Dear Players, Supporters, Sponsors and Members of the Lindfield Rugby Community,
The NSWSRU Board has today issued its decision in response to our appeal of the previous determination of the NSWSRU Integrity Committee.
We are pleased to be able to announce that the NSWSRU Board has reduced both the level and number of sanctions previously imposed by the NSWSRU Integrity Committee. Importantly, whilst the Club will be competing in Div 2 in 2017, the Club will not suffer any points deductions at either the club championship or individual grade levels.
The Club will not, however, be automatically promoted to Div 1 in 2018 should it top the Div 2 table.
• The NSWSRU Board acknowledged the Appeals Sub-Committee’s submission that the Management Committee of the Club did not authorise, know of or were otherwise involved in the payments made to Mr Tala Moli totalling $600;
• However, the NSWSRU Board found the Club guilty of breaching the Rules on the basis that the individuals who made the payments were members of our Club, and that therefore the Club should also be responsible for their actions.
The NSWSRU Board’s revised sanctions are as follows:
1. Lindfield RFC will be graded in Div 2 in 2017, and will not automatically be promoted to Div 1 in 2018 should the Club win the Club Championship in 2017.
2. Lindfield RFC’s individual teams/grades will not have any points penalty imposed for the 2017 season.
3. Lindfield RFC will not have any club championship points penalty imposed for 2017.
4. Lindfield RFC is placed on a $10K bond for a period of 5 years, reviewed annually. The bond will be forfeited if the Club or any of its members are found guilty of breaching the player registration rules and/or the Union’s amateur status.
5. LRU’s expulsion from the 2016 Div 1 season (and the removal of the Club’s 2nd and 3rd Grade teams from the 2016 Div 1 finals series) stands.
6. Mr Pat Lang’s ban be reduced from a ‘life’ ban to 15 years.
7. Mr Adam Coughlan’s ban is to remain at 5 years.
Whilst we remain disappointed both with the Board’s findings of blame attributed to the Club and the severity of the sanctions imposed on both the Club and the two individuals, this positive outcome will allow the Club to commence preparations for the 2017 season on an even keel so as to give the Club the best chance for it to restore itself to its rightful position as a powerhouse in the NSW rugby scene in the years to come. The Club remains a strong supporter of the amateur status of the NSW Suburban Rugby Union competition and will continue to seek to promote and advance the game of Rugby Union on the North Shore of Sydney.
This ordeal has obviously tested the Club, its members, sponsors and the broader Lindfield Rugby community in ways that have perhaps never previously been experienced. The support shown for the Club has been monumental. It demonstrates how much the Club means to so many people and certainly bodes well for the strength of the Club going forward as it approaches 100 years in existence.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for all of your continued support. We assure you that the Club’s energy and resolve to seek to restore its fine reputation is fully charged and unwavering. The 2017 season is going to be the most important season for the Club in its 97 year history. We are confident that the Club will not only survive, it will thrive with the opportunity that has now been presented to it. However, we need all of your help to ensure that this happens.
The 2016 LRU Presentation Dinner has been moved to Friday, 14 October 2016 (previously announced as 7 October 2016) and the Annual General Meeting for the Club is going to be held shortly thereafter. We strongly encourage all members of the Club to attend both of these occasions with a view to kicking off the 2017 season now.
See you all at Preso Night!
Yours in Rugby,
Appeals Sub Committee Chairman
Former President (2007-2009)