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Who's In and Who's Out at the Bulls?


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#1 Wolford6

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:24 AM

We have re-signed Manase Manuokafoa, John Bateman, Jarrod Sammut, Luke Gale and Chev Walker.

It seems like:
- Ian Sibbit, Ben Jeffries, Tom Burgess and Bryn Hargreaves have quit (already known and publicised)
- Karl Pryce has left (news to me)
- Shaun Ainscough has not been offered a decent deal (a very big mistake in my opinion ... he's the heart and soul of the back line)
- Jamie Foster is sought on loan (Why? Elliot Kear and Shaun Ainscough are better wingers and Luke Gale is a really good kicker?)
- Craig Kopczak's resignation is being opposed (are the club serious about retaining him or is it just demanding compensation?)

Does anyone know:
- whether existing pre-takeover contracts carry on for 2013?
- which players remain for 2013 under continuing contracts?
- can any contracted player quote TUPE legislation to walk away?
- can the club quote TUPE legislation to make contracted players redundant?
- what is happening with Adrian Purtell?

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#2 MrPosh

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:34 AM

Ainscough has been offered a deal, but I believe it's a low one. Which is a shame, he passion would be very welcome next year, but he's not the greatest player.
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#3 Amber Avenger

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:29 AM

- whether existing pre-takeover contracts carry on for 2013?
- which players remain for 2013 under continuing contracts?
- can any contracted player quote TUPE legislation to walk away?
- can the club quote TUPE legislation to make contracted players redundant?
- what is happening with Adrian Purtell?


On the contracts/TUPE, I believe all contracts continue over to OK Bulls. I've seen it implied that the time to speak up if you weren't happy for your contract to transfer over has been and gone. Since a lot of players carried on playing against Hull and Catalans (ie the new ownership), it looks like Kopczak is the only one with an issue - as an aside can you really see him being welcomed back into the squad? The club's intentions are clear, but I don't know how long they should hold out for money as it is holding up recruitment apparently.

I spoke to Purtell briefly at the Rugby League Live 2 event in Leeds on Saturday. He is training with the club in the pre-season and still wants to play and I think the club are happy for that to happen if he is fit
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#4 matt newsholme

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:31 PM

The only one of the contracted players not to tupe over was kopczak. All the others with a contract transfered and will continue for the remaining contract length on the same wages, with exception of gale and Bateman who have signed extensions presumably on improved terms. Whitehead and obriens 5yr deals, signed but not ratified, before the financial mess have now been confirmed by RFL.

Sammut,walker,manuokafoa have resigned from the out of contract players. Addy,ainscough and Donaldson are in talks. No word on mcavoy who was also ooc. Price and Joseph weren't offered new deals by the club. All other ooc players have left/retired.

#5 Odsal Outlaw

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:44 PM

I heard we were trying to get compensation for Kopcak, but also that RFL are worried that if Kopcak is successful in quoting TUPE we would then effectively be able to sack others quoting the same rule which could cause a few headaches.
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#6 Padge

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:50 PM

Ainscough has been offered a deal, but I believe it's a low one. Which is a shame, he passion would be very welcome next year, but he's not the greatest player.

Shaun is a bit disillusioned with the game and could be lost to the game.

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#7 keighley

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 03:37 AM

Why are they offering low wage deals to their players. Is the new club not as well cashed up as it should be?

#8 1976PMJwires

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:21 AM

How are the season tickets going so far??

Genuine question............. I expect more players to sign once sales go over a % of expecations / forecast.

#9 matt newsholme

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:49 AM

Why are they offering low wage deals to their players. Is the new club not as well cashed up as it should be?


when are you going to get bored of your petty vendetta against Bradford? Notice you aren't as quick to highlight keighleys problems with the discrimnation case this week.

You know full well new owner isn't as wealthy as the Morans of this world. Combine that with us only getting half sky money for next two years ands it obvious cuts have to be made. Hence smaller playing squad. The lower deals are only being offered to new players/ ooc re-signings. Under contract players existing deals aren't affected. Part of what got us in the mess was overpaying players. New owners aren't going to go back down that route, which they should be applauded for not criticised.

Season tickets were at 2300 yesterday with nearly 3 weeks left til end of early bird period. A lot of people leave it as late as possible to buy so expect a rush in last week. I'd guess were on target for 5k paying ones. Thing to remember is under 12's are free this year whilst kids were paying from 8 upwards last year so any comparison of numbers year on year isn't like for like.

Edited by matt newsholme, 24 October 2012 - 07:44 AM.


#10 1976PMJwires

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:03 AM

Why are they offering low wage deals to their players. Is the new club not as well cashed up as it should be?


It's called negotiation skills -

Why over "spend" ???

#11 matt newsholme

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:47 AM

It's called negotiation skills -

Why over "spend" ???


Exactly. And AFAIK it's only one OOC player who's been offered a lower deal so far. May simply be a case that new coach places a different value on his services to the old coach or we have different priorities within our budget.

#12 Amber Avenger

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:54 AM

Season tickets were at 2300 yesterday with nearly 3 weeks left til end of early bird period. A lot of people leave it as late as possible to buy so expect a rush in last week. I'd guess were on target for 5k paying ones. Thing to remember is under 12's are free this year whilst kids were paying from 8 upwards last year so any comparison of numbers year on year isn't like for like.


Also bare in mind I don't think we've ever had more than 5k season tickets even when we were winning trophies (prior to the pledge offers of course).
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#13 The Parksider

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:11 AM

On the contracts/TUPE, I believe all contracts continue over to OK Bulls. I've seen it implied that the time to speak up if you weren't happy for your contract to transfer over has been and gone.


I had occasion to ring ACAS and ask early september. TUPE protects employment. So if a new owner comes along then essentially all employment contracts finish and all are in a redundancy situation. However the owner has to then offer "suitable alternative employment" under the same terms and conditions (this being the essence of TUPE its to stop new owners cutting wages). If the employee refuses the suitable alternative employment (they can trial a new job for two weeks and then say no) then he is at liberty to resign, but cannot claim a redundancy payment. That doesn't answer the question fully on Kopzac, but of course he's not on a permanent contract of employment from which he could of course resign any time. He's on a fixed term contract so it will all depend on what that contract says in terms of early termination by the "employee", and what precedents have been set with all the other foootball players who have tried to use TUPE for something it certainly was not intended nor designed for......

AS FOR THE BULLS

I detect IMHO a new approach in which Superleague clubs have to work to their income and prioritise building a side from their own player development systems. No expensive Aussie quick fixes, but build a sound club from the bottom up. The academy are tommorrows players and the kids they are letting in free are tommorrows fans.

What I dread is the fans not buying into this and not attending in numbers, and of course Bradfords likely struggles through the imminent years. There'll be a lot of axes grinding away from smug faces who may enjoy that struggle.......

Edited by The Parksider, 24 October 2012 - 08:13 AM.


#14 Bulliac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:26 AM

FWIW, my take on the Kopzcac affair is that it's not the actual contract which is the casue of hiatus.

There is, after all, no legal obligation to accept being 'tuped' and he can quite legally decide not to to continue in employment at the Bulls, but it is his registration at the RFL which appears to be the sticking point. Beyond offering him his old job back, the Bulls have no say in whether he stays, but it would seem the RFL want to 'normalise' the change of clubs by allowing a negotiated settlement (transfer fee?) between clubs and thereby avoid creating any 'precedents', which might 'queer the pitch' further down the line in similar situations.
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#15 Saint Toppy

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:12 AM

Didn't the Bulls players not get paid at certain times last season, or were paid late ?
If that happened then Kopzcack wouold surely argue that the Bulls broke the contract first and he has a right to walk away ?

#16 The Parksider

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:07 PM

It would seem the RFL want to 'normalise' the change of clubs by allowing a negotiated settlement (transfer fee?) between clubs and thereby avoid creating any 'precedents', which might 'queer the pitch' further down the line in similar situations.


Hmmmm good point. If there was no new club and Fartown wanted Kopzac they would have to pay a fee wouldn't they? are they paying a fee??

If not is Kopzac arguing the collapse of the old club negated the contract - which it did - but if so don't these contracts have anything about "what if" - maybe they don't.......

#17 Exiled Wiganer

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:17 PM

I think the Bulls should be sympathetic to Kopczak's position, and let him walk regardless of any legal arguments they might want to use. This was a club which took 500k from its own (and plenty of others') fans for no obvious purpose, sacked pretty much the entire backroom staff and ended up with a coach working for free. For them to get on their high horse about an employee wanting out is hypocrisy of the highest order.

Edited by Exiled Wiganer, 24 October 2012 - 02:17 PM.


#18 Amber Avenger

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:25 PM

For them to get on their high horse about an employee wanting out is hypocrisy of the highest order.


I understand where you are coming from, but the people arguing the toss about Kopczak are not the people you describe earlier as taking the money from the fans, it's a totally new set of people (which is the basis of the argument). To accuse them of hypocrisy is slightly harsh IMO

I do get the feeling though that for the majority of these posts we should read "Kopczak's agent" rather than the player himself.

Edited by Amber Avenger, 24 October 2012 - 02:27 PM.

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#19 Exiled Wiganer

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

Actually, I do not see the distinction. It isn't for the new board to say that has nothing to do with me when dealing with a case which is a direct consequence of events leading to their take over. It is precisely because they are different people that they have the opportunity to behave properly and let someone go who has been through a level of job uncertainty which would throw anybody.
In any event, from what i have seen of employment law, I would rather be in Kopczak's shoes than the Bulls, who let's face it, don't have a great recent record of litigation.
Incidentally, I am a fan of the Bulls, and have huge sympathy for what pretty much everyone associated with the club has been through, especially the supporters. If the new regime had learnt anything from the recent past it is surely (i) enter legal arguments at your peril and (ii) behave with dignity to those people who put their bodies on the line heroically while the club was in turmoil.

#20 Amber Avenger

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 03:19 PM

From the clubs POV Kopczak and his agent haven't exactly acted with a great amount of dignity though have they? I don't think they are wanting to stop anyone from leaving, so long as they are given due credit (ie cash) from the investment they have made in a player they believe still contracted to them. I don't think the Bulls are being unreasonable, I think it's the way the transfer has been handled that's got up people's noses, it certainly isn't about retaining the player because from what I hear, the players wouldn't exactly welcome him back.
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