Leigh Centurions Owner Derek Beaumont has issued an official response to a tweet on social media by Lord Peter Smith concerning them turning down the offer of a civic reception which has left the Club in the difficult position of having to respond to numerous requests for answers to the statement.
Derek Beaumont’s response is as follows:
Leigh Centurions were invited to a civic reception via email by a member of council staff on behalf of the Council’s Leader, Lord Peter Smith, and Chief Executive Donna Hall on 13th September 2016.
The venue for the civic reception was proposed to be Leigh Sports Village.
The Board of Directors accepted the invitation by return email that same day.
We then received a further email concerning the date of the event which had an email below it from the Leigh Sports Village which stated: “There are a couple of emails from Leigh Centurions that I need to make the leader aware of before any announcements.”
We found this strange and took exception to it as it gave the impression that there may not be a civic reception based on the opinion formed of the emails referred to. From our point of view what bearing should any business email between two organisations have on celebrating the remarkable success of the town’s team?
For the record the email of concern was my response to a wrist-slapping email from the LSV concerning me giving the people of the town free entry to the stadium for the Batley fixture.
This came four days after our fantastic achievement in securing victory over Huddersfield and thereby securing the Club’s place in Super League for only its second time in history and the first time in over a decade.
I was upset by the fact that no congratulations had been offered prior to an email that’s real purpose was to express dissatisfaction at my gesture and not having discussed it with them.
I informed LSV that any decisions regarding ticket prices were solely the decision of Leigh Centurions.
I do not wish to go into detail here concerning various issues as these will hopefully be dealt with when we are in a position to secure a meeting with LSV when their senior member returns from a long vacation.
As a result of the email we decided to decline the invitation and informed the member of council staff of our decision citing the reasons why.
We never had a reply and despite numerous requests by myself to the LSV never received an explanation of their comments and how any email could detract from the Club’s achievements.
I also wrote to LSV concerning the matter as I was coming under pressure on social media regarding the civic reception, as I understand was Lord Peter Smith, as he had stated on twitter after our promotion was secure that there would be a civic reception.
I did not want to bring this information into the public domain and was seeking answers as to a joint way to deal with the situation as I have never been one to shirk a question.
Unfortunately I never got a response and neither did our CEO Matthew Chantler whom I also asked to push the issue with them.
On 10th November we received an invitation to a civic reception, this time from the Mayor of Wigan to be held at the council chambers in Leigh at a specific date and time.
It was of notable interest that this invitation wasn’t from the leader and that the venue was no longer going to be LSV.
We took the decision to politely decline this invitation and communicated this by letter from our Chairman which read as follows:
“Thank you for your invitation for a Civic Reception to mark the Club’s achievements.
“Unfortunately we are going to have to respectfully decline the invitation as our pre-season has now commenced and a significant part of the squad which achieved Super League status has now moved on.
“We therefore do not feel it would be appropriate.
“We had previously accepted an invitation to a reception at the LSV at an appropriate time, immediately after the team’s success, but this did not materialise after the intervention of local management.
“Hopefully we will have some success in the future in the Super League or the Challenge Cup where we will be able to accept an earlier invitation to celebrate the success of the town of Leigh’s sole professional sports Club.”