Same old WRU dithering causing problems

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Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:07 am

As some of you may know on here, I am a supporter of the Welsh Premiership, and in particular my home town club Merthyr, but when people are actually willing to invest money into their local side, and not just a few quid, but large sums, you would think the WRU would be more pro-active.

Pontypool are facing these issues, Ben Jefferies and his old man want to invest massively into their beloved club, yet if they cannot gain access to the top flight then they are just throwing money down the toilet.

Only in Wales though.

TAKEN FROM WOL.

Rugby chief claims WRU are stopping £1m ground development by dithering over the future of the Principality Premiership.

The semi-professional tier is ring-fenced for this season and next, but after that there is no certainty what will happen.


A Welsh rugby club chief executive has accused the Welsh Rugby Union of effectively holding up a £1m redevelopment of their ground because of uncertainty over whether the Principality Premiership will continue to be ring-fenced beyond the 2018-19 season.

Ben Jeffreys and his multi-millionaire father Peter are poised to plough upwards of seven figures into Pontypool RFC with plans including a new clubhouse, changing rooms and a 3G pitch at the famous old ground.

The benefactors could even take the fallen giants of the Welsh club game away from their Pontypool Park home to a new ground if their proposals fail to get the green light.

But the chief executive claims the WRU has left them in limbo by saying the proposed ring-fencing of the Premiership, due to end in in the summer of 2019, might not now go ahead.

Earlier this month WRU performance manager Geraint John told the BBC: “The ring-fencing is in for this season and in for next season. We have started discussions on where we go and will put a review process in place.

“We’ve put in independent people to look at this. There’ll not only be discussions with the Premiership clubs but clubs below that in the Championship as well to see what is required.

“We need to decide what is the right structure going forward.”

Ring-fencing was brought into the Premiership at the start of last season when the division increased from 12 to 16 clubs giving new boys Swansea, RGC 1404, Merthyr and Bargoed the chance to establish themselves without the threat of relegation.

Pontypool narrowly missed out on promotion and went through the Championship last season losing just one game to be runaway champions.

With the WRU set to canvas Premiership and Championship clubs over ring-fencing Jeffreys admits only giving lower league clubs the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Cardiff, Llanelli, Newport and Pontypridd in the semi-professional set-up, can save the ‘integrity’ of the Welsh game.

“They have to drop ring-fencing for the integrity of the game,” said the Pooler chief, in a video put out on social media.

“This isn’t a Pontypool rugby club issue but an integrity issue.

“The minute you take away the jeopardy for clubs to perform season after season, the level of competition drops and the level in engagement from supporters drops.

“We’ve seen that here. When we were on that run to get to the Premiership we had 1,500-2,000 supporters here. The minute that went away, so did the supporters.

“It’s not a difficult thing to remedy. Drop ring-fencing.

“We’re quite concerned because we are ready to spend at least £1m redeveloping Pontypool Park but we’re not going to do that as long as the WRU does not confirm ring-fencing is going to go.

“We’re looking to spend upwards of £1m either redeveloping here or a new site away fro Pontypool Park.

“There’s a lot of issues we have to overcome here but we think we’re getting somewhere close to where we can make a decision on whether we want to invest that money.

“But until the Welsh Rugby Union does the right thing then we’re not going to spend a penny.

“There’s no chance we’re going to spend that money if we’re going to be blocked from going up to the Premiership.

“If that doesn’t happen then Pontypool will be the loser and Welsh rugby will be the loser as well.”

And when asked how he viewed the current landscape of the Welsh game, he said: “Not with great optimism if I’m honest.

“I feel quite dejected by our recent attempts for Championship Rugby Wales to get some much-needed improvements to the Championship and every opportunity has been very difficult to get going.

“With the exception of Martyn Phillips (chief executive) and Gareth Davies (chairman) the WRU were very cold on us branching off and creating a new group and create a new competition to actively try and remedy the fact 22 fixtures a season is simply not enough.

“And the fact is all our efforts came to nothing in the end.

“We’ve got big problems and the suggestion that we merely have a perception issue in Wales is absolute nonsense.

“Until the Welsh Rugby Union opens its eyes to the problems in the game, we’re going to struggle for many years to come.”

AND HERE IS THE LINK

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/rugby-chief-claims-wru-stopping-13617880


I know there are a lot of Gwent supporters on here, how do you feel about this ?

Also, from a Welsh interest, do you think that the Welsh Prem should be ring fenced or not ?

Personally speaking, I would welcome a relegation and promotion system, I would scrap ring fencing, I would love to see a historical club like Pontypool back in the top flight of Welsh rugby. Especially with owners and people who are willing to invest so heavily into their club.


Last edited by LordDowlais on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:09 am; edited 1 time in total

LordDowlais

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Re: Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by Griff on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:08 am

The WRU are currently looking at changing the ring-fencing of the Prem going forward.  They're carrying out some consultancy on it as we speak.  So will probably change in the near future.

Griff.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/41220901

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Re: Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:10 am

Yes but it is the dithering about it that is putting people who want to invest into their local clubs off.

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Re: Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by Griff on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:20 am

My view on this is that the WRU have created this problem by going down the regional/provincial/franchise route.  In order for the regional model to work you need 'feeder' clubs below it, as we have now, and roughly equal numbers in each 'region'.  But with promotion and relegation you run the risk of the feeder clubs being relegated for some regions and being over-represented for others.  As an example, after a few years you might have all of the teams in the Dragons region being relegated and a number of teams in the Scarlets region promoted.  So the Scarlets have maybe 6 teams in the prem and Dragons have zero.  This then reduces the opportunities to blood the regional academy players at a level that's designed to be a stepping stone to pro rugby.  Players will leave the Dragons region for opportunities elsewhere, Scarlets feeder clubs then become stronger and Dragons feeder clubs weaker and it ends up with stockpiling of players in one or two regions of the country and it becomes very difficult to gain promotion again.  That's not what regional/provincial rugby was set up to do (competition between regions for resources), so I can see why they'd want to ring fence.

You'd also run the risk of the rich clubs just buying up all of the talent.  Again, this is a model (sugar daddy, capitalist, boom and bust model) that regional/provincial rugby is meant to move away from.  As with the example above, you might have the rich clubs paying their way to promotion/avoid relegation and leave a lopsided representation of regional feeder clubs in the prem.  That b*ggers up the 'regional development pathway'.  Again, it's not what regional rugby is about.

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Re: Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:25 am

It's interesting that in England you're starting to see more and more of a push the opposite way. A ring fence comp won't necessarily result in a drop of support and investment to stop though. 2 sides of the count in England could be Bristol and doncaster. Bristol very much wanted promotion to the top tier and have obviously spent heavily. Doncaster have actually said they won't be looking to go up but have had investment themselves yet simply see good rugby and challenging for the title as reward enough ie just using it as entrainment. So ring fence would be fine and welcomed by some and it would be a big kick to others. It is a relevant point though around the need to know direction. It's a bit like that in England so you have clubs set it in atone themselves.

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Re: Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:28 am

To be honest Griff, regional rugby is a joke as it is. But it is where we are and we need to try and make things work, but by hamstringing the clubs below regional level, this will not improve matters.

If a region is under represented in the Welsh prem, then for me it should be down to the region to sort that out, if Scarlets want Llanelli, Llandovery ect in the Welsh prem, then they could do more to keep them there. Likewise with all the regions.

It's all about working together.

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Re: Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by Griff on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:35 am

LordDowlais wrote:To be honest Griff, regional rugby is a joke as it is. But it is where we are and we need to try and make things work, but by hamstringing the clubs below regional level, this will not improve matters.

If a region is under represented in the Welsh prem, then for me it should be down to the region to sort that out, if Scarlets want Llanelli, Llandovery ect in the Welsh prem, then they could do more to keep them there. Likewise with all the regions.

It's all about working together.

I'd agree with that bit above but we haven't got proper regional rugby that is union controlled and funded.  We have, and have always had, a quasi-regional mess.  It should be up to the region/province (perhaps like in Ireland?) but our regions are just independent businesses (apart from the Dragons now, but that is only very recent).  The regions do not have the resources or remit to improve the other teams in lower leagues.  You try telling the business owners of the Ospreys that they now have to start spending their own money on Neath or Aberavon, for example, if they were to start performing poorly!  It would also weaken the Ospreys as they would have less funds.

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Re: Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:43 am

Griff wrote: You try telling the business owners of the Ospreys that they now have to start spending their own money on Neath or Aberavon, for example, if they were to start performing poorly! It would also weaken the Ospreys as they would have less funds.

They should not have to do that, but they can place players at these clubs, to strengthen them, or help with training, performance ect..

I am not saying they do not do this now, because I think they do to some extent at certain clubs, but the regions need to at least start making more of a relationship with the clubs within their region, or pathway or what ever it is called now for things to improve.

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Re: Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by marty2086 on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:43 am

LordDowlais wrote:Yes but it is the dithering about it that is putting people who want to invest into their local clubs off.

It's not dithering, it's being responsible

You hardly expect them to make a decision without the full picture and all the information?

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Re: Same old WRU dithering causing problems

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:46 am

Also I could not agree with these statements more. It's a problem we have in the Pro14 as well, where teams do not really need to improve, because they have nothing to fear.

“The minute you take away the jeopardy for clubs to perform season after season, the level of competition drops and the level in engagement from supporters drops. “We’ve seen that here. When we were on that run to get to the Premiership we had 1,500-2,000 supporters here. The minute that went away, so did the supporters. wrote:

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