Chairs address

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Chairs address

Post by mick doyle on Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:27 am

ONCE again false statements released, Spen says one of the negatives was the opting out of full membership by the NWC junior leagues.

We did not opt out we had our Full membership taken from us Board Decision
Despite several attempts from myself all turned down written evidence to support.

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Re: Chairs address

Post by Lee Marchant on Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:56 pm

Response from BARLA:

Your League were given ample opportunity to pay the fees,which were requested on several occasions. (documentation to support) every other league paid up. You were given up to the 31dec to pay the fees. You were fully informed(in writing) that if this was not paid, that you would be reduced to associate status, as associate members do not pay fees.

The board were not prepared to make an exception on principle.
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Re: Chairs address

Post by Sam Armstrong on Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:05 am

Admin wrote:Response from BARLA:

Your League were given ample opportunity to pay the fees,which were requested on several occasions. (documentation to support) every other league paid up. You were given up to the 31dec to pay the fees. You were fully informed(in writing) that if this was not paid, that you would be reduced to associate status, as associate members do not pay fees.

The board were not prepared to make an exception on principle.
On behalf of the NW Counties 13-15's League I can assure you that the above was most certainly not the case. We received no initial invoice or any reminder from BARLA but instead simply received a very curt letter at the end of December saying words to the effect of "with immediate effect your membership status has been downgraded due to non-payment".

I personally, immediately I received this, contacted the BARLA Secretary by telephone and explained that this was the first correspondence we'd received (even this was incorrectly addressed i.e. it had my address but our Chair's postcode on it!!) and, as we were a week or so from Xmas explained that we wouldn't be meeting prior to the 1st Wednesday in the New Year at which point we'd have enough signatories for a cheque to be raised and would happily immediately send it.

I asked the Secretary why a simple phone call to us hadn't been made querying why our fees hadn't been received at which point he responded "I've not got the time or money to chase people up!" I explained that it would have taken a 10p phone call!! With having received no notification, we had been genuinely unaware and, had someone bothered to actually speak to us to verify what had occured we'd have arranged payment a.s.a.p. (as we'd offered to do following the letter).

On the Thursday immediately after our first meeting of the New Year we raised and despatched our recorded delivery cheque with a letter of apology explaining that we'd received no invoice from the Secretary hence the delay. Witholding payment was never ever considered.

We were then informed by at least TWO Board Members that the BARLA Secretary had told blatent lies to the Board about the 13-15's saying that he'd been in touch with us and that we'd blatently "refused to come back as Full Members"!!!

Several weeks later we received our cheque back, as did, the 8-12's with notification that the Board had met and decided by a majority to downgrade us, we have since looked at the minutes and have challenged the validity of that vote as it was lost by a margin of one, however, this included (according to the numbers apparently listed in the minutes taken at the meeting) votes which must've included votes from the BARLA Secretary (who is NOT entitled to vote)! His vote apparently then tied the votes and subsequently meant that what should have been an unnecessary casting vote from the Chair was called on. Had these incorrect procedural actions not occurred we'd have had a majority vote to remain as we had for many years as FULL Members.

When challenged several times both in letter and stood up at meetings about the above and the blatent lies told we were simply ignored as many times!! Eventually, nearly 18 months later, at last season's Youth & Junior National Cup Finals I finally got told that Spen wanted "a word"!

This "word" was basically a chat where I reiterated our concerns and that we had never intended to not pay or withold fees but that we were extremely concerned and deeply offended about the lies told to the Board about our League by the Secretary. His response was to shrug his shoulders, smile and then come out with the coup de grâce .. "Well that's Nigel for you ... we all know what he's like!!!"

Astonishing!!! ... No apology merely just seemingly justification and acceptance for the lies!!! I told him that we, as a League did not accept this and until a formal apology and possibly even the resignation, of someone who had lied to his own Board, was received then we would remain as we were.

I reported this straight back to other members of our Committee who were present at the Finals who were also frankly gobsmacked and then at our next meeting a few days later to our full Committee.

Our concerns over the Secretary's competence seems to have been borne out further regarding incorrect Board Minutes in two recent BARLA resignations and by a third current member of the Board who als expressed their concerns to me.

This was initially a genuine case of us simply being unaware of any invoices, which we still do not accept were ever despatched. Many items since to ourselves, and seemingly many others, also seem to "go astray" with frightening regularity from the Secretary of the Association. The membership fee which we were only too happy to pay at the time has long since ceased to be the issue.

However, following the lies and the seeming support of them our faith in the Association has been shattered and consequently on principle will not re-apply for Full memberrship when we believe it should have instead been reinstated. This sadly may now even lead to our own League also resigning, however, the Board appear to have made their bed and this whole sorry affair may very soon be coming to an end.
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Re: Chairs address

Post by Broken Nose on Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:30 am

Sam Armstrong wrote:
Admin wrote:Response from BARLA:

Your League were given ample opportunity to pay the fees,which were requested on several occasions. (documentation to support) every other league paid up. You were given up to the 31dec to pay the fees. You were fully informed(in writing) that if this was not paid, that you would be reduced to associate status, as associate members do not pay fees.

The board were not prepared to make an exception on principle.
On behalf of the NW Counties 13-15's League I can assure you that the above was most certainly not the case. We received no initial invoice or any reminder from BARLA but instead simply received a very curt letter at the end of December saying words to the effect of "with immediate effect your membership status has been downgraded due to non-payment".

I personally, immediately I received this, contacted the BARLA Secretary by telephone and explained that this was the first correspondence we'd received (even this was incorrectly addressed i.e. it had my address but our Chair's postcode on it!!) and, as we were a week or so from Xmas explained that we wouldn't be meeting prior to the 1st Wednesday in the New Year at which point we'd have enough signatories for a cheque to be raised and would happily immediately send it.

I asked the Secretary why a simple phone call to us hadn't been made querying why our fees hadn't been received at which point he responded "I've not got the time or money to chase people up!" I explained that it would have taken a 10p phone call!! With having received no notification, we had been genuinely unaware and, had someone bothered to actually speak to us to verify what had occured we'd have arranged payment a.s.a.p. (as we'd offered to do following the letter).

On the Thursday immediately after our first meeting of the New Year we raised and despatched our recorded delivery cheque with a letter of apology explaining that we'd received no invoice from the Secretary hence the delay. Witholding payment was never ever considered.

We were then informed by at least TWO Board Members that the BARLA Secretary had told blatent lies to the Board about the 13-15's saying that he'd been in touch with us and that we'd blatently "refused to come back as Full Members"!!!

Several weeks later we received our cheque back, as did, the 8-12's with notification that the Board had met and decided by a majority to downgrade us, we have since looked at the minutes and have challenged the validity of that vote as it was lost by a margin of one, however, this included (according to the numbers apparently listed in the minutes taken at the meeting) votes which must've included votes from the BARLA Secretary (who is NOT entitled to vote)! His vote apparently then tied the votes and subsequently meant that what should have been an unnecessary casting vote from the Chair was called on. Had these incorrect procedural actions not occurred we'd have had a majority vote to remain as we had for many years as FULL Members.

When challenged several times both in letter and stood up at meetings about the above and the blatent lies told we were simply ignored as many times!! Eventually, nearly 18 months later, at last season's Youth & Junior National Cup Finals I finally got told that Spen wanted "a word"!

This "word" was basically a chat where I reiterated our concerns and that we had never intended to not pay or withold fees but that we were extremely concerned and deeply offended about the lies told to the Board about our League by the Secretary. His response was to shrug his shoulders, smile and then come out with the coup de grâce .. "Well that's Nigel for you ... we all know what he's like!!!"

Astonishing!!! ... No apology merely just seemingly justification and acceptance for the lies!!! I told him that we, as a League did not accept this and until a formal apology and possibly even the resignation, of someone who had lied to his own Board, was received then we would remain as we were.

I reported this straight back to other members of our Committee who were present at the Finals who were also frankly gobsmacked and then at our next meeting a few days later to our full Committee.

Our concerns over the Secretary's competence seems to have been borne out further regarding incorrect Board Minutes in two recent BARLA resignations and by a third current member of the Board who als expressed their concerns to me.

This was initially a genuine case of us simply being unaware of any invoices, which we still do not accept were ever despatched. Many items since to ourselves, and seemingly many others, also seem to "go astray" with frightening regularity from the Secretary of the Association. The membership fee which we were only too happy to pay at the time has long since ceased to be the issue.

However, following the lies and the seeming support of them our faith in the Association has been shattered and consequently on principle will not re-apply for Full memberrship when we believe it should have instead been reinstated. This sadly may now even lead to our own League also resigning, however, the Board appear to have made their bed and this whole sorry affair may very soon be coming to an end.


Wow......If this truly is the case i can see why there is such an upset, however, at the time of all this going on I may be wrong and only going by the outline of the report by Spen, it seems that Barla were going through some problems internally.

It is no excuse however not to respond if again this is the case.

There needs to be a resolve obviously, as I am sure that cutting ties with Barla, could in the long term dissadvantage your clubs, as they are now trying to find more ways for income streams into your clubs, which as i am sure we will agree on is much needed?

Before a decision to not re-apply for full membership, I know that at least one junior club already has secured financial sponsorship through this new partnership with Utmost.

Dont be to hasty, ask for a clear the air meeting in writing, clear the fog that surrounds this sorry state of affairs and move on.

Onwards and upwards!

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Re: Chairs address

Post by once a ref on Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:11 am

Response from BARLA:

Now that is the problem I have with this Forum, was it an individual, a quorum or the full Board of BARLA who responded? Why should you as Forum Administrator have to be spokesman for some person or persons from BARLA who hasn't got the bottle to reply.
I think I have seen the word "transparency" somewhere around the Forum, I think it should be removed.

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Re: Chairs address

Post by Broken Nose on Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:22 am

I agree, this forum was set up for Barla to communicate and vice versa, I dont think it should be the Admins job to respond on behalf of Barla.

I do not think that the Admin chap who said he has experiane of running forums of this nature would be anyones puppet.

I guess it would be difficult for a representative of Barla to be logged in say 8hrs a day to answer questions, so maybe the Admin chap has spoken to someone in Barla for a response as to keep the momentum of the forum flowing to encourage more people to use it and comment?

Hey how the hell should I know, I got a Broken Nose Razz

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Re: Chairs address

Post by pandasdad on Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:55 am

Admin wrote:Response from BARLA:

Your League were given ample opportunity to pay the fees,which were requested on several occasions. (documentation to support) every other league paid up. You were given up to the 31dec to pay the fees. You were fully informed(in writing) that if this was not paid, that you would be reduced to associate status, as associate members do not pay fees.

The board were not prepared to make an exception on principle.

You're setting a dangerous precedent here, Lee. A couple of days ago you were telling us that you were not BARLA's mouth-piece. Now, apparently you are?

Can the Board of Management not use a keyboard? Even between them!

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Re: Chairs address

Post by once a ref on Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:23 am

All it needs is "Speaking on behalf of BARLA, Mr XXXXX said.........," because without it various people can now say "Well, it wasn't me"

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Re: Chairs address

Post by Sam Armstrong on Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:28 am

Broken Nose wrote:Wow......If this truly is the case i can see why there is such an upset, however, at the time of all this going on I may be wrong and only going by the outline of the report by Spen, it seems that Barla were going through some problems internally.

It is no excuse however not to respond if again this is the case.
Thank you for taking the time to at least read our side, whether you agree with our current stance or not, we hope that you can understand our concerns and frustrations.

Broken Nose wrote:There needs to be a resolve obviously, as I am sure that cutting ties with Barla, could in the long term dissadvantage your clubs, as they are now trying to find more ways for income streams into your clubs, which as i am sure we will agree on is much needed?

Before a decision to not re-apply for full membership, I know that at least one junior club already has secured financial sponsorship through this new partnership with Utmost.
The potential investment from the Utmost Group and it's partners is to be commended and will undoubtedly benefit many, however let us not forget that there is no such thing as a "free dinner" and the philanthropy is metered by the number of leads it may also generate for their commercial businesses.

As no individual (or collective) club is being asked to leave as part of our League's actions, all the advantages reportedly attached to the Sponsors of this forum and it's associated Companies, will, I believe, still be available to individual clubs whether we as a regional fixture and competition organising league remain within BARLA or not. Any clubs maybe wishing to leave will, I'm sure have their own reasons, and as a private matter it is not for us to get involved and categorically and absolutely not for us to try to encourage them to withdraw their membership ... that is not our remit or reason d'etre.

Broken Nose wrote:Dont be to hasty, ask for a clear the air meeting in writing, clear the fog that surrounds this sorry state of affairs and move on.

Onwards and upwards!
Following on from my previous paragraph, and having spoken to Utmost personnel (far far more than anyone from BARLA) I know that they do wish the Association to become reunited and are doing all that they can to try and assist but, as I told them, it is not truly their role, it should be the Board Members themselves or the Chair's responsibility.

Knowing that we are, even considering, leaving (which will be the decision of our club's not the Committee's and will be voted on at an SGM prior to our monthly meeting) wouldn't you think that someone from BARLA in the interim 2 years since our downgrading would have got up and made the effort to come and sit down to discuss our concerns and issues .... sadly they have not which again does nothing to endear them to us but merely re-affirms our views of their simple apathy.
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Re: Chairs address

Post by mick doyle on Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:27 am

Admin wrote:Response from BARLA:

Your League were given ample opportunity to pay the fees,which were requested on several occasions. (documentation to support) every other league paid up. You were given up to the 31dec to pay the fees. You were fully informed(in writing) that if this was not paid, that you would be reduced to associate status, as associate members do not pay fees.

The board were not prepared to make an exception on principle.

Now then the plot thickens at the Nwc 16-18,s meeting Spen stated in front of a packed Wigan St Judes club we were given up to 31st January so which is it ? Embarassed
And whoever has made the comment on the Board knows full well my offer to pay in early December was flatly refused by the Barla secretary ,this can be backed up by Rachel Doran ( R.L srervices )
And if all the other leagues had paid their fees then how come our sister league the 13-15,s did not retain their full member status ? Embarassed
OPEN AND TRANSPARENT you know what Jim Royle says Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Chairs address

Post by David Ex on Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:09 am

pandasdad wrote:
Admin wrote:Response from BARLA:

Your League were given ample opportunity to pay the fees,which were requested on several occasions. (documentation to support) every other league paid up. You were given up to the 31dec to pay the fees. You were fully informed(in writing) that if this was not paid, that you would be reduced to associate status, as associate members do not pay fees.

The board were not prepared to make an exception on principle.

You're setting a dangerous precedent here, Lee. A couple of days ago you were telling us that you were not BARLA's mouth-piece. Now, apparently you are?

Can the Board of Management not use a keyboard? Even between them!


Hi Pandasdad

I have known Lee for many years, and we had this same conversation only last week, Lee has his own thoughts and is not a voicebox/spokesman/puppet for any institution.

I think what is important here is for a more rapid response from Barla, I am sure that is why this forum was set up, communication and transparency.

Questions were being asked and Lee rightly or wrongly asked the question and posted the answer. You are right, if I did not know Lee I would have had the same concerns.

As "Broken Nose" has stated It is to keep the momentum of the forum moving.

As a sponsor to this site and at the end of the weekend a shirt sponsor for a team, I would like to see more activity on this forum by a Barla representative.

As I am new to this I am finding it very sad that their are issues outstanding, and belive a resolve should be found and found quickly.

I hope that this site, the partnership with Utmost will inject much needed cash into the sport, as Sam has stated, yes it is fundamentaly a gain for the sponsor but only through reccomended business which we as sponsors would pay you the club a commission.

I do not know what more to say, as I am sure that this will work for all concerned.
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Re: Chairs address

Post by Lee Marchant on Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:06 pm

pandasdad wrote:
Admin wrote:Response from BARLA:

Your League were given ample opportunity to pay the fees,which were requested on several occasions. (documentation to support) every other league paid up. You were given up to the 31dec to pay the fees. You were fully informed(in writing) that if this was not paid, that you would be reduced to associate status, as associate members do not pay fees.

The board were not prepared to make an exception on principle.

You're setting a dangerous precedent here, Lee. A couple of days ago you were telling us that you were not BARLA's mouth-piece. Now, apparently you are?

Can the Board of Management not use a keyboard? Even between them!


sorry for the late reply people, I've not been near a pc all day.

as others have stated, there was a question raised, and I sought the answer and posted it.

Maybe it would be better for me to use a different username when posting statements from BARLA, but its not something that I want to be doing regularly and am trying to encourage at least a couple of the board of management to post regularly themselves.

However, a couple of days ago, I was being told that questions asked of BARLA would not be answered. Now that they are, I'm being told that I shouldn't be the one supplying it..

I can't see the problem myself, I'm not a spokesperson for BARLA, but if I can get a response to something then I can't see why I shouldn't.

This isn't an independent forum. It is officially tied in to BARLA, so of course it will have a bias, and nobody has ever said anything differently.

what I won't let it turn into is a place simply for slagging off the board of management. Criticism is fine as long as it's constructive.

I'm going to put together a piece to post later tonight, to re-iterate the purpose and use of this forum.(not aimed at you panda'sdad, you've been very nice!) If people don't want to play ball and take part in the spirit it was intended , then I am more than happy to start removing them.

The respect campaign was mentioned on another thread, surely that courtesy should extend to this forum??
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Re: Chairs address

Post by once a ref on Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:18 pm

Lee, All that is required is a response ,whether through you or not, from SOMEBODY on behalf of BARLA who having spoken could not then come back with "well it wasn't me" Even if they play pass the parcel would the winner please respond.

If the spokesman is confident that BARLA has done no wrong then stick with that stance but if not then have the guts to admit it.

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