Sunday, 2 January 2011

Personal Conduct at Millwall Rugby Club

At Millwall Rugby Club, we take pride in playing a game with powerful values at its core; the club promotes Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship both on and off the pitch.

Reflecting these values, the club's committee expects the highest standards of behaviour of our members and supporters at all times. By way of example of this, we would like to bring your attention to an incident that occurred before Christmas and the way the club has responded:

On the night of Saturday 20th November, there was an incident in our clubhouse involving verbal and physical confrontation between a number of people. Subsequently, a complaint was made about the alleged actions of one of the people involved (a new player) and the Club's Disciplinary Policy and Process was invoked.

Despite the player concerned not being a paid-up club member, it was decided to give him the benefit of a disciplinary hearing rather than summarily banning him from the clubhouse, as would befit any other clubhouse visitor causing a disturbance. In accordance with club policy the matter was investigated and the player was found to have been in breach of the standards of behaviour expected and outlined in the Code of Conduct/Disciplinary Policy.

The Disciplinary Panel sanctioned the player and imposed an 8-week ban from the clubhouse, playing for the club and all other club activities. In view of the player's positive contribution to the club prior to this incident and mitigating circumstances, which suggested an element of provocation, this was reduced to 4-weeks, but it was made clear that behaviour of this nature is not acceptable at Millwall Rugby Club.

The player appealed to the Full Club Committee, which decided to uphold the original decision made and sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Panel. The 4-week ban took effect as of 2nd December.

However, in view of further information that came to light, in the interest of fairness, the committee recommended that other people involved were also brought before a Disciplinary Panel.

This is not a decision that was taken lightly since convening such a panel takes an enormous investment of personal time of those involved and diverts the committee's attention from other more pressing matters.

Following three further hearings that happened in December, the following sanctions were imposed:

  • One member was given a 4-week club-wide ban, with 2 weeks of the ban suspended for a period of 4 weeks.
  • The other two members were given 1-week club-wide ban suspended for a period of 4 weeks.

Incidents such as these are fortunately a very rare occurrence at Millwall Rugby Club, and as we put this one behind us, we look forward to a successful and harmonious 2011 on and off the pitch.

Millwall Rugby Club Committee