The death of the Magpies is bad for the game

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Gerry De La Cruz
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PostPosted: January 10, 2012, 1:22 am
Basically rugby League in the Macarthur region is in a shambles. The junior League is badly run and managed and Wests Tigers are more interested in returning to the inner city than tackling the challenges we have out our way.

We just want to give our kids more opportunities to play footy, not less!

The first of many protest rallies has been organised for Sunday the 5th of February to raise concern on the state of Rugby League in South West Sydney.

People from Liverpool, the Macarthur and Southern Highlands, have been ignored for too long by both Rugby League administrators and more recently the Wests Tigers back room men.

The situations we have at hand has gotten to a stage that if we don’t act soon, we will lose much support of our great game of Rugby League. We will lose it to other, better run football codes that have a strategic long term approach to winning the hearts and minds of this thriving area.

What is needed isn’t hard to achieve and we have many talented people from our own area to achieve it. We just need Rugby League to develop a long term roadmap for the area, and then act on it!

These are the basic demands we have:

- We DEMAND a professionally run Senior Competition for the Campbelltown and Liverpool district.
- We DEMAND that Rugby League clubs can play and train at a Home Ground of their own choosing.
- We DEMAND the region retains its own NSW Cup, SG Ball and Harold Matthews representative sides.
- We DEMAND that Campbelltown Stadium gets more than 4 NRL games a year.

We have had enough! For years we have only ever gotten lip service, we now want action. Action we can see! Results we can see!

The march will begin at Campbelltown Council at 10am and proceed down the road to Campbelltown Stadium and the Leagues Club.

Online Petition, please sign it:

More details here:
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: January 11, 2012, 4:44 am
Western Suburbs Magpies to enter final season

FOUNDATION club Western Suburbs Magpies are about to approach their final winter in Sydney before they vanish once and for all.

But the diehards out west are not prepared to go quietly, organising a protest rally on February 5 to fight for survival.

When the Magpies merged with Balmain in 1999 to form the Wests Tigers, one of the agreements was Wests and Balmain maintain their own identities in the NSW Cup.

But as of 2013, Wests Tigers plan to field just one team in the Cup to save money for junior development - meaning Wests Magpies will cease to exist at senior level.

Officials at Wests have privately fumed they have received the raw end of the deal from the Wests Tigers marriage. They do not appear on the Wests Tigers logo, and in recent years have watched all NRL fringe players sent to Balmain.

Magpies chairman Paul Dillon last night said he was disappointed with the Wests Tigers and their plans to enter just one team in the Cup - even if it sounded the death knell of the same club that made Tommy Raudonikis, Noel Kelly and Keith Holman household names.

Even if they wanted to go it alone, the Magpies could not afford it as major backers Wests Ashfield, who spend $300,000 on the Cup side, will end their association at season's end."We're very disappointed with the Wests Tigers, and what should have been a wonderful celebration has come to this," Dillon said.

"The agreement was the Wests Tigers be the NRL side, and Wests and Balmain remain in the NSW Cup. We offered to the Tigers to play in the NSW Cup with a Magpies jersey and stick a Tiger on the sleeve but they said no."

Dillon said there were disgruntled junior clubs in the region who had been barred from training and playing in the Campbelltown district. He said the protest also wanted to highlight the need for more than four NRL games to be played at Campbelltown.

The merger has meant Wests Tigers have needed to spend up to $1 million annually to support two NSW Cup teams.

Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys said last night that junior development programs needed to be a higher priority than running two State Cup sides.

"In my opinion Wests Balmain and Wests Tigers spend an inordinate amount of time, money and effort on the NSW Cup, and I believe we'd all be far better off if some of that time, effort and money was redirected into the junior leagues and junior development programs," he said.

"I've expressed that view to the Wests Tigers directors."

Western Suburbs Magpies will maintain an identity in the junior representative competitions but cease to exist at senior level. ... 6241210873
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: January 11, 2012, 4:55 am
Only if Newtown had sold its leagues club there would have been a team playing out of Campbelltown back in the Mid 80's. The macarthur region is massive and a huge Rugby League catchment which should have been enough to have its own team.

I have always thought that Wests were the poorer cousin in the merger , same as Illawarra in the Dragons one.

The Magpies were kicked out before and survived through a court win , I hope they win this fight as well. Always had a soft spot for them.
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Laurie Daley
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PostPosted: January 11, 2012, 7:09 am
I'm from the Campbelltown area and live around where Hayne and Inu grew up (and Falau as well actually). Lots of talent around this area, but I hear juniors end up playing else where (like Parramatta area etc). Maybe the Raiders should've linked up with the Magpies here instead of Mounties? At the very least it'll be a slightly shorter travel from Canberra
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PostPosted: January 11, 2012, 7:11 am
The Raiders could have helped bail out the NSW Cup team but the Balmain side of the merger wanted nothing to do with us.

I hope the rally is a sucess.

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PostPosted: January 11, 2012, 12:13 pm
Thnks guys. We really are just trying to ensure the Macarthur gets a fair deal out of the Joint Venture and to reinstate what the Joint Venture Constitution of 1999 states.

If you haven't already, please sign our online petition ... -rally/277
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: January 12, 2012, 8:10 am
Magpies' demise fast approaching

THE future of Western Suburbs Magpies could come to an end much sooner than first thought, with the foundation club not guaranteed funds to play in the NSW Cup this year.

A day after The Daily Telegraph revealed parent club the Wests Tigers would field just one team in the NSW Cup in 2013 - at the expense of the Magpies - Wests officials said they had not received the annual $300,000 from major backers Wests Ashfield required to field a Cup team this year.

New Magpies coach Trevor Schodel and officials said Wests Ashfield were not happy about a planned protest on February 5, aimed to raise awareness about the Maggies' Cup demise and the health of league in Campbelltown.

There was also a suggestion that Wests Ashfield would only fund the Cup team in 2012 if Magpies chairman Paul Dillion resigned. Dillion offered a "no comment" when asked about the suggestion yesterday while sources at Wests Ashfield rejected those claims.

Either way, the Magpies are yet to receive any cash required to play in the Cup, which begins in two months.

"There are no 100 per cent guarantees we will get our funding this year," Schodel told The Daily Telegraph. "I'm really concerned for the players. Our first training session we had six players, now we've got 34 players training hard, and I'd be bitterly disappointed if Wests Ashfield listen to Wests Tigers and stopped our funding. It's now January and our first game is on March 3.

"It's devastating to see a traditional club treated this way. I'd hate to be the last person who coaches Wests."

Graeme Szynal, the man behind the Save Our Sides protest rally planned for next month, said all the Magpies and Campbelltown league fraternity wanted was a better deal from the Wests Tigers, the team they helped form in 1999 by merging with Balmain.

"We still want our juniors to become Wests Tigers players, but they shouldn't have to play for Balmain or travel to Concord for training to do so," Szynal said.

Wests Ashfield deputy chairman Russell Smith would not comment on funding ... 6242091827

Gerry De La Cruz
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PostPosted: January 14, 2012, 1:12 am
Well Wests Ashfield have pulled the pin without so much as a vote from their own members.

Who are these faceless back room men, and who made them dictators of the members club?

Gerry De La Cruz
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PostPosted: January 17, 2012, 2:21 am
Why we feel let down in pictures.....

8 games in the inner city, 4 in the South West

The proud Magpies on the Shoulders....

became the vanishing Magpie on the cuff of the sleeve...

the main jersey has a distinct Balmain feel yet the alternative jersey is a nothing design

Why do Magpies have to play for Balmain to get a chance at making the Wests Tigers teams...

Maybe if the Wests side felt like they were being treated fairly, there would be greater support for a joint venture Wests Tigers team in the NSW Cup.

Maybe the Wests Tigers should have done a better job at selling it to us... not dictating terms.

To quote the famous Magpie legend Noel Kelly... "time and time again the Wests side gets the rough end of the stick"
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: January 17, 2012, 6:37 am
The Tigers side in the merger have always been the dominant side , I cant remember the details of the merger but why did Wests ( magpies ) allow to be the weaker partner?

I used to sit on the hill at Orana park and watch Cogger and co run around. Best memory was my Uncle giving stick to John Allanson , Allanson tackled a player near the sideline , looked at my uncle and then decked the player at the play the ball. My Uncle sh*t himself.

Gerry De La Cruz
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PostPosted: January 17, 2012, 9:18 am
The joint venture constitution states the Wests Tigers is to be 50:50

But of the 12 Wests Tigers board members, 5 are from Balmain, 5 are from the Wests Group

The 5 from the Wests Group are 3 from Wests Ashfield Leagues Club, 1 from Wests Campbelltown Leagues Club and 1 from the Western Suburbs Magpies Football club

(in hindsight this arrangement was a mistake)

Since 2005 the members from Wests Leagues Club Campbelltown has voted on side with Balmain (most likely due to long held grudges against Wests Ashfield)
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: January 17, 2012, 3:35 pm
That sucks , seems like too many divisions

The macarthur region is massive and also has a big footy following , they should be seeing more live games in the area

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PostPosted: January 18, 2012, 10:58 pm
SOS - Save Our Sides - Press Release

SOS from Supporters of the Wests Magpies and Campbelltown- Liverpool District Rugby League to the NRL and Independent Commission:


Rugby League at all levels in the Liverpool, Campbelltown and greater Macarthur region is in an absolute shambles. We, the undersigned, have organized a protest rally and march for Sunday February 5th.

The march will start at Campbelltown City Council chambers, 10am sharp and proceed down Queen St. Campbelltown to Wests Leagues Club, Campbelltown. Here a petition will be presented to the Wests Junior League and Wests Leagues Club Campbelltown, outlining the many issues that have and are still ruining Rugby League in Campbelltown.

An on-line petition is also currently active at ... -rally/277 for people to voice and register their support for sweeping change throughout all levels of Rugby League in the Liverpool, Campbelltown and Macarthur area.

Speakers of note have been invited to the march, with the goals of the march to highlight the following alarming concerns:

· The decline of an unacceptably poorly managed junior league, inclusive of the total loss of semi- professional senior Rugby League in the region, and the fact that three senior clubs (Campbelltown City Kangaroos, Campbelltown Eagles and Macarthur Bulls) who dared seek semi- professional competition in CRL Group 6 were forced to play and train out of the area by the NSWRL on behalf of the Junior League.

· The Imminent Death of the Wests Magpies, foundation club of the NSWRL.

· The absent parent- the Concord Tigers, who use the Campbelltown- Liverpool area only for its juniors

· The greater Rugby League fraternity of the region will also highlight the lack of amenities and infrastructure for junior Rugby League in the Campbelltown LGA, particularly in comparison to other districts and the very well catered other sports in the Campbelltown LGA.

· Solutions to all of these issues.

Wests Magpies RIP 1908- 2012:

The great Western Suburbs Magpies DRLFC has been told that the 2012 season will be their last in existence. The Tigers aligned board of the Ashfield Leagues Club has informed the football club of this. There will be no Wests Magpies team in the NSW Cup as of 2013. There will be no Liverpool- Macarthur representative in this important Sydney wide competition for our region’s talented youth.

All junior development and control of the Magpies Harold Matthews and SG Ball teams has reverted to the far away distant, Concord based Wests Tigers.

Macarthur and Liverpool based kids, working full-time jobs, are now basically denied the opportunity to play Toyota Cup by the tyranny of distance, with the Tigers team being based at the distant and poorly public transport accessed Concord complex.

Ø We demand that the NSWRL re-affirm the status of the Western Suburbs Magpies as the District Club.

Ø We DEMAND that the Liverpool, Campbelltown and Macarthur region retains its own NSW Cup, SG Ball and Harold Matthews representative sides as the Western Suburbs Magpies.

Ø We demand that Wests Leagues Ashfield re-affirm the status of the Western Suburbs Magpies DRLFC as their heritage.

Ø We demand that the Wests Tigers and Wests Leagues Campbelltown stop meddling in the affairs of the Western Suburbs Magpies DRLFC

The Western Suburbs District Junior League

There are way too many stories here to list- not teams lost, but of whole clubs lost, whole age groups, whole senior competitions, volunteers refused registration for speaking their mind, volunteers too intimidated to voice opinions, volunteers made examples of and given punitive 2-7 year suspensions for sending texts/ emails voicing dissatisfaction with the conduct of the competitions. One volunteer, Daniel Draper of the East Campbelltown Eagles, was banned for a conversation at a local pub.

http://macarthur-chronicle-camden.where ... r-rugby-l/

http://macarthur-chronicle-campbelltown ... ver-texts/

The most telling is their common factor status in many bitter disputes against the NSWRL (refusing to affiliate), the WSDRLFC (refusing to affiliate amongst others), the CRL, CRL Group 6 and a number of its own clubs down the years.

Ø We demand that the Board of the NSWRL or the new Independent Commission complete a rigid and thorough examination as to why in 1991 this junior league had 20 clubs and in 2012 will be down to 12-13 clubs and why this junior league has lost 400 players senior players in the last two seasons. How can this be possible when the area has trebled in population? The Wests junior league should also be called to account on how it lost the operation of an entire 5 grade senior competition between 1991 and 1997.

Ø We demand that a thorough and rigid investigation of the ‘health’ of the unaffiliated Western Suburbs District Junior League (to the District Club and NSWRL) is conducted, and upon receipt of negative findings, is placed under the administrative control of the NSWRL and immediately re-affiliated to the WSDRLFC and NSWRL.

The separation of the Combined Wests Juniors/Group 6 Competition in 2011 has seen 3 senior clubs and over 400 local Wests senior Rugby League players (aged 16yo and older) make the move to play and train in the Group 6 area. These three clubs requested to be based to play/train in the Campbelltown area but were driven out of the area by the junior league to continue playing semi-professional Rugby League in the bordering CRL Group 6 competition. Campbelltown has been deprived of a high standard semi- professional Senior Rugby League competition since the original split from Group 6 back in 1983. The running of the senior Competition should be handed back to its rightful owner the Group 6 Senior Country Rugby League.

We DEMAND that CRL Group 6 be allowed to professionally run a Sunday Senior Competition for all clubs in the Campbelltown and Liverpool district.

We DEMAND that Rugby League clubs be allowed to play and train at a Home Ground of their own choosing. ... 00023.aspx ... 81668.aspx

http://digitaledition.macarthurchronicl ... #folio=005

The Wests Tigers- the absent parent

Driven from Campbelltown to Concord lately? It’s a fair hike. There ain’t much in common between the two areas. One could be mistaken for thinking that the old inner-city guard put the old Balmain and the old Western Suburbs together to form a super Ashfield- Concord team.

What does Campbelltown get out of this ill-conceived arrangement? Four games against the out of town, low marquee event teams.

Wests Tigers do not have a presence in the schools of Liverpool, Campbelltown or Macarthur. Requests for player appearances fall on deaf ears from the Concord Tigers club. It’s a bit far from Concord.

Macarthur and Liverpool based juniors are now denied opportunity to play NSW Cup for a Campbelltown- Liverpool based club with the imminent death of the Magpies. Successful Macarthur juniors kept by the Tigers have to travel to the inner city and play for the Balmain Tigers NSW Cup team, making a mockery of the concept of a ‘local junior’. Four Campbelltown- Liverpool juniors took the field for the Wests Tigers in the Toyota Cup semi final against North Queensland. How is this providing opportunity for the youth of Liverpool- Macarthur?

-We DEMAND that the Wests Tigers establish a Campbelltown office.

-We DEMAND that the Wests Tigers at least relocate the training operations of their NYC Toyota Cup team and ‘Cubs Program’ to the Macarthur region.

Campbelltown Council and JRLC Amenities/ Infrastructure

Take a drive around Campbelltown and compare the different fields of the codes. Case closed.
Ask any junior league volunteer how hard it is to deal with employees at Campbelltown Council.

Problem solved with a new junior league administration and the return of semi- professional Rugby League.

Rugby League in the Liverpool, Campbelltown and Macarthur regions has been slowly dying since the loss of the Magpies to the NRL in 1999. We won’t be losing them as the District Club of the area. Enough is enough. It is time for the Wests Tigers to stop interfering in the Magpies and Rugby League throughout the Liverpool and Campbelltown regions. Go run the NRL team as you were charged to do.

After 20 years, change is far overdue in the ranks of the local Junior League. Retire them gracefully, give democratic power in the Junior League back to the volunteers and clubs, and install new blood at the helm.

At 10am on Sunday February 5th, Magpies supporters once again have to rally to save their club. Supporters of Rugby League in Campbelltown will rally also for long overdue change at Junior League level.

This is an invitation for you to join us.

Save or Sides Action Group,

Graeme Szynal
Western Suburbs Magpies Member 366
Mobile: 0407 929 124

Trevor Williams
East Campbelltown Eagles Life Member

Gerry De La Cruz
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PostPosted: January 18, 2012, 11:02 pm
Raidersrawesome wrote:That sucks , seems like too many divisions

The macarthur region is massive and also has a big footy following , they should be seeing more live games in the area

It really does suck mate.
All these divisions are hurting rugby league in our area.
We need to get them removed if we are ever going to combat other codes who are steadily moving into the area.

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PostPosted: January 29, 2012, 8:14 pm
A peaceful "Save Our Sides" Rugby League Protest Rally will be held at Campbelltown in the hope of getting a better deal for the Macarthur region.

The protest Rally will be held this Sunday (5th February 2012) starting at Campbelltown Council at 10am and will march to Campbelltown Stadium where the crowd will be addressed by key note speakers.

The three main issues:

- The killing of the Western Suburbs Magpies from NSW Cup
- Local Campbelltown Clubs not being allowed to Play and Train in Campbelltown
- Wests Tigers only playing 4 games a year at Campbelltown Stadium

Killing the Western Suburbs Magpies

Wests Tigers are pressuring Wests Ashfield Leagues club to to kill off the last local senior representative team in the Macarthur area.

Wests Tigers want to replace the Western Suburbs Magpies NSW Cup side with teams based in the inner city at Concord.

Wests Tigers want a single NSW Cup team and are also forming an alliance with a Bundy Cup team based at Concord for the excess fringe players.

The Wests Tigers do not provide any financial support of the Magpies NSW Cup team with the majority of the funding coming from Wests Ashfield Leagues Club.

Wests Campbelltown Leagues Club also do not provide any financial support of the Magpies and have been voting inline with Balmain Tigers in the Wests Tigers board room meetings to dissolve the Magpies NSW Cup team.

As of 2012, the Wests Tigers have stopped ALL support of the Wests Magpies in the NSW Cup whilst continuing to fully support the Balmain Tigers.

The Magpies NSW Cup team is currently operating off a $300,000 grant from Wests Ashfield Leagues club for 2012. No funding has been promised for 2013.

The Western Suburbs Magpies will celebrate their 104th birthday the day before the Rally on the 4th of February.

Local Campbelltown Sides

Three local senior Campbelltown clubs have had their request to play and train in Campbelltown denied by the NSWRL

The three clubs are the Campbelltown Eagles, Campbelltown City Kangaroos (Seniors) and the Macarthur Bulls

These three local clubs have left the Wests Junior League Competition after their players voted unanimously to join the neighboring Group 6 competition.

The players stated they wanted to be a part of a well run competition where you could actually play good football and not just worry about getting 'bashed"

The players whilst not happy about it, have been willing to travel the extra distances to continue to play in Group 6.

The Wests Junior League with the backing of Wests Tigers, NSWRL and Campbelltown Council have prevented these sides from securing the use of their own home grounds in Campbelltown claiming they have a viable competition they must play in.

The three clubs all stated if forced to return to the Wests junior League they will struggle to field senior teams as their players will flock to Group 6 sides for the better standard of competition.

The Wests Junior League competition has been constantly marred with violence and the Administrations failure to address this issue has scared off many potential players and now entire clubs.

The three clubs just want their senior sides to be able to play and train in Campbelltown whilst competing in the Group 6 competition.

The clubs are happy for their junior teams to continue in the Wests Junior League Competition but would like to see an investigation carried out into the health of the competitions administration.

Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium

Campbelltown Stadium had its NRL games reduced from six games to three in 2005 when Wests Tigers claimed that the corporate facilities were inadequate and that it cost too much to hire extra lighting and a big screen television.

The ground has since then had over $8 million spent on it from Government grants to meet Wests Tigers requirements.

In 2012 Wests Tigers will play just four NRL home games at Campbelltown Stadium whilst it plays eight game in the inner city at Leichhardt Oval and the Sydney Football Stadium.

Local fans fear the strong Rugby League area may become the focus of a take over by the cashed up AFL as they continue their push into Western Sydney

An online petition has been started at

Organisers of the Rally urge local residents to get behind the cause for a fair go for our kids and our area.

People attending the rally are advised to bring water, hats and to dress in their Local Club, Magpies or Wests Tigers jerseys.

If this rally fails to generate the desired outcomes, further protest action has already been planned.

Public Transport is recommended if possible with train and bus service available to take people to and from Leumeah and Campbelltown Stations.

We advise those driving to park your car at Campbelltown and just catch the train back from Leumeah Station.

For those unable to walk the whole distance, join the march from the Campbelltown Council at 10am. We will first march 500 meters to Langdone Ave. Here those not wanting to march the entire distance will be able to return to their cars and drive to Leumeah for the 2nd half of the Protest March as we march down Old Leumeah Road past the Wests Leagues Club and into the Campbelltown Stadium Car Park.

If you are fit enough to walk the whole distance (Approx 2.5km) we would encourage you to do so.

Please be advised media agencies will be invited to photograph the event.


Quotes from Rally organiser Graeme Szynal regarding the Wests Tigers

"We all support the Wests Tigers, we just want a fair go for the local kids and our region"

"Wests Magpies offered to be Wests Tigers sole NSW Cup feeder team, but they rejected the offer"

"The Magpies are a rare part of our games history that dates back to day zero. Why is everyone so keen to kill it off?"

"We need more local opportunities for our kids not less"

"Why do kids, many of whom are still studying and have homework, have to travel to Concord to train and play rep footy when there is a perfectly viable option to do so locally with the Magpies?"

"The Magpies have been in Campbelltown for 25 years providing kids a pathway to the NRL"

"Millions of our tax dollars have been spent upgrading Campbelltown Stadium to meet Wests Tigers demands, our population has gone through the roof and AFL is knocking on the door, and we still only get 4 games."

"Original thoughts were we would get at least 500 people to the Rally. But these issues seem to have struck a chord with the local community and with the amazing interest this rally has generated we could end up being pleasantly surprised by the turn out"

Quote on twitter from Melbourne Storm player and Magpie Junior Ryan Hoffman

"It's killing me seeing the way @westsmagpies are getting treated. Had 2nd rate treatment since the merger began. Westies love a fight though"

Quote on twitter from Cronulla Sharks, former Wests Tigers premiership winning player and Magpie Junior Bryce Gibbs regarding the Wests Tigers decision to stop supporting the Wests Magpies

"balmain fans are in charge there now! Disgrace"

"I grew up on Rudd Rd right next to Campbelltown Stadium! You need a Magpies team for the kids in the area to prevent them going to the Parramatta district! No Magpies = No future for the kids of Campbelltown and a bigger chance of them going to AFL!!"

Quote from former NRL Wests Magpies and Wests Tigers player, Kevin McGuiness

What will happen to the kids in our area? What will they aspire to be? Wests Magpies is our Local Representative Team and I’m worried about the future and Development of the children in our area. I have a young child that wants to play Rugby League in the area but what opportunities will he have?

Quote from Coaching and Development Co-ordinator Campbelltown Eagles RLFC Daniel Draper

"All we want is our club to play and train in Campbelltown whilst competing in a well run competition, its not that hard"

"With our three local clubs gone and the Magpies killed off, we face the real possibility that there will no senior football played in Campbelltown on a weekend"

"It is rare for clubs like ours with such a fierce on field rivalry to be united 100% behind this cause and this rally"

Quote from former Wests Magpies NRL player Damien Kennedy

I got a start in Jersey Flegg, under 21’s, Reserve Grade and learnt how to play NRL Footy with the Magpies at Campbelltown, I was an outsider living and Representing Campbelltown and I wouldn’t of got this opportunity if it wasn’t for the Magpies and the Campbelltown area. The Wests Tigers couldn’t lead a Horse to Water for what they are doing to the area. It’s also ludicrous that Campbelltown Council would allow this to happen, Campbelltown Clubs that cannot Train and Play in the Campbelltown LGA, these clubs should have the backing from Campbelltown Council and it is ridiculous on what is happening in senior Rugby League in Campbelltown.

Quote from Magpie 1st Grader and Life Member on the club Bruce (Bruiser) Clarke

"I gave nine hard years to the Magpies and I feel disappointed that the boards of Ashfield and Campbelltown Leagues Clubs can't better support them."

"I am a life member of the Magpies, but the way things are going I might soon be a life member of nothing"

Quote from Campbelltown Eagles Junior and former Magpie NSW Cup player of the Year Fataitoa Asa

"Wests Magpies give children in our area an accessible avenue of becoming like their NRL heros and may even become hometown heros like legends of yesteryear such as John Skandalis, Bryce Gibbs and Brett Hodgson. Without the Magpies, junior Rugby League will suffer in this, with many defecting to other competitions or giving up on their dreams all together."

Quote from Laurie Ferguson MP, Member for Werriwa.

The Magpies as a foundation club has earned its place in the NSW Rugby League and its history. To argue money cheapens a proud jumper. The area has the facilities the passion and the pride to have their local team – the Magpies.

Recent players who got their NRL chance through the Wests Magpies

Western Suburbs Magpies have recently provided a "Pathway to Success" for players like Ken & Kevin McGuiness, Ciriaco Mescia, Brett Hodgson, John Skandalis, Steve Georgallis, Isaac DeGois, Luke Covell, Ben Roberts, Shane Perry, Ryan Hoffman, Shannon McDonnell, Dean Collis, Daine Laurie, Shannon Gallant, Peni Tagive, Rocky Trimarchi, Gray Viane, Stuart Flanagan, Simon Dwyer, Matt Groat, Ray Cashmere, William Mataka, Liam Fulton, Beau Ryan, Bryce Gibbs and Chris Lawrence.

Media Coverage

The Rally has been advertised on the web, online forums, facebook, twitter, in all the local papers, the Sydney papers, Sports Tonight (Channel 10), talk back radio (2SM, 2KY and 2GB), FM radio (C91.3 FM) and flyers have been handed out at local train stations.

Full list of media here: ... &t=7318595

Over 10,000 views on the Wests Tigers Forum before it was closed down by management - ... 202b96eec9

Over 13,000 views of the Wests Supporter Forum - ... m/3008853/

More info ... &t=7318595 ... &t=7318595

Stats about the Reduction In Players In Campbelltown ... &t=7318595

Why we feel let down by the joint venture. In Pictures ... &t=7318595

Reaction to the Rally

- Wests Tigers have moved their trial match against the Roosters from Leichhardt Oval to Campbelltown Stadium on February 18th ... town-trial

- Wests Tigers have announced they will be 'blitzing' schools in the Southern Highlands areas ... -3-regions

- Wests Ashfield have made a Press Release ... fault.aspx

- Western Suburbs Magpies have made a Press Release ... lease.html

For more details on the rally visit

Call Trevor Williams
East Campbelltown Eagles Life Member
Phone: 46261550


Graeme Szynal (after 5pm) on 0407 929 124

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Ruben Wiki
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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 5:10 pm
honestly though, does campbelltown stadium have a bigger average then leichhardt since the 4,4,4 arrangement began?

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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 8:41 pm
"Wests Magpies will determine what’s best for their club."
Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Humphreys - February 2012

Was it the Magpies choice to allocate all of Wests Tigers top 25 to Balmain?

Was it the Magpies choice to allocate the remaining U20's and Fringe players to a Concord Burwood Bundy cup side?

Was it the Magpies choice to be given none of the local kids on Wests Tigers contracts?

Was it the the Magpies choice when the Wests Tigers took OUR training equipment, ice machine and freezer?

Was it the Magpies choice to not be allowed to play before the Wests Tigers matches at Campbelltown?

Was it the Magpies choice to not allow a Group 6 board member onto our board?

Was it the Magpies choice to have all support cut off from the Wests Tigers?


It was the Wests Tigers choice that forces what has been happening to the Magpies!

It was the Wests Tigers choice rejecting our offer to be the sole NSW Cup feeder team.

It was the Wests Tigers choice to make the Magpies on the sleeve smaller and remove it from the shoulder to the cuff.

It was the Wests Tigers choice to reduce the number of NRL games at Campbelltown from 6 to 4.

It was the Wests Tigers choice to not fight the moving of the Magpies heritage match away from the SCG.

It was the Wests Tigers choice to affiliate with the Wests Junior League and then failing to keep them under control.

It was the Wests Tigers choice that has pressured Wests Ashfield to cut away the Magpies NSW Cup side.

So don't you dare try and tell us its our choice what happens to the Magpies whilst it is the Wests Tigers choices pulling all the strings.
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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 9:04 pm
Yeah **** the west tigers, pathetic channel nine bum boys led by that gangsta looking talking thing marshall.
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PostPosted: February 2, 2012, 8:33 am
I hope the rally goes well for all Magpies and league fans in general. It's sad to see this stuff happening to a foundation club.
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PostPosted: February 2, 2012, 10:38 am
Kyle 89 wrote:I hope the rally goes well for all Magpies and league fans in general. It's sad to see this stuff happening to a foundation club.

I totally agree Kyle. Reading this thread and the desperation that galahs and many others are showing to save their footy club in a vital area is really quite sad. You'd think for something this important that the NRL or NSWRL or whoever can help or mediate would be in there doing so.

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PostPosted: February 2, 2012, 12:28 pm
Hi everyone, im a moderator on the wests magpies forum and frequent this site often as a guest. a lot of you may relate somewhat to the situation here especially local issue involving the nswrl. Raiders supporters are fully aware of how nswrl forced upon you to end your ties with souths logan in qld cup in order to have a second tier arrangement within nsw cup. Now geoff carr is at at it again with regards to undermining rugby league locally and deny local teams in group 6 to train and play within campbelltown boundaries. Heres a statement he sent to our supporters website administrator.

Dear Mr Szynal

Before this rally takes place it is important that I correct some misinformation or misunderstanding that has clearly biased the Western Suburbs situation.

(A) The three Western Suburbs clubs that wished to play in Group 6 in 2011 were given several options by the Board of the NSW Rugby League:

1. Join a proposed ‘Super A Grade’ competition as proposed by Terry Rose from Parramatta DJRFL. Terry already had interest from five teams and the three Western Suburbs teams would have made it a viable competition where the Western Suburbs clubs could have played and trained in Campbelltown.

2. Participate in the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League competition which would also allow the three clubs to train and play in Campbelltown.

3. Work with the NSWRL to reform the combined Western Suburbs/Group 6 competition which would be run by an independent administrator paid for by the League. This would also allow the three clubs to train and play in Campbelltown.

4. Play in the Group 6 competition but because it is a Country Rugby League competition the three clubs would be required to play and train in Group 6.

It was the three clubs’ decision to play in Group 6 and play and train in Group 6 and gave very little regard to some of the other options that would have allowed them to stay in Campbelltown.

(B) It has continually been asserted that the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League has no affiliation with the NSW Rugby League. This is a proposition that is absolutely incorrect and regardless of the efforts made to correct misleading statements they are ignored.

The Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League asked for and was granted affiliation with their NRL club, Wests Tigers. In turn Wests Tigers sort and were granted affiliation with the NSW Rugby League and this allows Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League to act in the same way as other Junior Leagues with their affiliation through an NRL club rather than a District Club.

The success of the combined competition between Group6 and Western Suburbs in senior football was outstanding and considerably increased the number of participating teams. This competition unfortunately ceased and the NSW Rugby League and the Country Rugby League have tried in vain since then to come up with suitable senior competitions to take the game forward in the west.

At the end of last year the NSW Rugby League commissioned experience Rugby League administrator, Brian Canavan to do a complete review of senior football in the South Western Corridor. He will be talking to as many stake holders as possible in an attempt to get their views so we can establish growing and viable competitions in the future that the District deserves.

It would be appreciated if people could put aside their pettiness and personal attacks that will allow a thorough revision of senior football in the best interests of all concerned.

Yours faithfully

Geoff Carr
General Manager
NSW Rugby League Limited

our administrators forum reply;

Dear Mr Carr

So let me get this straight...

So Wests Tigers are now affiliated with the NSWRL yet don't have a side in any NSWRL comp
and Wests Junior League broke their affiliation away from the Magpies District club
but the Magpies District Club constitution ratified by the NSWRL says they have power over the Wests Junior League
but Wests Junior League refuse to acknowledge this
so somehow Wests Junior League is now affiliated to the Wests Tigers
but Wests Ashfield want Wests Junior League affiliated back to the Magpies District Club
and its ok for the Campbelltown Eagles to play in a Sydney comp, but not the neighboring Group 6 comp
and the NSWRL want to remove Group 6 and have a comp run by an independant administrator which Wests JL will accept
but Wests JL wont accept allowing Group 6 to just run the comp
and Group 6 wants nothing to do with Wests JL
and Wests Tigers wont allow Group 6 board members onto the Magpies board
and Wests Tigers now want to change their constitution to allow a Wests Tigers NSW Cup side based from Concord
and Campbelltown Leagues club votes in line with Balmain at Wests Tigers board meetings
and soon we wont have a single senior rep side for the entire Macarthur district
and there is the strong possibility there wont be a single game of senior football played in Campbelltown on a weekend.

I'm sorry but this all pretty much sums up the mess we are in out in the Macarthur and your response does nothing to fix the situation we have found ourselves in.

Kindest of Regards

Graeme Szynal
Last edited by disco stu on February 2, 2012, 12:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: February 2, 2012, 12:51 pm
Further to this statement by geoof carr i need to stress the following;

- Brian Canavan has never spoken to club officials from group 6 juniors or snrs.
- Wests tigers are a "private company" yet he claims they are affiliated to the nswrl , according to the nswrl constitution clubs can only be granted affiliation if they are an district rugby league club or association, he hasnt elaborated on this so to me this seems to be a concern if an affiliation has taken place meaning they have gone against their own constitution. This was also a major concern of how the wests tigers were going to have just one "branded" open age feeder team in the nsw cup and how they were going to affiliate. So geoff carr hasnt answered how wests tigers have suddenly became affiliated.
- I cant make sense of how the campbelltown teams playing in group 6 cannot play & train at their home grounds because of a vaguely transparent play/train directive from nswrl yet if a combined comp which involves group 6 & wests jrl management then suddenly they can ? CRL won't issue a certificate of currency to the eagles & roos for councils lease agreement policy due to boundary issues, yet insurances will be honored if a combined comp is back on. Suddenly barriers will be torn down and everything will be ok, my opinion is it is bully tactics by the nswrl to get what they want ( you raiders supporters would know about that)
- nswrl said they gladly fund the appointment of an "independent administrator" to run a combined comp , would this truly be independent ? nswrl call the shots while crl follows thats how it has been. Sadly CRL have not stood up for its constituents even asking for the removal of the protest rally information on the group 6 website see link, ... 40001.aspx

You can see by my little brief we have been fed some BS, after seeing the forum thread about how nswrl abolished dual regos it seems to me that nswrl are nothing more than corporate bullys who simply want whats best for them not for the stakeholders in the game.

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PostPosted: February 2, 2012, 4:20 pm
This was posted by my fellow moderator on the magpies forum, showing Geoff Carr true to form backpedalling.

Geoff Carr has been very busy again spamming the Group 6 clubs, this email was passed on to me by "SWKSWKS"......

Subject: RE: Save Our Sides Rugby League Protest Rally Campbelltown - 5th FEB - Media Release

Dear Mr Szynal

As you may be aware the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League became an Incorporated Body in the late 1980s and severed their ties with the Western Suburbs District Rugby League. Despite numerous attempts to reconcile the two bodies this has not happened hence the NSWRL Board’s decision to have the Western Suburbs Juniors affiliation through the Wests Tigers. The fact that the Wests Tigers do not have a team in the NSW Rugby League competition is irrelevant as they are an affiliated body.

You must appreciate that metropolitan competitions are run by the NSW Rugby League and the Group 6 competition is a competition of the Country Rugby League which the NSW Rugby League has no jurisdiction over. Hence the different treatment of the Campbelltown clubs when they elect to play in Group 6 rather than competitions conducted by the NSW Rugby League.

All stakeholders will get an opportunity to talk to Brian Canavan about the future competitions in Macarthur and at the end of the day Brian will make a recommendation to the NSW Rugby League which will be in the best interest of the competitions in the area rather than individuals or individual clubs.


Geoff Carr
General Manager


Now I've highlighted a couple of statements because it seems to me that they contradict each other. :dunno: :dunno:

Either CRL is a separate entity that NSWRL has no jurisdiction over (Geoff's words), or not. Why is it that when NSWRL say jump the CRL says "how high"? NSWRL didn't want the Rally info on the G6 web sites, had a hissy fit to CRL and suddenly G6 are told to take it down. Where is the independence here?

The other statement I've highlighted seems to contradict the first, Brian Canavan has/is going to "talk" to stakeholders & write a report for NSWRL on the future of RL comps in the Macarthur area. Now this must just involve west juniors comps because as Mr Carr has stated NSWRL has no jurisdiction over the CRL?

So which is it Mr Carr?

At the same time "all stakeholders will get an opportunity to talk to Brian Canavan" note the change in tense? - there is a big difference in someone who HAS talked to stakeholders and someone who WILL (sometime in the future... maybe....)

Let's not forget October 2009 when Mr Carr took it upon himself to interfer in the Group 6 AGM by sending a memo to all clubs telling them how to vote. This memo was suppose to be from both himself & Terry Quinn (CRL), what was odd was that it only had Mr Carr's signature on it. I still have a copy of that memo somewhere - I'll have to hunt it up & post it.

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PostPosted: February 2, 2012, 4:54 pm
The above email from Geoff Carr aptly responded to by rally organiser graeme synal.

Thankyou Mr Carr for your prompt reply.

It is a shame that issues such as differing governing bodies has created the problems we now face. This issue highlights to me why the game needs a single administrator to make the best decisions for Rugby League.An administrator that isn't bound to old restrictions such as CRL and NSWRL boundaries.

As for Wests Junior Leagues affiliation I am still unsure of a few things.

- What was the exact date that the Wests Tigers become affiliated to the NSWRL? I thought the NSWRL constitution stated you must be a district club or association?

- What exact date did the Wests Junior League affiliate with the Wests Tigers?

- Why has it taken so long for the Wests Junior League to affiliate to a club? Prior to affiliating with the Wests Tigers, were they un-affiliated during that whole time? 20+ years? How did NSWRL allow that to happen?

- Why were no press releases made whenWests Tigers affiliated to the NSWRL or when Wests Junior League affiliated with the Wests Tigers?

- Can Wests Junior League Clubs now approach the Wests Tigers and appeal the decision to deny them the right to train and play at their own home grounds?

Finally I find it interesting that you mention a recommendation to the NSW Rugby League will be made which will be in the best interest of the competitions in the area rather than individuals or individual clubs. Yet you a using a single individual to make these recommendations.I am sure Mr Canavan is a capable person, but why is it being left up to a single individual to decide what is best for Rugby League in the area?

The fact three clubs have decided to play in Group 6 rather than in the Wests Junior League highlights there is an issue in the Wests Junior League.Maybe you should consider putting an administrator into Wests Junior League before you decide to dictate terms to Group6.


Graeme Szynal

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PostPosted: February 4, 2012, 4:12 pm
heres more of the email exhanges between geoff carr from nswrl and graeme synal;

Dear Mr Szynal

Because of the fractioned relationship between Western Suburbs District Rugby League and Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League, there has been no affiliation with NSW Rugby League until recently. This was not ideal but we needed competitions to be run in the Western Suburbs and we took that as the priority.

Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League were granted conditional affiliation with the NSWRL in 2009. They were granted this on the basis there would be meaningful negotiations between the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League and the Western Suburbs District Rugby League in the traditional manner. These talks did not eventuate or reach a conclusion so as a result the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League were affiliated with Wests Tigers by a Board minute of the NSWRL on the 8th March, 2011.

If the three Campbelltown clubs wish to play and train in Campbelltown they need to enter into meaningful negotiations with the NSWRL about either of the three options which they previously dismissed, ie assist us to re-establish the combined competitions with Group 6, participate in a competition such as the Sydney Shield which is up and running in season 2012 or participate in the Western Suburbs Junior Rugby League A Grade competition.

If you are as passionate about Western Suburbs RL as you say you are it seems strange that you are attempting to destroy your own A Grade competition by participating outside your district.

I notice a lot of these facts which I have passed on to you were conveniently overlooked with your interview on 2UE. This continual misinformation about the facts is not helping to resolve the situation.

You have also misunderstood Brian Canavan’s role in the process. Brian’s role is to talk and listen to the stakeholder groups in the South Western corridor to determine the best model for senior rugby league in the South Western corridor. Brian has had considerable success with similar projects in the last year and the idea is to include input from all stakeholders to determine what is the best way forward.

You will get plenty of opportunity to state your case to Brian but in the meantime you need to consider all the options for participation that will allow you to play and train in Campbelltown. You need to be reminded it was the three clubs’ decision to go to Group 6 knowing they would have to commit fully to Group 6. This was their decision and their decision alone.


Geoff Carr

Thanks again for your reply Mr Carr. I do appreciate you taking the time to clear up some of the murky water we have found ourselves in surrounding this whole issue.

I still have some questions and concerns that need further clarification.

1. How was Western Suburbs Junior League allowed to operate the junior league competitions during the years when they were not affiliated with either the NSWRL or their district club. Is this permissible under the NSWRL constitution?

2. When the Wests Junior League refused to affiliate why wasn't their license to operate withdrawn and a new administrator installed?

3. Why wasn't the WSDRLFC (The Magpies) board informed immediately when the Junior League affiliated with the Wests Tigers?

4. When did Wests Tigers become affiliated with the NSWRL?
Wests Tigers, as it currently operates, is a company, not a district rugby league club, as required udner the NSWRL constitution. Can you please advise when Wests Tigers became a district club or, failing this, when the NSWRL changed its constitution to allow private companies to affiliate with it.

5. Will the Wests Tigers be granted a license to play in the NSW Cup in 2012?

6. Given the well documented disciplinary disputes which occurred involving Wests Juniors and Group 6, as well as public statements made about the administration of the respective competitions, are you suggesting that the three clubs in question, in order to continue playing rugby league at the current level they play at, must either play in a competition they do not feel safe in, absorb the consderable costs of relocation, or fold? If so, why are these clubs being penalised for wanting to enjoy their football in a safe environment?

6. As you would be fully aware;

- in 2007 Wests junior League were unable to run a senior competition. Therefor three teams (Campbelltown Collegians, Ingleburn Bulldogs and Liverpool All Saints played in the Parramatta competition. East Campbelltown Eagles played in the Canterbury competition.

- in 2008 five senior local teams paticipated in the Wests Junior League which saw a competition full of lob sided results and forfeits.

- In 2009 and 2010, all senior teams were told to play in the Country Rugby League's Group 6 competition by Wests Junior League.

- in 2011 to this current date, these same clubs have been told they are not allowed to play in the Group 6 competition and the reason you state is that NSWRL teams cannot play in a CRL competition. This makes me confused.So they were allowed in 2009 and 2010, but not now?

Speaking to these clubs it is the actual players that made the decision to go to Group 6 as they just want to play in a stable competition, one where violence on and off the field is not tolerated and a competition with good administration. Something that they haven't had in the Wests Junior League for at least 15 years.

It is the players that have made the decision that they want to play in the Group 6 competition and the Clubs have simply followed their players wishes. If Wests Junior League is so good, why have not only the Campbelltown City Kangaroos and Campbelltown Eagles jumped over to Group 6, but also the majority of players from the now defunct Ingleburn Bulldogs, Macquarie Fields and Eaglevale St Andrews sides as well.

The players continue to support their decision to play in Group 6 even though the NSWRL and the Wests junior League have made it extremely difficult on them by forcing them to travel long distances due to the ruling forcing them to train and play out of their own areas. Yet they continue to do so willingly.

Maybe a simple solution would be to hand over the running of the Wests Junior Leagues Senior competitions to Group 6 who have proven over many years they know how to run a very professional, successful and vibrant senior competition. Wests Junior League can then focus solely on running the areas junior competitions which I often feel are neglected due to the constant attention required to deal with the turmoil that is the Wests Junior League senior competition.

7. In all this turmoil I think it is imperative that we remember these clubs are run by volunteers. These volunteers just want to do what is best for their local clubs and their area. I feel the way these volunteers have been treated can be described as regrettable at best. Our game has a proud tradition of having passionate volunteers at all levels and it is an essential part of keeping our game the strong code that it is. We must stop treating them like criminals or we will lose them, and then who is going to cut up the oranges for half time, mark the fields, wash the jerseys or man the bbqs?

8. I am disappointed you have resorted to questioning my motivations regarding the Wests Junior A Grade comp. It is precisely because these clubs have felt disenfranchised enough to seek defection to Group 6 that I am raising these isues. If the Wests Junior A Grade competition is so strong and professional, clubs would not be looking to defect.

Mr Carr, all I and my colleagues are doing, like yourself, is to ensure rugby league in the Macarthur is given every opportunity to develop to its maximum potential.

Whilst we may disagree on some aspects of what is best, surely it cannot be in rugby league's best interests to disenfranchise participants to the extent they may seek to leave the game. Rugby League is in a battle with a cashed up GWS in the AFL, and a growing Sydney FC in the A League, and we need all the help we can get.

Kindest Regards

Graeme Szynal

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PostPosted: February 7, 2012, 10:19 am
Magpies rally for saviour


ORGANISERS of the Save our Sides (SOS) rugby league rally in Campbelltown on Sunday have resolved to continue the fight for a better deal for players and fans of the game in the Macarthur region.

The SOS group said the rally was successful as it gave them a public forum to air their grievances and ask for a fairer go for the game.

One of the organisers, Graeme Szynal, said that following the rally SOS had again resolved that a self-sustainable senior representative rugby league team was needed in the Macarthur region.

At this stage, Western Suburbs Magpies senior team is on the brink of extinction after Wests Ashfield refused to guarantee funding beyond 2012.

“We will continue to protest, it’s not been confirmed for sure but probably next time at a Wests Tigers home game at Campbelltown,” Mr Szynal said.

“It will be a peaceful protest. We will be supporting the ‘Wests’ in Wests Tigers.”

The extraordinary move to organise a protest rally, in what is traditionally recognised as rugby league heartland, evoked a positive response from the community. About 400 people rallied at the Campbelltown Council chambers in Queen St with about 200 of them walking to Wests Leagues Club, in Leumeah, to voice their concerns about the game’s future in the area. In addition, almost 400 people signed an online petition.

Camden Mayor Greg Warren, Campbelltown councillor Fred Borg and Magpies director and former chairman Paul Dillon also attended the rally.

Mr Szynal said for him one of the rally’s highlights was the “Magpies” chant echoing around the Campbelltown district.

“I think the main thing was the groundswell of support for what we were doing,” he said.

http://macarthur-chronicle-campbelltown ... r-saviour/

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PostPosted: February 7, 2012, 10:26 am
more pics from sundays rally,

march from council chambers to campbelltown stadium
crowds starting to form outside campbelltown stadiumImage
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PostPosted: February 7, 2012, 12:03 pm
Well done guys and good on you for sticking it to the rabble otherwise known as the NSWRL. With the IC set to be formed on Friday, heres hoping you can get a meeting with them ASAP and sort this embarrasing shamozzle one and for all.

I had a mate that played for All Saints when he was in Sydney, and I can understand the references to players being sick of the violence. I witnessed some wild games up there.

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PostPosted: February 7, 2012, 4:56 pm
Unfortunately the IC won't do anything, won't be able to, as the NSWRL will continue to stumble along.

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PostPosted: June 17, 2012, 9:09 pm
As you may or may not be aware, Wests Tigers put forward a proposal to all Wests Tigers share holders on Thursday the 14th of June to completely change the structure of the joint venture agreement.

The proposal to be announced soon is strongly rumoured to include:

- The Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers to be replaced in the NSW Cup by a single Wests Tigers side. They will be based and train at Concord and play half of their games at Campbelltown and half their games at Leichhardt Oval.

- the private company Wests Tigers Ltd will become the District Club of both Western Suburbs and Balmain Tigers local districts.

- In the future, the Wests Tigers claim they will build a Rugby League Centre of excellence at UWS Campbelltown so the U20's team can move its operations and training to the Macarthur area.

- Wests Tigers Board, Wests Ashfield Leagues Club, Wests Leagues Club Campbelltown and the majority of the Balmain side of the joint venture are thought to support this proposal. The Magpies board is thought to be divided on the proposal.

- For this proposal to happen, the members of both Balmain and Western Suburbs Magpies football clubs will have to agree to it. However the Wests Leagues clubs could withdraw funding from the Magpies to "BULLY" them into agreeing even if the Football club members don't believe the proposal is sufficient in detail or substance.

My thoughts on this proposal.

Constantly remarks are made about why the Magpies supporters wont just "get over it" and support the Wests Tigers proposal to phase out the Magpies once and for all.

Well I understand some Magpie supporters will never change their feathers for fur, but I can only offer my own opinion.

First and foremost, I became a Magpie supporter because they represented the area I grew up in.

My parents didn't go for them, I didn't hop on a winning teams bandwagon. I just supported my local team that turned up to my junior footy training, the team that was in the local papers, the team that regularly turned up for school visits, the team my mates aspired to play for in junior reps.

Now the biggest gripe I have with the Wests Tigers proposal is that it doesn't offer a better deal for the community I grew up in than we currently have, or once had.

We no longer have a full time NRL team based out here.

I can accept that, we have a joint venture NRL team now, they got moved to Concord.

We now no longer have a Jersey Flegg under 20's team either. They also got moved to Concord.

Next we lose having a full time reserve grade NSW Cup team. Again to Concord.

So over the last 13 years, my local area has lost 3 senior full time representative teams that used to play and train locally.

Now the Wests Tigers proposal would be much better if the "Rugby League Centre of Excellence" they are proposing to be built at UWS was well under way in the planning stages and a definite timeline to completion is in place. But it isn't. It is still just a "nice thought".

The proposal would be harder to dismiss if a set timeline was in place when the Under 20's will move to the Macarthur, but again there isn't one.

The proposal would be harder to reject if there was a plan to continue having the 104 year old Magpies club running around in the Bundy Cup, representing the Macarthur and with full support by the Wests Tigers. Again this is absent.

So basically the area will definitely lose out with the Wests Tigers proposal in the short term , and without any real substance or concrete time lines in place, how long is the area to suffer before the Wests Tigers truly fill the void left if the Magpies are completely removed from the picture.

And all this is before we even talk about the loss of Wests idenity in the Wests Tigers, the shrinking Magpie on the sleeve and the measly 4 NRL games a year played at Campbelltown.

This is before we consider what it means to have our district league areas of Wests and Balmain run by a Private company, not an elected board from the community.

So until the Wests Tigers proposal offers more to the local community I grew up in than it currently has... I will not, and local Rugby League supporters should not support this half hearted proposal by the Wests Tigers.

If this proposal is not rectified to address these areas of concern, I will be voting against it at the extraordinary general meeting and will suggest to other members to do the same.

Graeme Szynal
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PostPosted: October 8, 2012, 7:05 am
Board meeting could spell end for Western Suburbs Magpies

ENDANGERED for longer than the giant panda, the mighty Western Suburbs Magpie will have its fate determined at a leagues club board meeting on Wednesday night.

The Magpies will almost certainly disappear from senior rugby league if seven members of the Wests Ashfield board vote against a $400,000 funding proposal this week.

Despite going winless in the NSW Cup this year, the perennial battlers are still hopeful of fielding a side separate from the Wests Tigers joint venture.

However, club insiders have revealed they will need the ongoing support of Wests Ashfield, who have outlayed some $25 million over the past 25 years.

After a three-hour information session yesterday, Western Suburbs members voted overwhelmingly to continue in the NSW Cup next year, admitting they felt "alienated" from the Wests Tigers joint venture.

The Magpies went winless after Tigers NRL coach Tim Sheens ordered all his rostered players not in the top squad to represent Balmain Ryde-Eastwood, who lost to Newtown in the grand final. ... 6490152439
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PostPosted: October 8, 2012, 7:07 am
Tigers fall into debt crisis

WESTS TIGERS, who are believed to be in the hunt to recruit Penrith's NSW Origin centre Michael Jennings, are expected to receive an advance on their share of the billion-dollar broadcast deal from the ARL Commission to help service a $2 million debt.

The mounting debt is further bad news for Tigers fans. The joint-venture club's recent decision to relieve Tim Sheens of his head coaching duties is likely to result in a hefty payout as he still had two years on his contract worth close to $1 million.

''They're going to get a bit of an advance of the code's new TV deal and that will help a bit,'' a source said.

News of the debt has surfaced at a time when the Tigers released Chris Heighington and Beau Ryan to join Cronulla, while promising young centre Blake Ayshford was also told to find a new team. The suggestion that releasing the three popular players was due to salary cap pressure holds little water given the Tigers wanted to clear the decks to recruit Jennings and veteran Manly prop Brent Kite.

The Tigers, who were pre-season premiership favourites, also suffered an unexpected financial hit when they failed to make the finals, meaning they were denied a share of the lucrative bonuses paid to those teams who qualified for the end-of-season series.

While the insider said the debt in itself was not enough to suggest there were any immediate concern about the club's finances, the source said it had the potential to deepen the old tensions between the team's shareholders, Wests Magpies and Balmain Tigers. While the Magpies' two licensed clubs at Ashfield and Campbelltown have been powering along, Balmain are deep in debt.

In May, The Sun-Herald was told by Andy Timbs, the then chief executive of the Balmain leagues clubs that are now based at the old Five Dock Bowling Club and at Flemington after the old club at Rozelle shut down, that it was becoming harder to meet their yearly $1.5 million commitment to the venture.

''Obviously, we're half-owners of the Wests Tigers and obviously that would affect that,'' Timbs said of the struggle before his sudden death in June. ''If we continue to operate away from Rozelle we'd find it hard to continue to support [Wests Tigers] but we do our best.

''We always come up with the money … and it is just getting harder and harder each year. It's $1.5 million a year we need to come up with for football and it's hard to get that sort of revenue if you haven't got the big enough business to support it.''

Last week, Wests' Ashfield director Rick Wayde mentioned the so-called ''elephant in the room'' when he told The Sun-Herald there were genuine concerns about Balmain's finances and that they might need to soon consider asking the Magpies for financial help in the running of Wests Tigers.

While Wayde would not be drawn into making any further comment about that issue during the week, he urged Magpies members and fans to attend a meeting at the Wests headquarters in Ashfield today to make it clear they wanted the Magpies represented in next year's NSW Cup. There were plans for Balmain and Wests to form one NSW Cup team next season but Wayde said there was not only a desire for Wests to remain alive but Wests Ashfield had the $400,000 needed to support the team, despite three members said to be against it.

''The idea is to get as many people to attend and send the message to the directors,'' he said. ''It doesn't contravene the joint venture agreement because it's specific that either Wests or Balmain can run a team in any competition outside of the NRL. And the bottom line is Wests Ashfield can afford it. If we couldn't I'd be the first one saying, 'Sorry we can't do it' but the club is trading well enough to fund it.''

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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: October 8, 2012, 9:23 am
What a shemozzle.

Gerry De La Cruz
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Brett Mullins
PostPosted: October 13, 2012, 2:01 pm
The wests ashfield board voted 5-2 in favour of a wests tigers nsw cup team for 2013 thus therefore ending a 60 + year support of a magpies team. This has not sit well with magpie football members as well as life members of the club. Wests ashfield claims they cannot support both wests tigers at nrl plus the wests magpies in its entirety. Wests ashfield are only called upon for funding by the wests tigers if needed and because of the financial strains on balmain leagues club the wests tigers (i believe) has not asked for funding as balmain have to match wests ashfield dollar for dollar being an equitable partner. Below is the information that was presented to members in a recent meeting.

This information session is for the members. The reason I’m presenting is that I put this power point together, based on input from various members of the board.

Where required I will refer to other directors for more detailed comments. The objective is to provide as much information as possible to you members about the options available to the Magpie Board. It will show what was, what wasn’t considered, and why.

The Magpies board and its representatives have met several times with all parties with the intention to resolve this issue. It has not been easy. Our focus is with West’s Magpies then West Tigers and West Ashfield. Comments may be made about other parties but it is not our place to speak on behalf of them.

Details of Parties

West’s Ashfield Leagues –7 directors

Western Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club Limited –7 directors, 4 appointed by West Ashfield, 3 by the members. Ashfield Appointees; Chairman, Mick Liubinskas, Russel Smith, John Donnellan, Mike Bailey. Members appointees; Paul Dillon, Bob Cairns and Dave Jago

Balmain Tigers

Western Suburbs League Club (Campbelltown) Ltd.

West Tigers, Joint Venture; Balmain 5 votes West Group 5 votes.

Wests group being; 1 Magpies Football Club, 1 West’s Campbelltown and 3 West’s Ashfield.

Facts v Emotion

Wests Ashfield Leagues Club (WAL) • WAL contribute to West Tigers • WAL contribute to the junior representative teams in the Macarthur district • WAL are the major funder of the Magpies,

Over the life of the Magpies WAL has provided millions of dollars to the Magpies for football operations. (25 years in Campbelltown approx $25m). Without the support of Wests Ashfield leagues, the Magpies would not exist in its current form.

Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers support /sponsor the following areas of Rugby League 1. Sponsorship of juniors in the junior league 2. Sponsorship of juniors from St Greg’s 3. The Magpies board has outsourced the control of the Magpie Rep Juniors in the Macarthur area, being Harold Mathews and SG Ball 4. Wests Tigers also support the cubs to development squads in the Macarthur region and Balmain areas. 5. Close support / association with Kebra park

2011 and prior the Wests Tigers provided significant support and funding to the Magpies juniors and seniors.

Wests Magpies

Board structure is Four Directors appointed by WAL, Three appointed by the members. Funding currently is primarily dependant on WAL New sponsors were approached last year but for a number of reason did not come to fruition. Game day attendances were disappointing, costs of game days exceeded any income, ( except for the back to Lidcombe day). Crowd attendance directly impacts prospective sponsors. We have a board, and no other infrastructure. WAL paid for an Operations manager full time for six or so months (Daniel Watson Hayes). We have no other staff

We have a small and active group of volunteers ; being John Harbon, Bluey Schafer, Dave McEwan, Val McEwan, Jeff Applitt, Charlie Tuxford, Steve Reeves, Ed Topolski, Keith Toploski, Steve Hartis, Scott Morris, Keith Hoare, Shaun Huthnance.

We again thanks these special people who provide extensive time and effort to the club. Without these people our club could not exist.


The following alternatives were discussed and were considered by the Magpies board.

1. West’s Magpies stand alone NSW Cup side

2. Joint Venture NSW Cup side –Wests Tigers

3. Have a year off ,build and plan for the following year and future years.

4. Enter a Bundy Cup Team

Alternative 1

Stand alone Magpies NSW Cup side

The Magpies currently have minimal sponsors –apart from WAL Additional or new sponsors would be difficult to obtain in the current environment especially because of all the uncertainty. We don’t have a Russel Crowe or Nathan Tinkler. Money is hard to come by. The ARL Commission has not provided us or considered stand alone NSW Cup sides to date, but there is talk of a restructured of all three grades. WAL will continue to support the Magpies but have limited funding and they have many other business commitments. Government regulations have impacted the availability of funds available. WAL can’t the sustain the funding it currently does to the Magpies and the Wests Tigers.

Alternative 2

Joint Venture combined team called the West Tigers

A resolution was passed by the Magpies Board by a majority vote on xx/xx/2012 to pursue the viability of this option. 8 none negotiable points were agreed up by the Magpies board if this alternative was to proceed;

Resolution Passed by a majority - WSDRLFC Ltd. supports recommendations of a single State Cup Team

M Liubinskas, Steve Lavers and Warren McDonnell formed a sub committee to provide and gather information for the benefit of all parties

Western Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club Ltd (WSDRLFC Ltd.) supports the recommendations of the Joint Football Subcommittee; the West’s Tigers enter a team in the State Cup Competition and thereafter which will be financially supported in part by WSDRLFC Ltd. subject to the following conditions;

1). Western Suburbs Magpies (WSM) recognised as the District Club of the Campbelltown Area 2). WSM will continue to participate (as the Magpies) in Junior Representatives, Harold Matthews and S.G. Ball and where appropriate other competitions 3). WSM retains all of its rights, including the ability to review the operation of a single State Cup (SC) team in future years. 4). West’s Tigers (WT) continues to work with WSM to ensure that appropriate pathways are met for the Junior Rugby League Players in the South West. 5). The 2013 combined SC playing strip would alternate between Balmain and West’s colours 6). West’s Juniors will continue IN PERPETUITY to be affiliated through WSDRLFC Ltd. as the pathway to WT 7). The name of the team is to be West’s Tigers, that is the joint venture name, and no other organisations or sponsors are to be recognised in the team name 8). An agreement regarding a single stream State Cup team must be in writing in an acceptable format with conditions listed as part of that agreement for a 12 month period

Alternatives 3.

Alternative 3. Have a year off , build and plan for the following year –this was dismissed and considered not feasible as re entry could not be guaranteed. The club would have to reapply for entry, and meet certain conditions.

Alternative 4.

Enter a Bundy Cup Team –this alternative has not been fully analysed, but could be an option in the future.

Emulation of a variation of the Newton model would allow this alternative to be considered feasible, but would take a year or two to set up. Funding is always an issue.

Wests Tigers Board


The following motion was put to the 30 August Board meeting of Wests Tigers:

“That the Board of Wests Tigers endorse the concept of a single stream NSW Cup side to play under the name of Wests Tigers from 2013.”

The discussion that followed concluded with the following amended motion being put to the 6 September Board meeting of Wests Tigers:

“That the Board of Wests Tigers endorse the concept of a single stream NSW Cup side to play under the name of Wests Tigers from 2013 and to be subject to the six recommendations of the Wests Tigers Football Sub-Committee being:

1. The single stream NSW Cup team be named Wests Tigers. 2. The team is to be managed by Wests Tigers including the contracting of all players, coaches and support staff. 3. Home venues are to be equally distributed between Campbelltown and Leichhardt. 4. The team will play in Wests Tigers heritage style jerseys, alternating between the Wests and the Balmain versions so as to provide an equal distribution of jersey allocation. 5. The primary training base will be Concord Oval. 6. All costs are to be budgeted for and managed by Wests Tigers.

This motion was carried with unanimous support.

The Wests Tigers Board also acknowledged their “in principle” agreement with the following items:

1. Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers to be recognized as the District Clubs in their respective areas.

2. Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers will continue to participate in their respective names in Junior Representative competitions, including Harold Matthews and SG Ball and other competitions where appropriate.

3. Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers retain all of their respective rights, including the ability to enter and support teams in any competition other than those of the NRL in future years.

4. Wests Tigers will continue to work with the District Clubs to ensure that appropriate pathways are met for Junior Rugby League players in their respective areas.

5. Wests Tigers will continue to support the perpetual affiliation of Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers with their respective Junior Leagues.

Challenges for the Future

Keep in mind nothing is set in stone and changes will occur

Produce a Business Plan required year by year for 3 years. This is very difficult due to the ever changing environment.

A change in coach ( Tim Sheens) could have a significant effect.

ARL Commission (ARL C) has to recognise the importance of the Macarthur district, and the volume of juniors at risk in this area.

All parties and ARL C needs to have an overall strategy to deal with AFL and Soccer.

West’s Campbelltown Leagues Club should be more involved as a part of the Rugby League community

West’s Magpies to rebuild relations with Wests Tigers and take advantage of economies of scale available to West’s Tigers.

The Business Plan to address;

Set up a Wests Magpies tour for Junior players in Macarthur area? To NZ, Fiji, England or USA.

Reconnect with the Macarthur region as district club, and also with the juniors and senior Macarthur clubs.

Reconnect or connect with Group 6

Look to establish a senior team - WSDRLFC in Campbelltown thru 2013 ,for season 2014 eg a Bundy Cup side

Follow up the ARLC on competition structures and grades. We should have at least one senior Wests Magpies team

Part of connecting with the Macarthur area would entail renting a shop front or office in the region as our office or utilise the WT office at Leumeah

Provide a range of merchandise that will appeal to a wide audience, to keep our brand active throughout outlets such as West Campbelltown, West Ashfield and West’s Tigers and the internet.

If it goes ahead as it looks like ,support the combined one West’s Tigers State Cup Team.

Continue to support our junior Rep games, and endeavour to have them play before senior games


The conclusion should be an appeal to talk it up - not down, and get behind making next year work.

West’s Ashfield can’t support two stand alone teams being the West Tigers NRL and The West’s Magpies NSW Cup.

West’s Ashfield continue to support the Magpies. Board meetings are held at Ashfield General meetings are held at Ashfield Numerous high quality functions have and will be held at Ashfield

West’s Ashfield agree with the view that all aspects of our football should be centred around the Macarthur region

West’s Ashfield and the Magpies football club both agree a major priority is to somehow get West’s Campbelltown more involved, after all its their community

All options still remain, nothing is set in stone and changes will occur in the future.
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Ricky Stuart
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Joined: May 20, 2008, 2:50 pm
PostPosted: October 13, 2012, 2:55 pm
Where did Blake ayshford sign ?, he would have fit in nicely with us

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