their country on the Saturday.

BARLA may not have the backing or weight of the RFL, but they belong to us, they can be directed and changed in the way we collectively see fit. We are all the puppet masters.

That is what we stand to lose.

Richard Lewis’s portrayal as the child catcher, waving lollipops under the children’s noses is oscar worthy. But I urge you all to see this for what it is.

Ever since unification, there has been an agenda to slowly erode the necessity of BARLA, and regardless of your personal opinion to those at the helm, please take a moment to brush up on the history of the recent conflict.

BARLA do not have the resources to dominate the trade rags, that inevitably influence all of our perceptions of the events, nor do they have the highly paid propaganda making machines that the RFL have at their disposal.

I urge all leagues and clubs to look at the greater picture here.

BARLA is yours, if you lose it, you will never have a voice again…

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RFL COMMUNITY CLUB PARTNERSHIP

Post by samsung on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:38 am

Excellent post Shadowman.

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Big Bad Bri on Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:23 am

shadowman wrote:The complexities and intricacies of the original unification agreement were alarming to many at the time of approval, and many of the current Board of management cannot be held to account for actions that were taken in the past. However, the disintegration of the relationship between the RFL and BARLA has been taking place for some time now, and my thoughts are that things are coming to the proverbial head. Both sides have been guilty of unprofessional behaviour, but I suppose BARLA never claimed professionalism!

One does wonder how the RFL intend to distribute their most recent windfall from sport England without proportioning a considerable percentage of the sums to grass roots via BARLA, who are still the governing body for the majority of Amateur Rugby League clubs in England.


It is indeed obvious that the recent communications from the RFL to the BARLA member leagues and clubs shows clear intent to eradicate the “menace” of little BARLA once and for all, and this I believe, should be seen as a ringing alarm bell throughout the Amateur Rugby League game.

You may ask, why do we need BARLA, surely we would be better of under the professional guise of the RFL, but this may not be so. BARLA are there for those who will never make a career out of their skills, they are there for those that desire to leave the factory on a Friday, and represent their country on the Saturday.

BARLA may not have the backing or weight of the RFL, but they belong to us, they can be directed and changed in the way we collectively see fit. We are all the puppet masters.

That is what we stand to lose.

Richard Lewis’s portrayal as the child catcher, waving lollipops under the children’s noses is oscar worthy. But I urge you all to see this for what it is.

Ever since unification, there has been an agenda to slowly erode the necessity of BARLA, and regardless of your personal opinion to those at the helm, please take a moment to brush up on the history of the recent conflict.

BARLA do not have the resources to dominate the trade rags, that inevitably influence all of our perceptions of the events, nor do they have the highly paid propaganda making machines that the RFL have at their disposal.

I urge all leagues and clubs to look at the greater picture here.

BARLA is yours, if you lose it, you will never have a voice again…

Brilliant Post Shadowman.

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Coshida on Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:34 am

shadowman wrote:The complexities and intricacies of the original unification agreement were alarming to many at the time of approval, and many of the current Board of management cannot be held to account for actions that were taken in the past. However, the disintegration of the relationship between the RFL and BARLA has been taking place for some time now, and my thoughts are that things are coming to the proverbial head. Both sides have been guilty of unprofessional behaviour, but I suppose BARLA never claimed professionalism!

One does wonder how the RFL intend to distribute their most recent windfall from sport England without proportioning a considerable percentage of the sums to grass roots via BARLA, who are still the governing body for the majority of Amateur Rugby League clubs in England.


It is indeed obvious that the recent communications from the RFL to the BARLA member leagues and clubs shows clear intent to eradicate the “menace” of little BARLA once and for all, and this I believe, should be seen as a ringing alarm bell throughout the Amateur Rugby League game.

You may ask, why do we need BARLA, surely we would be better of under the professional guise of the RFL, but this may not be so. BARLA are there for those who will never make a career out of their skills, they are there for those that desire to leave the factory on a Friday, and represent their country on the Saturday.

BARLA may not have the backing or weight of the RFL, but they belong to us, they can be directed and changed in the way we collectively see fit. We are all the puppet masters.

That is what we stand to lose.

Richard Lewis’s portrayal as the child catcher, waving lollipops under the children’s noses is oscar worthy. But I urge you all to see this for what it is.

Ever since unification, there has been an agenda to slowly erode the necessity of BARLA, and regardless of your personal opinion to those at the helm, please take a moment to brush up on the history of the recent conflict.

BARLA do not have the resources to dominate the trade rags, that inevitably influence all of our perceptions of the events, nor do they have the highly paid propaganda making machines that the RFL have at their disposal.

I urge all leagues and clubs to look at the greater picture here.

BARLA is yours, if you lose it, you will never have a voice again…


Very well put.

Transparency of the amount of funding that the RFL has applied for, and what percentage of this funding was applied with BARLA in mind is paramount, would you not agree?

This approach by Richard Lewis, is an open approach, an approach that shows the brazen tennis player for what he is.

I would urge BARLA next year to approach Sport England direct to ensure that ALL funds allocated to them are safely in the bank of Barla.

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Coshida on Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:46 am

Has anyone recieved such letter?

Would anyone like to share the content of the letter so those who have not yet recieved one can take a look at the proposal?

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by KEN TINSDALE on Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:04 am

Marvelous words Shadowman and very well put. A few words from the heart are worth far more than millions of paid words.

In your brilliant post you capture the ethos and true spirit of BARLA, with people like yourself BARLA will never be without voice.

On Coshida's bequest, I have supplied a copy of the RFL Community Club Partnership Agreement in it's entirety.

RFL Community Club Partnership Agreement

RFL Community Club Partnership is open to all clubs within the United Kingdom and Ireland. Any club playing in a league,
whether or not that league is associated to the RFL, is able to apply individually for Community Club Partnership and they
will be recognised as Associates of the RFL.
This agreement is between < > Club and the Rugby Football League (RFL)
and grants the Club ‘Associate’ status of the RFL. The Agreement is ongoing from the date of signature with an annual
review. Either party can end the Agreement with one months notice.
The RFL agrees to provide Associated clubs with:
Priority access to RFL Match Tickets
o Cashback (where available)
o Ticket/Travel Packages
Priority access to discounted Coach Education Courses
o Discount on standard fees
Complimentary tickets to the Challenge Cup Final on the following basis:-
(these may be used to assist the clubs to fundraise)
o 2 for the OA section
o 2 for the Youth & Junior section
o 2 for the Female section
Access to Central Purchasing Scheme
o SKY Sports Subscription (subject to Sky approval)
o Equipment
o Insurance
Help and advice on a range of policies and initiatives including:
o Risk Management
o RFL’s Anti-Doping Rules
o Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Rules and Safeguarding Policy
o Equity, Diversity and Anti-Racism Policies
o Respect Policy
o Code of Conduct on Betting & Related Activity and any other rules and policies that may from
time to time be adopted by the RFL
Priority access to a range of club support programmes including:
o Financial Training packages
o Volunteer Development Programmes
o Facility Development Programme
The Club agrees to:
Register, work towards, achieve and maintain Clubmark
Fully support and comply with the RFL official policies and rules including the RFL’s Anti-Doping Rules, the
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Rules and Safeguarding Policy, the Equity, Diversity and Anti-Racism Policies,
the Respect Policy, the Code of Conduct on Betting & Related Activity and any other rules and policies that may
from time to time be adopted by the RFL and shall ensure that each of their constituent members, employees,
officials, volunteers and similar shall observe such rules and policies and shall make it a condition of employment
or engagement or of participation in any rugby league competition that each such members, employees, officials,
volunteers or similar shall observe such rules and policies.
Support and contribute towards the RESPECT Programme
be bound by the RFL Memorandum, Articles of Association, Bye-Laws and Operational Rules and to accept the
primacy of the RFL Memorandum. Articles of Association, Bye-Laws and Operational Rules in the event of conflict
with the League’s own Memorandum, Articles of Association, Bye-Laws, Constitution, Operational Rules or similar.
Signed on behalf of < > Rugby League Club
Position Date
Signed on behalf of the RFL
Position Date

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Coshida on Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:55 am

Thanks Ken.


RFL's windfall I believe to be in the region of £29,000,000 over three years, if BARLA represents 70% of all clubs this equates to £6,766.666 a year into the clubs that they represent.

BARLA, have no salaried staff, the RFL have in excess of 200 salaried staff. Sport Englands donation is for the amature game, then why/how can the RFL set up this "community partnership" to entice clubs away from BARLA, where the clubs payout will be watered down by £3,000,000 a year to pay for salaried staff?

So by a fag packet calculation, the clubs that decide to move, due to it all looking rosey, (oh and reduction in SKY subscription) will recieve just over half of what they would get if they moved awayn from BARLA.

I know which side my bread is better buttered.

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by KEN TINSDALE on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:00 am

Oh by the way Coshida, the reduced Sky package is enjoyed by many amateur clubs already and has been for some time now, so what will happen if those clubs don't sign up to this agreement - will the package be withdrawn from them?

As for the other offers in the "Central Purchasing Scheme," BARLA negotiated a far better insurance deal than the one RFL tried to push on the clubs this season.

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Big Bad Bri on Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:57 am

KEN TINSDALE wrote:Oh by the way Coshida, the reduced Sky package is enjoyed by many amateur clubs already and has been for some time now, so what will happen if those clubs don't sign up to this agreement - will the package be withdrawn from them?

As for the other offers in the "Central Purchasing Scheme," BARLA negotiated a far better insurance deal than the one RFL tried to push on the clubs this season.

thks ken,

so am I reading this right,

the only clubs they have acquired are one that has had their club house re-possesed, one that was never a barla-club and one which has a chairman who is buddies with the rfl.

and all the "benefits" on offer, already were.

the excited recent email saying how great the new campaign has gone, is a bit of a damp squib when you look closer into it

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Hammer 13 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:41 pm

Well B.B.B., I don't know about the club's chairman being a buddy of the RFL.

But looking at one of the leagues who have signed up, it seems the majority of the management are in the RFL's pocket.

I wonder, was their decison was purely and simply for the benefit of their members?

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Coshida on Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:37 am

Has Spen Allison recieved a reply to his letter he sent to Mr Lewis over nine days ago?


When the NWC had their meeting I had noticed that a majority could not be reached, can Sam or anyone else from that league post their thoughts to this proposal from RFL and if they believe what is being offered will be a benefit for your league/clubs, more importantly where do you see the benefit.

As Shadowman has stated, BARLA is yours, your voice.....use it or lose it.

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by ban ki-moon on Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:08 am

Hmmm, The UN envoy to the rugby league is most unhappy,
(edited by ADMIN)

I may have to convene the permanant members of the security council to endorse sanctions.


The RFL agrees to provide Associated clubs with:
Priority access to RFL Match Tickets- (already available to many clubs)
o Cashback (where available)-(cashback on what exactly?)
o Ticket/Travel Packages-(the same packages available from all pro clubs anyway)
Priority access to discounted Coach Education Courses-(which BARLA clubs are already entitled to)
o Discount on standard fees-(is this not also available to BARLA clubs anyway?)
Complimentary tickets to the Challenge Cup Final on the following basis:-
(these may be used to assist the clubs to fundraise)
o 2 for the OA section (very nice, can we have some as well?)
o 2 for the Youth & Junior section
o 2 for the Female section
Access to Central Purchasing Scheme (like the insurance where BARLA got a better policy without the need for subsidisation)
o SKY Sports Subscription (subject to Sky approval) (already available, unless they intend to take this away from BARLA)
o Equipment (please elaborate)
o Insurance (see above)
Help and advice on a range of policies and initiatives including: (all already available)
o Risk Management
o RFL’s Anti-Doping Rules
o Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Rules and Safeguarding Policy
o Equity, Diversity and Anti-Racism Policies
o Respect Policy
o Code of Conduct on Betting & Related Activity and any other rules and policies that may from
time to time be adopted by the RFL
Priority access to a range of club support programmes including:(initiatives started by BARLA and still available as far as I know)
o Financial Training packages
o Volunteer Development Programmes
o Facility Development Programme
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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by DiDeDi on Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:54 am

As BARLA are already partners of the rugby league through the Community Board why were BARLA not involved in the talks/strategy of the partnership.

I think BARLA would have informed the RFL at the outset that:

1. We already have these offers which are being dangled in front ot the leagues and clubs

2. We would like the other incentives whatever they are

3. We will be positive with you and promote this with you to all the leagues and all the open age and youth and junior clubs and not discriminate against any leagues or clubs (whether full members or assosiate members)

4. BARLA leagues and clubs should have no need to sign up and become associate members of the RFL as they have their own autonomny under unification.

5. All leagues and clubs are equal at open age and youth and junior and if they didn't sign up could see themselves being discriminated and appear to be second class citizens

6. If you put this in the Sport England bid for £29.5 million I can't believe that you think that you will win the bid for that amount of money to deliver such a strategy

7. We would whole heartedly support this as your partners when you take away the clauses in each paper that clubs and leagues have to sign up to be assosiate members of the RFL

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Re: RFL Community Club Partnership

Post by Lee Marchant on Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:11 am

Guys, I've just had to edit a few posts.

Of course it is OK to discuss unification and other things, but please keep personal comments off the forum.

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