Aug 282013

It is with huge regret that, for the first time in Heywood CC’s long history – or at least that we know of – we will be forfeiting a league fixture.

Heywood’s home fixture on Sunday will be handed to Walsden, meaning the Villagers have won the title. They only needed one point to win the title for a second year in succession with Littleborough being their closest challengers following Heywood’s two defeats last weekend.

This is not a decision taken lightly, but with Heywood already committed to playing Northern in the LCB KO Cup semi-final, after being given permission to arrange this fixture (which is on a date set by the home side) by the CLL management committee, the club cannot put out two first teams.

The second team fixture at Walsden will go ahead, while there is also a third team game at South West Manchester. We would not have had a professional to face Walsden, and there is no wicket being prepared at Crimble, while all volunteers providing teas and services, such as scoring and groundstaff, are off to Crosby for the game.

Nor can we send a second team out to face Walsden firsts as Rochdale can still catch Walsden for the 2nd XI title. We also have to send out a third team in the Manchester Association fixture in fairness to that league, while it was thought that putting out a third team as a first team would not have been a fit and proper thing to do.

Once the date of the Northern clash was known, Heywood went through the proper channels and were granted permission to organise the semi-final, with the CLL allowing us to arrange an alternative date with Walsden for the game. We offered up the next two Saturdays, and would probably have been able to play at a later date if need be.

However, despite negotations, Walsden have invoked the league rule which says CLL matches must take precedence over other fixtures and insisted the game go ahead on Sunday.

They are perfectly within their right to do this, despite the management committee saying we could play Northern on that day. The rule is there to stop teams cancelling league matches willy nilly for other fixtures they have arranged.

It had been hoped Walsden would have looked at the situation and seen that such a scenario could arise for them in future with their strong side, and could have accommodated a fixture which is prestigious for the CLL. Heywood would like to think they would have agreed to a change, but Walsden insist they have their reasons.

It now means Walsden win the title without completing a league victory.

In a message to CLL chairman Neville Fletcher, cricket chairman David Fare said: “To say that the HCC committee are annoyed and disappointed is an understatement, not only are Walsden handed the league title on a plate (which presumably is their intention) but much more importantly we lose a home fixture which impacts on gate receipts and bar take etc , etc.

“My final thoughts on this are that the league gave us permission to play the Lancs KO match this Sunday and Walsden should have had a moral obligation to oblige an alternative date for the fixture.

“The action taken by the Walsden club has done the CLL no favours whatsoever and at a time when the league need all the best publicity it can get the vast majority of people will have great difficulty in understanding what has transpired.”

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 August 28, 2013  Tagged with: ,  Add comments

  42 Responses to “Why Heywood Must, With Regret, Forfeit Walsden Fixture”

  1. The SDCL booted out Bamford Fieldhouse for something similar this season. They played a ECB cup match and forfeited a SDCL cup match on the same day.

    What sanction will the CLL put on Heywood?

  2. It might be useful is you read the story Brian. And the SDCL booted Bamford out for a series of misdemeanours, including not fielding second teams of a decent standard, no youth set up and general contempt for the league. Probably more specific reasons.
    I take it you are not one of our supporters Brian?

  3. I have read it scoop but its not clear if the CLL have given permission for Heywood to forfeit the 1XI game.

    One would imagine (as a minimum) that the CLL management committee would insist on the 2XI moving up and fulfilling the 1XI league fixture and the 3XI moving up to fulfil the 2XI game.

    What permissions have they actually given?

  4. I thought the league management committee were there to do just that and manage the league? If they haven’t got the nounce to amend a league rule and rearrange a fixture as a one off then surely they shouldn’t be entering teams from the league into other competitions. In the words of a life member of this league “FARCE”

  5. I couldn’t tell you Brian, but this has come about after negotiations following the victory at Barnoldswick. We haven’t just realised there is a clash – we got on to this the day after that game, Northern could only play on this date and it was agreed we could go ahead and arrange the fixture. Walsden have their reasons for not re-arranging the game, although we have two given two alternative dates and would probably have found a date after the end of the season if need be.
    The 2nd XI fixture is important in its own right. We also have everyone involved with the club going to Northern for one of the biggest games in the club’s history, which again I must stress, we were allowed to organise.
    The issue here is that there has been plenty of time to organise an alternative fixture, and Walsden have decided to invoke a rule. The league did not and therefore we have not transgressed.
    I don’t see what else we could do.

  6. I think that Scott has put Heywood’s position re this sorry state of affairs very accurately. As one involved in the discussion, I can only reiterate the committee’s total reluctance to forfeit the match and their abhorrence at
    the actions of others that have put them in this invidious position.

  7. Is Mr Cadd suggesting that the same CLL Committee which allowed Heywood to arrange the game against Northern, should now throw Heywood out of the League for following that directive ?

  8. I see the issues and sympathise with the club, but what if Heywoods 1XI were still in a position to the win the league (as they have been for most of the season I believe)?

    Would they still forfeit the 1XI league game?

    The way this appears is that Heywood are choosing to forfeit the games which mean the least to the club.

    The League management committee is obliged to look after the interests of the whole league and it would be surprising if it was to simply allow clubs to make such self interested decisions like this which are determining the leagues premier competition

    Especially so as Heywoods decisions actually ends another clubs (Littleboroughs) hopes of winning the league

  9. Brian, I note your point, however who would fulfil our 3XI game? unfortunatley we dont have a 4th team! We would therefore be fined by the MDCA if your suggestion was acted upon.
    Also one other point you miss, if we fielded our 2nd team for the first team fixture who would pro?no doubt you would advocate another fine for not having a professional.

  10. You are still not reading the story Brian. The league has given us consent to play Northern. We have arranged the fixture. It gave it us very soon after the Barnoldswick win. They expected Walsden to change.
    And we would have done exactly the same if the first XI was still in the title hunt. The LCB KO Cup is a great competition against different clubs. We have thoroughly enjoyed this competition over the years and would support any club in the situation we find ourselves.
    We host all sorts of games for the CLL, fulfil all our fixtures, meet all standards and abide by every rule. Like all clubs, there are certain things we need to put right but in general we are good member of the CLL.
    I don’t think we are asking too much for some support here.

  11. Gentleman, I am not proposing any sanction of Heywood. That is for the league to decide.

    However if the league (as claimed here) approved the rearrangement of the Walsden league match then perhaps they should be taking action against Walsden for failing to comply with their own directive.

    Rained off league games have been rearranged in the past, would the CLL allow clubs to refuse to play on those occasions? I doubt it

    So,perhaps both clubs will end up in the dock

  12. It sounds like the CLL have not managed this very well.
    If there is a league rule to say that league fixtures must take precedence over other fixtures, they they should not have given us permission to play the semi final – or at least not without confirming the relaxation is ok with Walsden first.
    Forefeiting league fixtures is a dangerous thing and can be the first foot on a very slippery slope.
    From next season, there is no point in CLL sides entering this competition unless there is a rule change – and they would need to be careful with that as it could be open to abuse.

  13. Mr Cadd

    1. You are proposing sanctions on Heywood cricket club , please refer to your first post. With the last question of that post you may have a sanction in mind ?

    2. Your latest post where you use brackets are you claiming that respected members of Heywood may not be telling the truth. If that is the case then why bother commenting at all

    3. You imply the club is only self interested how can that be the case when financially a home game against top of the league would be far more beneficial to club revenue than an away day in the lcb cup.

    and finally please let us know who you are Brian as you seem to have the best interests of the cll and all concerned in this unfortunate situation at heart , and feel strongly enough to comment on the Heywood website.

  14. THIS is a very sorry day for Central Lancashire League cricket. It highlights the archaic nature of its set-up and the lack of vision. Invoke the league rule? Everyone with a grain of common sense knows that it should have been overruled.
    Perhaps some good may come out of this ridiculous situation, that the CLL at last tries to make some positive steps to move into the 21st century and not be bound by rules, regulations and geographical boundaries, many set up more than half-a-century ago. Our lack of use of new technology to convey information underlines how much we are stuck in the mud.
    Going back to the situation Heywood have found themselves in, I would like to give my views on the following:
    1, Walsden’s intransigent stance. I understand that they say they could not field their full first team on Saturdays August 30 and September 7. Heywood would, I believe, have carefully considered any sensible alternative, but have now been left with no choice but to forfeit the game. Either that, or field a team of retired vets, which I assume the CLL would regard as contrary to the spirit of the league.
    Walsden will now win the title by default. Enjoy your celebrations.
    2, Heywood’s progress in the Lancashire Cup surely reflects well on the CLL. When I have been at games in earlier rounds this year, I have been asked: “Are you the best team in your league.” I have replied: “No, It’s got to be Walsden, who won the title last year and look certain to win it again.” Surely that’s kudos for them, especially if Heywood could win the Lancashire Cup.
    3, It’s bound to create acrimony between the two clubs, and unpleasant atmospheres in any future meetings. I and my family will certainly never go to Scott Street again, and I suspect that will be the stance taken by many of Heywood’s travelling support – widely regarded as the largest in the league. Lost revenue for Walsden, unpleasant games, and against the spirit of cricket.
    I have admired the way that Walsden have assembled such a formidable team made up almost entirely of players from their village, but this leaves a really sour taste.
    I hope that Walsden enjoy lying in the bed they have made because, if they ever want co-operation in the future, they might find it very uncomfortable. What goes around comes around.

  15. Mr Kaye

    The answer your questions, I comment as follows

    1 – I have not proposed any sanctions at all, I have pointed out the well established precedent amongst cricket leagues to take some kind of action against clubs who forfeit league matches for some other purpose. The Bamford case being the most high profile and recent example. Action has also be taken against Oldham CC in the not to distant past. I merely point this out as a matter of fact.

    2 – This is the first time that I have heard that Walsden had been instructed to reschedule the game and was merely referring to the source of this information

    3 – The club has chosen to which game to forfeit the 1XI fixture and not move up the 2XI team to honour the game, which would be the natural solution. I have every sympathy with Heywood reasons but this is indeed a self interested decision (and one that most clubs would make I am sure given the chance). But I question if the league should tolerate this. I doubt they will as allowing clubs to forfeit 1XI games and play 2XI simply cannot be right can it?

    And finally I have registered my personal email address with the site and would welcome any correspondence of a more personal nature via that medium should anyone wish to get in touch.

    This page has been promoted to a wider audience by the Twitter medium and as such may attract more diverse views than normal

  16. I’ve read what someone has put on a different forum in the past, stating how league cricket is now organised along tribal lines and how fault lines run deep between clubs. I think this is right. Reading Tweets (surely the worst thing to happen to harmony in league cricket ever!) from players bad mouthing other clubs, decades of relative enmity over perceived slights, personality clashes etc etc … they are part and parcel of leagues. I’ve had enough of it really. I really think the whole of the region’s cricket should be re-arranged, build new relationships, see new grounds and new people. I certainly have nothing but unpleasant feelings (that’s keeping within the boundaries of good taste) towards Walsden, who have acted either with disregard for the consequences or are just being completely and utterly mischievous. It can’t ever change. And that’s two or more away trips now I will miss out on in a season as I can’t bear to give them a penny of my hard-earned.

  17. I think a few people are missing the point! Why would Walsden re-arrange a fixture when they know they will have a weakened team on the dates suggested, as previously mentioned.

    Secondly, should the game have been agreed and re-arranged for one of the suggested Saturdays. What happens if the ra-arranged fixture is a wash out and the rest of the league play this weekend or vice versa?

    Thirdly, whilst many people seem to think Walsden are in the wrong, surely the CLL management committee have questions to answer by allowing the LCB Knockout game to take place on a league fixture date, without re-arranging the league fixture beforehand.

    I believe Heywood have gone about their business correctly. The issue is with the CLL committee. Neither Heywood or Walsden are at fault in this farcical array of affairs and can only be seen from the outside world as a sorry state.

  18. Sponge,
    There are ways and means to re-arrange fixtures. Weather is an issue throughout the league – we all have had tough games rained off and easy games rained off. There is no consistency there.
    Walsden have had plenty of time to come up with alternatives, esp. as the CLL has been ‘negotiating’ with them for a while. There’s Saturday 14th if need be, the 21st – come up with a suggestion. This seems more personal and and has opened up wounds that will not heal.
    The CLL is in need of all the positive publicity it can get, esp if it wants to lay any claim to being a league of decent standard and attract new clubs to flesh out the two division structure and improve standards. All clubs should subscribe to this. Walsden have put their own, short term interests first. We would have forfeited even if the league had been in doubt because we have committed to playing Northern.
    It’s all very straightforward. Well, in my eyes anyhow :)




  20. It clearly isn’t very ‘straightforward’ Scott!
    In my view, nobody should ever forfeit a league game. I remember Oldham seconds doing it a couple of seasons ago because they had some kind of funfair/fete on the ground – and they were castigated for it.
    It is sad that the league have put us in the position of having to make the decision.

  21. Hilts, we were never told we couldn’t play Northern. If that had been the case first up, then it wouldn’t have got this far – we’d have had to concede to Northern or try to get an extension. The CLL clearly thought Walsden would accommodate a change of fixture, which hasn’t happened for whatever reason

  22. This is a situation that has been on the cards for some years and could arise again due to the final being scheduled for Sunday September 15th the day Heywood are due to play Littleborough at Crimble in the final league fixture of the season.
    The problem as I see it is caused by the way the LCB sets the match dates. The draw grid says each round is to be “played by” hence the semi-final could have been played on any day of the week between 12th August and 1st September however 1st September was the only date Northern CC as the home club could offer for the fixture. Heywood have been presented with a lose lose option.
    If the CLL wished to invoke General Rule 40 they should have instructed Heywood to withdraw from the LCB competion at the outset. It is a situation which could arise in future years and the only I see aound it is for the CLL to propose to the LCB that “played by” is replaced by “played on”. This would then enable league fixture secretaries to leave fixed dates open to facilitate the competition without coming into conflict with club league fixtures.

  23. MAH (whoever you are) why people hide behind aliases is beyond me.

    I can assure you that our ‘administrator’ is fully aware of all the facts.

  24. MAH – Do you mean revealed??? Also how about taking the Caps Lock key off??? Thanks.

  25. On thing is for certain there seems to be much embarrassing squabbling on the various social media sites between Walsden and Heywood.

    Claims have been made that Northern would have offered more than one date for the LCB cup game which would seem to have avoided the issue..

    Claims are being made that Walsden were prepared to discuss alternative dates.,,

    Others point out that last year Middleton CC were forced to conceded a LCG cup match due to it clashing with a CLL for fear of reprisals by the league..

    All of this seemingly speculative claim and counter claim harms the reputation of the league and needs to be addressed properly.

    Someone is to blame for this

    For me there are 3 potential issues, but only which one?

    1 – Did the CLL instruct that the Walsden v Heywood game was to be rescheduled? If yes then Walsden should be sanctioned

    2 – If the league DID NOT reschedule the Walsden v Heywood game the Heywood should be sanctioned for forfeiting the 1XI game

    3 – If the league management committee offered no definitive direction to the two clubs involved then the league itself should be sanctioned for being unfit for purpose

  26. I am suspending comments while I go to watch bowls/ get a chinese/ chill

  27. Fergie, well said and with excellent delivery…

    The best thing to come out of this situation is the obvious passion people have for their clubs, a positive thing in the current climate of demise in traditional sporting pastime activities; so kudos to both sets of fans. This statement only bodes true though for those of a level frame of mind who can control their passion and support of their club in a civil manner.

    Pains me to say this, but I believe Big H, is correct in stating that the CLL Management Committee is the entity with all to answer and for the sake of the ‘they said, we said’ scenario, address its members on their decision making process and the factual steps undertaken to date. Their lack of ‘management, governance and ruling’ appears to have placed both clubs in a position that leaves either club; HCC & Walsden open to ridicule and misinterpretation of their decision making processes, decisions that could alienate the clubs from their peer members; not a healthy situation for the league, on many fronts.

    Walsden have won the league title over the course of the past six months, to do so shows their togetherness as a First XI team and club and am sure the competitive spirit their players have displayed in winning so many games over the course of the season to date, would entail they would have preferred to claim the league title by playing one more game together as a team. This situation shouldn’t diminish or detract from their efforts this season.

    Our club is the same, the season is a special time of year, for fans, players, club officials, as well as a financial necessity in the continued establishment of a local place for local people to socialize and play sport. Why we have been punished in losing the opportunity to play one more game, in front of our home fans due to success on other fronts is ridiculous. We are representing the CLL (and all its member clubs)on the biggest stage in our regional amateur cricket competition, this is a success that should be shared amongst its members, not frowned upon or chastised by some/certain said league member institutions; that makes no logical or ethical sense. Only parties of self interest and self-acclaim are the ones with thoughts and motivations for demising our current and hopefully continued success in this prestigious competition.

    Unless I’ve missed something, the whole situation and current predicament could easily be explained by those elected into positions of authority in the CLL?

  28. The rules are simple , follow them ?

  29. I am getting slightly fed up with all the speculation, rumours and untruths that are being banded around by those who have no idea what actually took place with this sorry state of affairs. I have been the only representative of Heywood who has dealt with this from day one and can answer Brian Cadds posting with the facts!

    1/ No… Northern only offered one date that being the 1st September

    2/ On the 13th August I was given permission by the league to arrange the fixture against Northern for the above date. To be fair to the league this was done on the assumption that Walsden would play ball in the re-arrangement of the fixture.

    3/ Walsden were written to by the league asking them to choose between either the 31st August or the 7th September. Heywood would be fine with either date. On Thursday last week the league asked me if Heywood would play Bank Holiday Monday (pressumably following a request from Walsden)
    For many reasons, 3 games in 3 days, bar staff, tea rooms, groundsmen etc etc we said no. It was then and only then did Walsden bring to the attention of the league general rule 40. I was advised of this at 9.00pm Monday night (26th).

    On Tuesday night at a meeting the committee, given that we had been told to arrange the fixture with Northern for the 1st September by the league agreed that we could not fulfill the Walsden fixture as we already had 3 teams out that day and a 4th was not possible. I conveyed this to the league on Tuesday morning.

    As far as Mr Cadd’s comment regarding the Middleton game I am not able to comment as I was unaware of this event.

    All of the above means that it is a lose lose situation not only for Heywood but for cricket in general.

  30. The only slight issues with bringing the Middleton game into the equation was

    1. That was an early round and the CLL would not lose too much face by forcing Middleton to forfeit that game.
    2. Two wrongs do not make a right
    3. This is a semi-final of a cup the CLL encourages entry into (or at very least, doesn’t discourage entry into). Forcing a team to forfeit does not exactly stand the league in good stead.
    4. There are/ were free dates between now and the end of the season to fulfil league fixtures. Weather/ rain cannot be an issue, as Walsden wanted to play on the Bank Holiday. A different date than the rest of the league.

    Put simply, this is a prestigious game for Heywood and the CLL. We are currently the second/ third best team in the CLL according to the league table and we have made the semis of the Lancashire Cup. The other teams in the semis are the top teams in their leagues.

  31. Can we please draw a line under this whole sorry business. Club blaming club, club blaming league etc etc. At the end of the day Heywood have to play a semi final of a prestigious competition on Sunday and Walsden will win the the league. There is nothing anyone can now do about any of this. Lets leave the recriminations for later and wish success to Heywood and congratulations to Walsden.

  32. Hi everyone. It is my turn to get involved as Secretary of thr Club. Let me put the whole matter very simply and then if people still want to blame HCC for this truly sorry state of affairs then so be it. .

    1) After our win at Barnoldswick – we contacted the CLL and they us permission to play Northern on 1st September.
    2) We then gave Walsden (with the CLL’s permission) two alternatives dates to re-arrange the home fixture.
    3) The two dates were not convenient for Walsden.
    4) Walsden then envoked General Rule 40 (they are quite within their rights to do so)
    5) The CLL then allowed them to envoke General Rule 40.(that is when everything went to pot)

    Who is to blame – the CLL and a letter has been written by me, following numerous meetings and discussions, on behalf of Heywood C.C, to that effect to the Chairman of the CLL. The ball is in their court – they must and should change General Rule 40 at the next AGM, because as I have said in my letter to Neville Fletcher – the rule does not allow for teams within the CLL to be successful in a competition as prestigious as the Lancs. Knockout Trophy.

    Good luck to our lads on Sunday – we all sincerely hope you win and then, guess what, we have to start the whole messy business again as the final of the Lancs Knockout Trophy is due to be played at Old Trafford on the 15th September when we have a 1st X1 CLL fixture against Littleborough scheduled. Can’t see the guys at Old Trafford re-arranging the fixture. Watch this space.

  33. So it seems that the CLL have empowered a club to rearrange a league fixture..

    ..and simultaneously empowered their opponents to veto the aforementioned rearrangement…

    How very strange indeed

  34. Is there any fishing on the radio tonight?

  35. Can I add that the growing calls that are doing the rounds for Heywood to be docked points or even relegated to the lower division of the CLL seem quite unfair.

    The CLL management committee seems to be the most culpable here

  36. In full agreement with Gwen’s proposal for an amendment to rule 40; if changes are being considered for the next AGM, some thought might be given to proposing a rule which prevents clubs playing non-league related matches on free Saturdays or Sundays without express permission from the League. This is to maximise flexibility in rearranging weather affected blocks of fixtures, and is used in a some Leagues, but it would have meant that Walsden’s commitment to the Todmorden-based T20 on 31 August might have been taken out of the equation.

    Having said that I agree with the Chairman of Vice…good luck to Heywood on Sunday, and the most consistent team have win the League.

  37. I think a vote of no confidence in the League Management Committee seems the only option…..they are the root cause of the problem!

  38. Interestingly someone has just pointed out that Radcliffe CC forfeit a 1XI league match last season and were promptly deducted 10 points by the CLL management committee.

    I suppose that comparisons here are unavoidable as league must be seen to be both even handed and transparent in their dealings

    That is not to say that Heywood should face a similar penalty, as the circumstances no doubt differ, but clarity needs to be displayed by the league..

    The other point that has been made on another local cricket forum is that under LCKO rules Northern had to offer 3 dates to Heywood for the game…

    Yet I am sure I have read here or somewhere else that they only offered 1 date !!

    So perhaps this whole saga could have been avoided if Heywood had requested the two alternative dates from Northern CC

  39. To draw a line under this whole ‘sorry’ affair, as author of this article and most things on here, I’ve learned a couple of lessons (not enough, some would say)

    1. Twitter and league cricket are an insidious mixture. Some of the petty triumphalism, name calling and insults fly in the face of everything league cricket should be about. It’s a lesson learned by me, and one which the league and clubs should learn too. Abuse is not allowed on the pitch – why should it go unpunished on Twitter? It’s time to draw a line under Twitter and move on.

    2. Mind our own business and manage our own affairs. If clubs/ people have an axe to grind with Heywood, that’s their problem. We continue to do what we do well and let other clubs do the same.

    3. In spite of point two, co-operation, help, fraternity, friendship and harmony should be what the CLL is about. We should bend over backwards to help each other when help is needed.

    I shall certainly aim to abide by these three lessons and will welcome any rap on the knuckles for erring. Let’s get back to the days when we all had a beer after a game, a chat. AND NO NAME CALLING.



  40. Well put you buffoon …………………… oh sorry, just spotted the name calling has ended!! Good effort Scoop.

  41. When did you join the Spanish Inquisition Scott?

    “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Our chief weapon is surprise – surprise and fear – our two weapons. Fear and surprise and ruthless efficiency – our three weapons……”

  42. Well that escalated rather quickly!

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