Blackheath decision down to Group 10

THE Blackheath Blackcats saga continues.

After being told there was no place for them in the 2014 Group 10 season, the Blackcats lodged an appeal with NSW Country Rugby League to remain in the competition.

The appeal, it seems, could be in vain.

Group 10 president Linore Zamparini said despite the appeal being in CRL’s hands, Group 10 will make the final decision.

“Country Rugby League will assess the situation then give us their recommendations,” he explained.

“I assume they will go and look at the ground facilities, and get a good indication of player numbers and then let us know what they think we should do. “Ultimately though, the decision is in our hands.”

Zamparini said the other Group 10 clubs had made the decision, through power of numbers.

Each club has two votes in Group 10 meetings, while the executive committee and referees each get one, and for any motion to be passed a two-thirds margin must be gained either way.

“You never want to see any club fold or get kicked out,” he explained.

“But the other clubs all voted that way. They all agreed the playing facilities, mainly the cricket pitch and dressing sheds, weren’t up to scratch. And of course, the gate takings and revenue each club brought in got affected when they played the Blackcats.

“We also had some problems with Blackheath in the under 18s last year with unregistered players and we weren’t sure if it would be an ongoing problem.”

Blackheath have entered under 18s and first division teams in the last two Group 10 seasons, but no premier league sides.

Zamparini said despite there being precedent to leave Blackheath in the competition, it would be tough to sway the other clubs.

“Blayney, Hawks and Oberon have all [just played lower grades] before,” he explained.

“But at the end of the day, the other clubs made this decision. With all due respect to Wayne (Morgan, Blackheath president), no one from Blackheath was present at the annual general meeting.

“He sent an apology as he was overseas, but surely there is someone else in the club that could have attended.

“There is always options for Blackheath like the Centennial Coal Cup, or maybe amalgamation with another club. But for now, we’ll just wait and see what CRL come to us with.”

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