No turmoil here: Group 4 hits back at ‘death rites’ claims after funds pulled out

by admin on July 18th, 2018

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OPTIMISM: Group 4 vice-president Ray McCoy has denied the organisation or the competition is in crisis, and instead is looking at the positives. Photo: Peter Hardin 300916PHC004GROUP 4 vice-president Ray McCoyhas strongly denied that the organisation or the competition is in trouble, as shockwaves spread throughout the rugby league community at the news of a major sponsor pulling out of the sport at senior level.

Group 4 executives, the referees association, and West Lions and Oxley Diggers clubs have been dealing with a barrage of questions and fears –both from outside and inside their organisations–after Wests Entertainment Group (WEG) decided on Wednesday night to withdraw itssponsorship fromthe fourentities.

Representatives of both clubs saidthey worriedthat losing $65,000 and $20,000 respectively –let alone in-kind sponsorship –could be the end of them.

They willmeet in coming days to plan their future, butMr McCoy said Group 4 as a whole was “not in turmoil …not in crisis”and would come out stronger.

“Where it’s not a good situation, it’s also given us the opportunity to … take a real, good hard look at ourselves as to where we are, what changes we need to make and where we want to go.We are aware of the scenarios that need to be addressed [and] we’re dealing very closely with the clubs as best we can at this stage,” he said.

Mr McCoy said Group 4 would help the clubs –“the two biggest losers” in WEG’s decision -inevery way possible, such as sourcing other sponsorship and implementing strategies tomeetthe group’s code of conduct.

He said some were “reading the death ritesto Group 4 rugby league” butthis was “far from the case”.

“The group’s management committee continues to meet on aregular basis, to not only monitor the process andprocedures of the current judiciary hearings, but toalso continue to fine-tune a number of exciting initiatives that were already in progress for season2017 …Rest assured, Group 4 Rugby League is alive and well and very much looking forward to the future,” he said.

Mr McCoy said it was a great shame the final minutes of the reserve- and first-grade grand final games on September 11 had overshadowed theexciting culmination of a great season.

“What is disappointing is the fact that North Tamworth has not received the deserved acclamationfor winning four premierships in 2016, Group 4’s two-tier second-division competition was ahuge success, providing two very exciting grand finals events at Werris Creek and Manilla, and theladies’ league tag competition continues to grow every year,” he said.

Group 4 had been building its reputation and strength and would continue to do so, according to Mr McCoy.

“The dramas of grand final day were horrible; they weren’t good at all, but it all comes down to choices and decisions by players involved on the day.”

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