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Bulliac

Fallout from Mason case on Kopczak signing

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Yeah, it's about Huddersfield

Takes the focus of Bradfords recent deplorable conduct for once

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Sorry, employment law is very far from being a minefield, well I was employed 20 years in it, and there is plenty of case law to cover the majority of cases, and the new owner of the Bulls must feel a little sick knowing that the assets he was supposedly paying out for had been stolen from him. Even worse is that the Giants receive a monthly  percentage of the Sky money that the Bulls have deducted as do the other SL clubs. That is for next year as well. That money which is deducted should have been used for youth development, instead of swelling the funds of SL clubs.

But was the new owner paying out for those assets?

 

My understanding was that all the players could have opted not to be tuped over (or whatever the technicality was) - meaning that in effect the whole thing was a gamble anyway.

 

I made my feelings known last year about the way Bradford's 'assets' were protected.

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TUPE was brought in to protect workers rights when their employers firm was taken over. Prime examples are pension contract rights, hours worked, plus basic salary protection, and to prevent employers picking and choosing which workers they employ or not. Having been around at the setting up of TUPE, it makes me feel sad when I see it abused as it was in this instance, but appears to be the everyday goings on in professional sport.

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TUPE was brought in to protect workers rights when their employers firm was taken over. Prime examples are pension contract rights, hours worked, plus basic salary protection, and to prevent employers picking and choosing which workers they employ or not. Having been around at the setting up of TUPE, it makes me feel sad when I see it abused as it was in this instance, but appears to be the everyday goings on in professional sport.

Where is the abuse?

 

I did a quick search and I was reading article after article of Bulls spokespersons saying that they may be bust next week, and this may be the last game they ever play etc.

Can you blame a player for not wanting to be TUPE'd over?

 

The laws are there for a reason and have no issue with punishments but let's not make out Kopzak was some money-grabbing mercenary.

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Where is the abuse?

 

I did a quick search and I was reading article after article of Bulls spokespersons saying that they may be bust next week, and this may be the last game they ever play etc.

Can you blame a player for not wanting to be TUPE'd over?

 

The laws are there for a reason and have no issue with punishments but let's not make out Kopzak was some money-grabbing mercenary.

You seem to be confusing some aspects a bit Dave.

 

If the whole shebang  had gone belly up there would have been no tupe-ing at all, as Kopczak, and all the others, would have been free agents from that point, free to sign for whomever they wished. Tupe only became an issue when the club [as an asset of the former owners] was bought from admin by the new owners. At that point, all employees had the right to be tupe'd to the new company on the same terms as their previous contracts - or indeed, the right to refuse. What Kopzcak has admitted to, under oath, is signing before that point - well before, and whilst he still had a valid contract, under which he was still being paid, btw, at Bradford.

 

Incidentally, I said many times during the 'troubles', that if I'd been a player, I would have been very annoyed at my agent if he hadn't been making enquiries in case of the 'Domesday scenario', but making tentative enquiries and doing what Kopczak did isn't the same thing at all.

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You forget that the deal was done at least a month before the Bulls were bought out. Regarding paying off small creditors, why didn't the SL clubs opt that they should be paid off instead of pocketing the Bulls sky money?

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And wasn't it in that month the loudest doom warnings were being shouted

No one can blame CK for his actions at all

No one really can blame the Giants for their actions either in signing CK - I'm just surprised the giants beat other clubs to the punch really

And lets all be honest - this is not the first time this has happened and it won't be the last

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You seem to be confusing some aspects a bit Dave.

 

If the whole shebang  had gone belly up there would have been no tupe-ing at all, as Kopczak, and all the others, would have been free agents from that point, free to sign for whomever they wished. Tupe only became an issue when the club [as an asset of the former owners] was bought from admin by the new owners. At that point, all employees had the right to be tupe'd to the new company on the same terms as their previous contracts - or indeed, the right to refuse. What Kopzcak has admitted to, under oath, is signing before that point - well before, and whilst he still had a valid contract, under which he was still being paid, btw, at Bradford.

 

Incidentally, I said many times during the 'troubles', that if I'd been a player, I would have been very annoyed at my agent if he hadn't been making enquiries in case of the 'Domesday scenario', but making tentative enquiries and doing what Kopczak did isn't the same thing at all.

No where I was coming from was that he could and probably should have just waited a month and then refused to be transferred across. The problem the player has here is that if the deal fell through and the club went bust then he could be left in a position where he has no income and he has a value that has dropped considerably. I'm not saying it is right, but that it is understandable. Players will get treated like pawns, and tbh I have no issues with a player looking after himself in such a difficult and stressful situation. I, and am sure many people on here have been in this kind of situation in recent years and it really isn't pleasant.

 

Your point that he agreed signing before that point I don;t believe to be correct, from what I read he had a verbal agreement which is surely where this all becomes murky.

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You forget that the deal was done at least a month before the Bulls were bought out. Regarding paying off small creditors, why didn't the SL clubs opt that they should be paid off instead of pocketing the Bulls sky money?

Why would the clubs pay off the bills of another club? What kind of deterrent is that?

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What views? That a working man protecting his career and income should be allowed to do so?

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Could I suggest that we activate your views and live in total anarchy. 

That doesn't even make sense.

 

I'm not saying that Kopzak and Hudds haven't done anything wrong - if they have broken rules, punish them, no issue whatsoever with that - my issue is that people are slating the lad when ultimately he was looking after himself at a very difficult time. This wasn't a bloke just looking for a nice pay rise, he was protecting his future moving from a basket case of a company to a more structured one.

 

The only rules broken (as far as I'm aware) were a sporting competition rule.

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That doesn't even make sense.

 

I'm not saying that Kopzak and Hudds haven't done anything wrong - if they have broken rules, punish them, no issue whatsoever with that - my issue is that people are slating the lad when ultimately he was looking after himself at a very difficult time. This wasn't a bloke just looking for a nice pay rise, he was protecting his future moving from a basket case of a company to a more structured one.

 

The only rules broken (as far as I'm aware) were a sporting competition rule.

 

And that to me just about covers it, If the Giants have done wrong then give them the same punishment that every other club doing the same has received, or whatever the RFL decide it to be, But CK did nothing that any sane man wouldn't do in trying to look after his living.

With regards to paying off the Bulls debts, why would they do it, they have not done it for any other club, why would Bradford be any different, I suspect the RFL have gone further with Bradford than they have with any other club.

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Without yet again rehashing old ground; we were given unprecedented levels of help through our crisis, followed by unprecedented levels of punishment once the dust had settled - which still rankles with the new set-up, hence their relentless (if futile) search for monies. As for Kopczak, yes he did what was best for himself, he just did it all the wrong way, many other players left at the end of 2012 without getting the backs up of the dressing room.

 

As for this, I'm not that bothered, a bit bored of it to be honest, what's done is done and we should get on with our own thing. And as this has wafted along for a week or so, I doubt the RFL are fussed about it now either.

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What unprecedented levels of punishment?

Being allowed to remain in Superleague when in other situations clubs have had to reform at the bottom?

Or do you mean the "half money". Which is more than Huddersfield got when they were hastily pushed into SL after the PSG debacle and they received ZERO Superleague money (a fact everyone conveniently forgets)

The bulls got a massive amount of help before and after a farce of their own making.

Now this farce is of the Giants own making and whatever happens they deserve, but given the circumstances some folk have very short memories

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What unprecedented levels of punishment?

Being allowed to remain in Superleague when in other situations clubs have had to reform at the bottom?

Or do you mean the "half money". Which is more than Huddersfield got when they were hastily pushed into SL after the PSG debacle and they received ZERO Superleague money (a fact everyone conveniently forgets)

The bulls got a massive amount of help before and after a farce of their own making.

Now this farce is of the Giants own making and whatever happens they deserve, but given the circumstances some folk have very short memories

I didn't forget the bit about the Huddersfield sky money, I simply didn't know - if it's elsewhere in this thread then I apologise for the oversight. Yes, I was referring to the half money for two years and the 6 points docked, which differed to recent administrations. Anyway, water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned and my closing sentences of the previous post still stand.

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What unprecedented levels of punishment?

Being allowed to remain in Superleague when in other situations clubs have had to reform at the bottom?

Or do you mean the "half money". Which is more than Huddersfield got when they were hastily pushed into SL after the PSG debacle and they received ZERO Superleague money (a fact everyone conveniently forgets)

The bulls got a massive amount of help before and after a farce of their own making.

Now this farce is of the Giants own making and whatever happens they deserve, but given the circumstances some folk have very short memories

Didn't you get a million quid for 'merging' with Sheffield at some stage, or did I dream that?

Glad to see some contrition in your last line btw.

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Yeah, it all went on paying for all of Sheffield's debts.

All the giants got was a terrible team, a mediocre coach, years of abuse and lost fans. (Maybe we should have followed Hull's tactic)

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Pity  clubs don't receive the same assistance like the S Wales premier union clubs, last year all were running in debt, and now like a supreme miracle all are clear of debt. The matter which worries me is the fact that league cannot get a main sponsor, and even a major event- the World Cup has no sponsor. Even without very much publicity in S Wales tickets are going well for the opening ceremony. If this event goes well I would hope to see a surge of interest in the game which would definitely ease the financial positions of league clubs.

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No where I was coming from was that he could and probably should have just waited a month and then refused to be transferred across. The problem the player has here is that if the deal fell through and the club went bust then he could be left in a position where he has no income and he has a value that has dropped considerably. I'm not saying it is right, but that it is understandable. Players will get treated like pawns, and tbh I have no issues with a player looking after himself in such a difficult and stressful situation. I, and am sure many people on here have been in this kind of situation in recent years and it really isn't pleasant.

 

Your point that he agreed signing before that point I don;t believe to be correct, from what I read he had a verbal agreement which is surely where this all becomes murky.

You're correct to say he may not have signed in august, But the point is the the deal, and presumably the handshake, were done in August and the player and club lied to the RFL inquiry held shortly afterwards. Indeed, we'd know nothing about all this if it hadn't been for the Mason case coming to court, where, clearly, neither player nor club were brave/stupid enough to continue the lie under oath.

 

Incidentally, I think you're quite wrong to suggest that Kopzcak would have been badly served by waiting and hoping the club went under. At the time, all SL clubs, bar Huddersfield, were holding to the agreement not to chase Bradford players, and in truth, far from his value dropping if the club had gone under, he would probably have been the subject of an auction and may well have got far more with other cubs pushing the price up. For what it's worth, I don't blame Kopczak for not accepting the tupe arrangement; he was perfectly entitled to refuse, but the way he left - just not turning up at the airport for a game in France and not even telling his former team-maste, leaves a bad taste in the mouth, I mean everyone has to give notice.

 

I'm less ambivalent about Huddersfield's part in this though; approaching contracted players 15 months before the contract ends, agreeing to a decision to not chase players and then doing so, followed by lying about it all to an RFL enquiry. It does make you wonder which other RFL rtules and agreements they feel don't apply to them?

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Incidentally, I think you're quite wrong to suggest that Kopzcak would have been badly served by waiting and hoping the club went under. At the time, all SL clubs, bar Huddersfield, were holding to the agreement not to chase Bradford players, and in truth, far from his value dropping if the club had gone under, he would probably have been the subject of an auction and may well have got far more with other cubs pushing the price up.

It depends which way you look at this. Huddersfield could easily have made him a great offer due to the fact that they wanted first refusal on him. Also, if the club had gone bust, he could be competing against a fair few other forwards who would be released too which can bring his value overall down.

Naughty from a rules point of view, but, and this is one thing that many forget, this was a job - ultimately if I had a job and my managers were telling the press that wages may not be paid and that the company may be bust in a few days, I'd certainly be taking an offer of employment elsewhere that could guarantee my mortgage could be paid.

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It depends which way you look at this. Huddersfield could easily have made him a great offer due to the fact that they wanted first refusal on him. Also, if the club had gone bust, he could be competing against a fair few other forwards who would be released too which can bring his value overall down.

Naughty from a rules point of view, but, and this is one thing that many forget, this was a job - ultimately if I had a job and my managers were telling the press that wages may not be paid and that the company may be bust in a few days, I'd certainly be taking an offer of employment elsewhere that could guarantee my mortgage could be paid.

The irony is that the players were the only employees who were guaranteed their money - it was back office staff and coaches who were made redundant. In any case, remember, under admin, apart from the players, the administrator had nothing to sell, so the chances of him not paying their wages were really pretty minimal, since he had to keep the vast majority of them at Odsal in order to be able to sell the club as a going concern. In a way, the biggest surprise really was that he didn't try to sell any of the players individually - I guess it must have been because of the agreement from the other clubs not to approach them.

 

I think above all that, that Koppy was also one of the players who would have had no bother whatever in getting a new club. After many years of being a makeweight and filling in whilst the men who made the yardage and broke the line were having a rest, he had been given his 'starters' number and he was beginning to be the one who broke the line and made the yardage, so the idea that he would have been out of work doesn't hold water, imo.

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You never been in that situation then?

Probability is irrelevant - actuality is he wanted to get the best deal for himself he could. That's what he did.

As for the thing at the RFL it's going to be a question of what the club and CK were asked at the time, when he signed or when he agreed to sign

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