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2 hours ago, paulwalker71 said:

I won't be changing with my view of the RFL. They were the people who approved Austria Holdings as a 'fit and proper person' only a few months ago. 

Maybe they played a major part in easing them out, maybe they didn't. We don't know because they've not said anything about the situation. All we know is their response to the takeover, which is to punish the new owners with a 12 point penalty for the something that they had absolutely nothing to do with.

Forgive my cynicism, but then I'm a Bradford fan - and the RFL have previous with punishing new owners for the sins of completely different (and also 'approved' - indeed 'preferred') owners.

Sorry to burst anyone's bubble but the comments from the Cougars New Owners at last nights meeting was that the RFL had been ridiculously supportive throughout the takeover and had pulled out all the stops to ensure the survival of the Keighley Club .

I think most of the Keighley Fans felt throughout the whole episode that the 'silence' from the Governing Body throughout was difficult to take but it transpires that to wrest control from the odious individual who was trying to ruin the Club , that silence was needed , however much it looked like the RFL was being lackadaisical about the situation  

As for the -12 points if thats the rules, thats the rules and the general impression last night was that very much **** happens take it on the chin and get on with it 

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13 hours ago, Rach said:

As for the -12 points if thats the rules, thats the rules...

Rules that the RFL themselves have made! They don't need to punish clubs like this, but they choose to do so.

Still, I'm pleased to hear that the RFL have been supportive and helpful through this sorry episode, and well done to them for bringing this to a successful conclusion. 

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Losing 12 points is immaterial. The close-season upheaval meant that the Cougars wouldn't have got promoted anyway.

Best of luck to the club and its salt-of-the-earth fans. I'll try to get to a couple of games.


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The 12 point deduction could be a blessing in disguise.

We now have no chance of promotion. This season can be used to settle things down. Allow the club to develop a strategy to get new supporters and more importantly new sponses involved.

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Just as important as new supporters is to re-connect with older ones. Promotion would have been an extremely hard task with just the hiatus of changing owners and all the problems which ensued, so whilst the -12 is yet another kick in the teeth I don't think it makes much difference to the overall picture.

In fact, the element of 'kicking a dog when it's down' could galvanise support for the club and be a focus for bringing together fans, both old and new. When we suffered that fate it certainly galvanised a great deal of 'gallows humour' at the Bulls. Best of luck.


No team is an island.........................................

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On 1/26/2019 at 9:45 AM, paulwalker71 said:

Rules that the RFL themselves have made! They don't need to punish clubs like this, but they choose to do so.

 

"The RFL" also includes the clubs, who will have voted for this rule because it's supposed to help stop poor management. Of course, I'm not sure it does. So when you start pointing fingers, watch for the ones pointing back.


"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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On 1/26/2019 at 9:45 AM, paulwalker71 said:

Rules that the RFL themselves have made! They don't need to punish clubs like this, but they choose to do so.

Still, I'm pleased to hear that the RFL have been supportive and helpful through this sorry episode, and well done to them for bringing this to a successful conclusion. 

They do it because the HMRC have made it clear they aren’t happy with sports clubs just wiping debts out and then being able to restart with out any punishment. 

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t

The RFL can, and do, just as they like with their own rules though. Under RFL rules the Bulls should have been relegated  after the 2017 season, but instead were made to play-on for another pointless season in a higher division, with no team and on `-12. They don't have to follow their own rules. Perhaps being fair to the new Keighley club should trump the rules?


No team is an island.........................................

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31337109@N03/

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13 minutes ago, Bulliac said:

t

The RFL can, and do, just as they like with their own rules though. Under RFL rules the Bulls should have been relegated  after the 2017 season, but instead were made to play-on for another pointless season in a higher division, with no team and on `-12. They don't have to follow their own rules. Perhaps being fair to the new Keighley club should trump the rules?

Was that not because it was so late in the day that it would’ve wrecked both leagues moving them at that stage. 

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2 hours ago, tim2 said:

"The RFL" also includes the clubs, who will have voted for this rule because it's supposed to help stop poor management. Of course, I'm not sure it does. So when you start pointing fingers, watch for the ones pointing back.

Oh, I have no problem accepting that there has been absolutely shocking 'management' (using the term loosely!) in recent times at the Bulls.

But when that club goes bust because of poor management, how does it really help the newly resurrected club to punish them for something that the new owners had nothing to do with? 

Moving it away from the well-worn discussion about the Bulls, I just don't see how giving Keighley a -12 deduction is going to help the club get onto a solid footing with their new owners. Effectively the new management is being penalised because the former owner was a complete ****

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35 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

Oh, I have no problem accepting that there has been absolutely shocking 'management' (using the term loosely!) in recent times at the Bulls.

But when that club goes bust because of poor management, how does it really help the newly resurrected club to punish them for something that the new owners had nothing to do with? 

Moving it away from the well-worn discussion about the Bulls, I just don't see how giving Keighley a -12 deduction is going to help the club get onto a solid footing with their new owners. Effectively the new management is being penalised because the former owner was a complete ****

How else would you stop clubs either cheating or gambling their way to success? How is that fair on clubs that live within their means?


"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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2 hours ago, tim2 said:

How else would you stop clubs either cheating or gambling their way to success? How is that fair on clubs that live within their means?

Not sure I want to lump 'cheating' together with 'gambling'. Cheating is always wrong, but don't most clubs who are successful take some sort of gamble to get where they want to be? For example you could say that Newcastle, who have signed a whole load of good players this season, are 'gambling' on getting up to the Championship this year.

Anyone, putting that to one side - we need to be clear what is meant by 'club'. The current system punishes a 'club' that is owned and operated by one set of owners - and quite possibly a totally different coach and set of players - for 'sins' perpetrated by a totally different set of owners. The people who lose out are the new club and - of course - the long suffering supporters.

The people who committed the crimes in the first place (who, I should add, are invariably 'approved' by the RFL as fit and proper persons) walk away scot free, having caused misery and chaos to supporters and local businesses alike.

Just doesn't make any sense to me...

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3 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

Not sure I want to lump 'cheating' together with 'gambling'. Cheating is always wrong, but don't most clubs who are successful take some sort of gamble to get where they want to be? For example you could say that Newcastle, who have signed a whole load of good players this season, are 'gambling' on getting up to the Championship this year.

 

Depends how they have structured their contracts and how they've financed it.

Anyway, I appreciate your point but you haven't provided a viable alternative. I don't think i've got one, but I'm not proposing a change.


"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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1 minute ago, tim2 said:

Depends how they have structured their contracts and how they've financed it.

Anyway, I appreciate your point but you haven't provided a viable alternative. I don't think i've got one, but I'm not proposing a change.

It would make sense for new owners to have to a lodge a substantial bond with the RFL to be used should the new company go bust within a certain timescale. That could be refunded over time, once the new co demonstrates its fiscal integrity - I dunno maybe 25% after 12 months, 50% after 2 years and so on. That might need a bit of finessing, but that would be the general concept.

Something like that would hopefully ensure that chancers like Austria Holdings would be kept well away from ownership of any club. If they'd had to stump up a bond before they took over, then that bond could have been used to pay off any debts left when they departed, leaving the new owners to start with a fresh slate. Of course, in reality, they'd most likely have been put off from even taking over in the first place, which would have been even better!

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10 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

Not sure I want to lump 'cheating' together with 'gambling'. Cheating is always wrong, but don't most clubs who are successful take some sort of gamble to get where they want to be? For example you could say that Newcastle, who have signed a whole load of good players this season, are 'gambling' on getting up to the Championship this year.

Anyone, putting that to one side - we need to be clear what is meant by 'club'. The current system punishes a 'club' that is owned and operated by one set of owners - and quite possibly a totally different coach and set of players - for 'sins' perpetrated by a totally different set of owners. The people who lose out are the new club and - of course - the long suffering supporters.

The people who committed the crimes in the first place (who, I should add, are invariably 'approved' by the RFL as fit and proper persons) walk away scot free, having caused misery and chaos to supporters and local businesses alike.

Just doesn't make any sense to me...

The problem with the gambling is that there needs to be "risk" to that gamble and if you can just wipe your debts out with only a bit of "egg on your face" as the punishment then its not really a risk and thats where they have to set some form of punishment. 

As with TIm I'm not sure what else you could do and the new management are aware of this "rule" so its not like its just been sprung on them and that needs to be taken into account when you are buying the club. 

Its a similar rule to those placed in other sports as well so I would say that its not just RL who is struggling with how to get this right, but it seems an accepted way of doing it at the moment. 

(fit & proper persons "vetting" is more about how they are obtaining the funds, is the person involved in illegal activities etc as you can never judge is the person a good enough businessman to run a sportsclub etc)

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1 hour ago, paulwalker71 said:

It would make sense for new owners to have to a lodge a substantial bond with the RFL to be used should the new company go bust within a certain timescale. That could be refunded over time, once the new co demonstrates its fiscal integrity - I dunno maybe 25% after 12 months, 50% after 2 years and so on. That might need a bit of finessing, but that would be the general concept.

Something like that would hopefully ensure that chancers like Austria Holdings would be kept well away from ownership of any club. If they'd had to stump up a bond before they took over, then that bond could have been used to pay off any debts left when they departed, leaving the new owners to start with a fresh slate. Of course, in reality, they'd most likely have been put off from even taking over in the first place, which would have been even better!

I'd duck if I was you, I'm still trying to remove the shrapnel from when I suggested bond's back in November for this very reason, I was accused of trying to kill clubs off.

Funny how if you suggest something on here you get crucified then wait a while and it gets suggested again and generally accepted, just like politicians floating ideas to be returned to later?

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6 hours ago, bobbruce said:

Was that not because it was so late in the day that it would’ve wrecked both leagues moving them at that stage. 

That was the reason given, but I'm not going to argue the point in a thread about Keighley. The point is they don't have to, and sometimes don't, follow their own rules. 


No team is an island.........................................

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31337109@N03/

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1 hour ago, paulwalker71 said:

It would make sense for new owners to have to a lodge a substantial bond with the RFL to be used should the new company go bust within a certain timescale. That could be refunded over time, once the new co demonstrates its fiscal integrity - I dunno maybe 25% after 12 months, 50% after 2 years and so on. That might need a bit of finessing, but that would be the general concept.

Something like that would hopefully ensure that chancers like Austria Holdings would be kept well away from ownership of any club. If they'd had to stump up a bond before they took over, then that bond could have been used to pay off any debts left when they departed, leaving the new owners to start with a fresh slate. Of course, in reality, they'd most likely have been put off from even taking over in the first place, which would have been even better!

Personally, I feel that bonds would just create another reason why investors don't want to get into RL. The RFL do what they refer to as "fit and proper person checks" and they don't work either as a quick check on our last few owners should prove.

There are proper legal constraints on people wo don't run businesses properly, so for my money I'd just let that apply to RL in the same way it does to other businesses. 

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No team is an island.........................................

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31337109@N03/

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1 hour ago, RP London said:

The problem with the gambling is that there needs to be "risk" to that gamble and if you can just wipe your debts out with only a bit of "egg on your face" as the punishment then its not really a risk and thats where they have to set some form of punishment. 

As with TIm I'm not sure what else you could do and the new management are aware of this "rule" so its not like its just been sprung on them and that needs to be taken into account when you are buying the club. 

Its a similar rule to those placed in other sports as well so I would say that its not just RL who is struggling with how to get this right, but it seems an accepted way of doing it at the moment. 

(fit & proper persons "vetting" is more about how they are obtaining the funds, is the person involved in illegal activities etc as you can never judge is the person a good enough businessman to run a sportsclub etc)

DoubleD was a bit critical of my earlier post about fit and proper tests and, with the benefit of hindsight, my tone may have been a bit more sneering than was justified.  The lesser point I was making was that it is hard to ascertain - certainly from their website - what the RFL is or isn't doing on matters like this.  It is understandable that they concentrate on what will interest most fans - who has signed for whom, and so on.  However, just a bit more information on the behind the scenes mechanisms might be welcome.

However, my main point was that, if a process has not stopped from happening what you might hope it would, then you should, I would have thought, be asking three questions: (i) is the process at fault? (ii) is it being implemented poorly? and (iii) - if 'yes' to (ii), is that because the staff lack training, knowledge, experience, skills or some combination of those?

As far as I can glean - from other posts on here and the RFL website - the 'fit and proper person' test covers much of the ground that you might expect to be checked by Companies House in registering company directors, but not much more.  That is maybe what needs exploring - whether would-be club owners need to demonstrate some enthusiasm for the game, knowledge of running sporting clubs (or if they haven't got it, how and from where they will buy it in) and maybe at least the outline of a (realistic!) business plan for, say, three years.  Just a few thoughts off the top of my head...!

 

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15 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

DoubleD was a bit critical of my earlier post about fit and proper tests and, with the benefit of hindsight, my tone may have been a bit more sneering than was justified.  The lesser point I was making was that it is hard to ascertain - certainly from their website - what the RFL is or isn't doing on matters like this.  It is understandable that they concentrate on what will interest most fans - who has signed for whom, and so on.  However, just a bit more information on the behind the scenes mechanisms might be welcome.

However, my main point was that, if a process has not stopped from happening what you might hope it would, then you should, I would have thought, be asking three questions: (i) is the process at fault? (ii) is it being implemented poorly? and (iii) - if 'yes' to (ii), is that because the staff lack training, knowledge, experience, skills or some combination of those?

As far as I can glean - from other posts on here and the RFL website - the 'fit and proper person' test covers much of the ground that you might expect to be checked by Companies House in registering company directors, but not much more.  That is maybe what needs exploring - whether would-be club owners need to demonstrate some enthusiasm for the game, knowledge of running sporting clubs (or if they haven't got it, how and from where they will buy it in) and maybe at least the outline of a (realistic!) business plan for, say, three years.  Just a few thoughts off the top of my head...!

 

the problem with all of that is that once you get into running the club all of that can go out of the window. 

Just using some of your examples, and granted they are off the top of your head but its a bit devils advocate as it gives me something to argue against.

Enthusiasm for the sport is not a prerequisite for success, in fact it may be the opposite and stop you making sound business decisions. 

A business plan is only as good as the information you are given, so the minute you get behind the desk you can easily justify changes and so that check isn't even worth the paper it is written on.

Knowledge of running a sports club again is good but surely not a prerequisite as you can employ people with that experience and actually bringing in people from different backgrounds is how good change often occurs in business as they bring fresh eyes and bring new ideas from other industries to the table.

I simply argue these to show how it is so difficult to check people out in the "future plans" stakes. No other sport has worked out how to do it properly, a bond is fine but if you start paying it back what stops them making a hash of it after that equally a bond protects against the impact of the failure on the people, it doesn't protect on the club coming back from the failure nor does it protect from the failure.

As I've said in other posts about the RFL, I am all for bashing them when they deserve it but from what i can tell they are doing as much as anyone else in a very difficult area. 

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I think the -12 points has done the new  owners a favour...no promotion (or relegation) to worry about, just get the club back on an even keel and a good foundation to rebuild from. That has to be more important this year than where in the league table they end up. 

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cru....Cru.....CRUSADERS!!!!!!

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