MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE LEAGUE
HELD AT ELDON PHAB HALL
THURSDAY 25TH JULY 2018
Those attending: The Executive Council, L. Hodges, D. Barrow, G. Mold, J. Williams, C. Posford, I. O’Connor, A. Dyce, P. Lancaster, T. Stephens, J. Hyde, R. Faulkner, H. Isaacs, C. Rennock and M. McGovern representing 11 clubs .
Apologies for absence.
Margot Fraser, Dave Gabriel
Minutes of the AGM 2018.
The minutes were agreed by all to be an accurate record.
Chris Harper welcomed everyone to the meeting and offered
congratulations to all the divisional and cup winners, Sparta A, Wickham Park B, Croydon SDA and Limpsfield B. He said that Sparta A had copied Manchester City in winning not only the Premier league but the Open Cup and the Handicap Cup as well.
It was a successful season in that divisions 1 to 3 all completed their fixtures but the Premier seemed to have a number of problems. The following clubs had fixtures outstanding: Sparta A 2, Sparta B 1, Eldon A 2, Eldon B 3, Sth Croy A 1, Sth Croy B 1.
Either the teams did not have enough players registered or they did not make use of players in lower teams. We have quite strict rules on agreeing postponements with the Div Sec but clearly this did not happen and is something we will need to look at.
The League had entered a team in the Surrey Inter League Competition. With no players from Sparta being available and some players committed to play for other leagues we submitted a team of Yiyong Wang (Wickham Park) Simon Fisher and Dele Ayoola (South Croydon). Overall, they acquitted themselves well, beating Haslemere 5-0, losing to Sutton 1-3 and losing to Wandsworth, the eventual runners up, by the narrowest margin, 4-5, by deuce in the final game. Congratulations to them.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to run the tournament this year as we could not hire a suitable venue. We will do all we can to ensure that the tournament is run next year.
Last season was the first since the sad death of John Mullis and I would like to express my thanks to all members of the executive council for getting us through what could have been a difficult time.
John had his own way of working, not known to anyone else, and so we had to pick up things from scratch. We decided to use TT365 to produce the fixture list and record results, averages etc and thanks to Graham Hansen, the administrator, and the match secretaries it proved successful.
One of the main concerns for the council over the last few months has been the dispute between TTE and TT365.
What it boiled down to is that the TTE contract with 365 expired this year and 365 substantially increased their charges. TTE took exception to this and decided not to renew the contract and construct their own version. This had to undergo testing by TTE and Leagues and we had strong concerns over whether it would be sufficiently developed and tested in time for this coming season.
TT365 has said that they are willing to provide their system to all leagues at a cost of £7 per player. Someone playing in several leagues would only pay the fee once. There was a proposal at the TTE AGM to reduce the current membership fee by £7 so that there is no increase in costs to players. Our League voted against this and the motion was lost.
We sent an email to all clubs asking whether they wished to continue with 365 or put their faith in the TTE system. In a short timescale only 3 replied and they were all in favour of retaining 365. The majority view of the committee is that we should retain 365 for at least the forthcoming season after which we can consider both systems. This means that for next season there will be an additional charge of £7 per player.
We know that the Bromley League has taken a similar decision, although they are in the fortunate position to be able to subsidise the £7 from their funds but I do not know what other Leagues are doing.
We decided to purchase two cups to honour the memory of John Mullis, who did so much for this league, for the Open Cup and the Handicap Cup and they will be presented later this evening.
The Chairman’s report was thrown open to the floor and Chris Posford (Eldon) said that paying an additional £7 per player would be a substantial drain on his club’s finances. He was joined in this by one or two other members and the chairman said that, if necessary, the League would wait a short time for payment after the affiliation form had been lodged to allow clubs to gather subscriptions.
Although the decision to retain 365 for this year had been made by the executive council the meeting signified their agreement. Chris Harper and Graham Hansen confirmed that in all probability the League will move to the TTE system for season 2020/21.
Simon Fisher informed the meeting that the League had a very healthy balance of £1512.92 although the cost of this year’s trophies, around £750, will need to come from that.
He had had a torrid time trying to set up our account with HSBC online and had been obliged to make a formal complaint. As a result, the bank had given us £150 in compensation. He explained that the income item of 96p was due to a slight overpayment.
Adoption of the accounts was proposed by Dave Burrows (Wickham Park), seconded by Harry Isaacs (Sparta) and approved by all present.
Surrey TTA/ Table Tennis England update.
Margot Fraser, the League’s Surrey and national representative, was unfortunately unable to attend the AGM and so the Chairman confirmed that Surrey’s affiliation fee had increased by 50p per team, which the League would absorb. He said that the TTE membership fee is being kept at £16.
Other than that, there was little to report. He had tried to renew his membership online but the system had failed and he had reported this to TTE. The new system is designed by the same people providing the alternative to 365.
Proposals for Rule Changes
Chris Posford (Eldon) proposed that the League reverts to naming the divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4 and dispensing with ‘Premier’ for the top division.
The chairman said that he had instigated introducing Premier for the top division 3 years ago to be in line with other leagues but Julie Hyde (Woodmansterne) and others said that apart from Reigate and Guildford no other leagues used Premier. It was put to the vote and the meeting agreed unanimously to revert to 1,2, 3 and 4.
The Chairman on behalf of the Executive Council proposed that in Rule 44 the line ‘in possession of a handbook’ be deleted as the League no longer produces one. The meeting unanimously agreed.
Dave Gabriel (Wickham Park) proposed an amendment to Rule 22, which basically required that 2 teams be promoted and relegated where there are 10 teams in a division and discretion when there are 7 or 8 teams.
There was much discussion over whether 2 teams should be promoted and relegated in all circumstances but the chairman emphasised that the council must retain discretion as a number of factors can come into play, such as a team losing a player and not wishing to be promoted, new teams of all standards entering the League and also balancing the number of teams in each division.
It was proposed by Roger Nichols (Forresters) and seconded by Harry Isaacs (Sparta) that the Rule be amended to state:
‘The practice of 2 up and 2 down promotion and relegation at the end of each season will depend on the number of teams entered. The Executive Council will always have the final decision on any promotion/relegation issues and may, in exceptional circumstances, choose not to promote second placed teams should the need to restructure the divisions arise.’
The amendment was put to the vote and carried unanimously.
The Chairman said that it is intended to keep with the format of teams playing each other 3 times and the meeting agreed.
To be discussed
Election of league officials.
The chairman asked if there were any new nominations for election and was met by a deafening silence. Fortunately, the existing Executive Council with the exception of Margot Fraser is willing to stand for re-election.
Lew Hodges (Wickham Park) proposed their election, Ian O’Connor (Sparta) seconded and the proposal was agreed by all present.
Any Other Business
Lew Hodges (Wickham Park) thanked the Executive Council for their work on behalf of the League.
There was no other business.
Presentation of Trophies
The chairman invited the President, John Barker, to present the trophies to the league and cup winners and runners up.
He said that Sparta had requested a single trophy to reflect their achievement of winning the Premier division and both cup competitions. The League had also purchased cups in memory of John Mullis for both the Open and Handicap Cups and they would also be presented to Sparta.