Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

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Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 5:19 pm

We have all heard about this, or at least if you have not, then you must have been out of the country for a while, but it looks as though the fab four are going to get extra funding from the WRU next season to help compete, whilst all the debts look like they will be written off one way or another, whilst being funded with an extra £2.4million each. This is taken from the WOL, a media source that for whatever reason people on here get on their high horse about, but that is their right. I will post the whole article and link on here for people to read and then make their own minds up.

But I think this is worth discussion, as this is excelent news for the regions, and it will hopefully stop the whinging we are seeing for the fans about funding and a level playing field.

Project Reset uncovered: the confidential new deal that's going to change Welsh rugby forever

Things will soon be changing in Welsh rugby

It’s a term which has been bandied around increasingly in Welsh rugby circles in recent months - Project Reset.

You often hear it mentioned in almost half-whispered tones and there’s certainly an element of mystery surrounding it.


So what exactly is this project all about? What is it looking to achieve and why is it so important to the future of the professional game in Wales?

Rugby correspondent Simon Thomas has been digging away behind the scenes and now provides the answers.

So what exactly is Project Reset?

Well, as the name suggests, it’s really a refresh or a fresh start.

The idea was to look at the professional game in Wales and decide on the best way forward.

Almost inevitably, that would involve replacing the existing Rugby Services Agreement between the WRU and the four regions.

The Union opted to bring in a consultant by the name of David Lovett to look at the state of the game and offer some financial expertise and an independent pair of eyes.

Essentially, what he concluded was the regional game needs more money.

It was with this in mind that the Union set about looking at how that could be achieved and what form the new deal should take.

What’s the existing arrangement then?

It’s all laid out in the Rugby Services Agreement.

That was the peace deal which was struck between the Union and the regions in August 2014 to bring an end to more than a year of civil war.

It was due to run through to 2020, but the feeling for a while has been that it’s not really fit for the current situation.

For one thing, it was born out of a period of distrust and animosity, whereas we now have a mood of relative harmony.

It also didn’t really provide sufficient financial clout for our regions to be able to compete consistently with French, English and Irish big spenders.

So, Project Reset has focused on putting a new agreement in place, ideally before the end of this summer.

How is the new deal going to be different?

Well, for one thing it’s going to have a new name.

It will be called the Professional Rugby Agreement.

So it’s goodbye to the RSA and hello to the PRA.

The new deal is yet to be signed off, but the word is we are very close and it’s going to be a very different kind of arrangement.

The key aspect now will be everyone working together.

The way the RSA was phrased was something of an “us and them” approach or even master and pupil. It was a case of “you will do this” to a degree.

Now the idea is to move from control to collective thinking.

The central element of the new plan is how the five entities - Union and four regions - can work together for the betterment of the professional game.

With this in mind, a set of criteria were drawn up towards the end of last year.

Four areas were identified - governance, coaching, commercial and development/community.

The idea was that all five entities had to meet prescribed targets in those areas ahead of a new funding model being put in place.

And that’s what we’ve seen happening over the past few months.

Part of the agreement is that the PRA should be a completely fresh start.

As such, one of the requirements was that the regional balance sheets should be cleaned up.

We have seen that happening at Cardiff Blues, where Peter Thomas has agreed to write off the estimated £14m he has poured into the business over the years.

He is also stepping down as chairman as part of the aforementioned governance reform.

Down at the Scarlets, letters have gone out to shareholders outlining a proposal for directors loans, totalling more than £8m, to be converted into shares.

Originally, the suggestion was the Union would take an equity share in the regions in return for them clearing their debts.

They have now moved away from that, but the balance sheets are being addressed.

So the groundwork is being laid for the PRA.

What are the financial details of the new deal?
It’s best to start by looking at the current one.

As it stands, the WRU distributes £21m to the regions per year, with £9.2m of that being generated by the teams themselves through the competitions they play in.

That means around £12m coming out of central funds, with that being a payment for services provided, such as making players available for international rugby and sticking to overseas quotas.

There’s an acceptance that more money has to be found if the regions are to be competitive.

With that in mind, an improved funding arrangement deal has already been agreed for next season.

That will see an additional £2.4m going to the regions, with the Scarlets getting the biggest share and the Blues and Ospreys receiving an equal increase.

The Dragons won’t get an uplift as the Union have covered debts incurred over the past year.

It all means for the coming season the Scarlets are set to have a playing budget in excess of £6m, the Ospreys £6.2m, the Blues £6m and the Dragons around £4.5m.

The £2.4m increase comes ahead of the PRA being signed, but it does point to the future funding system.

Under the RSA, the basic principle has been equal distribution, with all four regions getting the same.

Now we are moving to equal opportunity, with the regions being rewarded for performances both on and off the field and for delivering players to the Wales set-up.

They are all drawing up business plans and they will have to meet those, both in terms of results and commercial revenue, to obtain increased funding via the PRA.

Every year, the situation will be reviewed and payments will be based on how the regions are delivering.

Essentially, it will be a reward-based system, with targets to meet in order to release the cash.

Where will the additional funding come from?

In the short-term, the extra £2.4m for next season is made possible by the Union having had a good year financially.

It’s understood their income has gone up from £74m to more than £90m.

But, in the longer term under the PRA, it will be about the pro game generating more income itself.

With this in mind, a new body is to be set up, the Professional Rugby Board.

It will feature one representative from each of the four regions, two from the WRU - probably chief executive Martyn Phillips and finance director Steve Phillips - plus two independents.

That body will be responsible for running the professional game and looking at ways of funding it.

One key element will be the five entities working together to generate more income.

They will operate as one entity to make savings on things like supplies and when it comes to bringing in sponsorship and commercial revenue.

In the long term, there may be a move towards borrowing on the Principality Stadium to bring in extra money.

But first they want to get the businesses working well and staying clear from debt, otherwise it would be a case of throwing good money after bad.

Essentially though, the new deal is all about working collectively and the PRA will outline what the five entities expect of each other.

For once in Welsh rugby, it really does seem we are all in this together.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/project-reset-uncovered-confidential-new-14896396


So no excuses now then, it's onwards and upwards for the regions, we should expect to see significant improvements from the Welsh regions in all competitions next season.

Also, please before certain members on here castigate me, tar and feather me, red line me, for using WOL or for just giving an opinion, can we please resist and discuss this like adults ? I think that this is the most exciting news to hit Welsh rugby since the inception of regionalism. I just hope that along with the funding of the regions, they put as much money into the game beneath the four regions as well.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 8:53 pm

Typical, the red bar bandits are out, members here are ruining this forum. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 9:29 pm

Well the Cardiff Blues have certainly shown their intent by singing Samu Manoa. Great to have him in the league too, well done to all involved there.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 9:31 pm

I must have been out of the country then, as this is news to me.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by Brendan on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 10:08 pm

Does that mean now that the Welsh will have loads of money they will be beating all before them as the Irish and Scots won't be able to buy wins anymore.

On a more serious note is this the start of the extra money coming through. Less strain on union finance and helps keeps players at home

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 2:32 am

Brendan wrote:Does that mean now that the Welsh will have loads of money they will be beating all before them as the Irish and Scots won't be able to buy wins anymore.

No, as the Irish have bought all the ref's.... including but not limited to Glen Jackson.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 8:27 am

The Oracle wrote:I must have been out of the country then, as this is news to me.

You honestly have not heard this being talked about down your way ? They have been on about it in our club for a few weeks now, well most of them are complaining about it anyway, because they are saying the regions are getting a leg up but the clubs and grass roots are not, but like I told them, they do not know if that is true. Smile

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 8:33 am

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:I must have been out of the country then, as this is news to me.

You honestly have not heard this being talked about down your way ? They have been on about it in our club for a few weeks now, well most of them are complaining about it anyway, because they are saying the regions are getting a leg up but the clubs and grass roots are not, but like I told them, they do not know if that is true. Smile

I knew the RSA was up for renewal but not that this level of detail had been proposed.

On your last point, I think people need to look at regions and grass roots as completely separate now. I know technically grass roots feeds into the pro game, but in terms of structure, funding, etc. they are wildly different beasts. Therefore, if one is being given a ‘leg up’ then it shouldn’t mean the other should be too, or that there is favouritism. They’re just completely different strands.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 8:40 am

I find the whole performance related pay thing an interesting one. For years we’ve been arguing that perhaps the way to improve the poorer performing regions was to match the funding of the better ones, as ultimately that’s where the difference lay. So if going forward some regions have c. 25% more budget it is going to be very difficult for them to improve (relative to the other regions). A chicken and egg situation. I guess the challenge for the regions receiving less funding is to find the shortfall somehow that will allow them to recruit appropriately and to improve enough to receive more performance related funding. Again, a bit chicken and egg.

Overall though, sounds positive. The obvious thing that jumps out at me is the Dragons £4.5m playing budget for next year compared to the £6m plus for everyone else. I accept that this is because the WRU have funded some other stuff, and that we’ve performed poorly, but £1.5m different (25% less) is a significant amount in terms of quality of players on the roster. I hope expectations for the Dragons in comparison to the other regions are therefore kept in check appropriately Wink
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 9:04 am

The Oracle wrote:I find the whole performance related pay thing an interesting one. For years we’ve been arguing that perhaps the way to improve the poorer performing regions was to match the funding of the better ones, as ultimately that’s where the difference lay. So if going forward some regions have c. 25% more budget it is going to be very difficult for them to improve (relative to the other regions). A chicken and egg situation. I guess the challenge for the regions receiving less funding is to find the shortfall somehow that will allow them to recruit appropriately and to improve enough to receive more performance related funding. Again, a bit chicken and egg.

Overall though, sounds positive. The obvious thing that jumps out at me is the Dragons £4.5m playing budget for next year compared to the £6m plus for everyone else. I accept that this is because the WRU have funded some other stuff, and that we’ve performed poorly, but £1.5m different (25% less) is a significant amount in terms of quality of players on the roster. I hope expectations for the Dragons in comparison to the other regions are therefore kept in check appropriately Wink

And 10% of that budget is on Moriarty.

We mustn't forget that Gareth Davies has been Chief Exec at two of our now four pro teams, so he knows what is required.

I know from the Consultants the WRU have employed, that the Old Guard blazers who Roger so dominated are now slipping into the background, so don't be surprised if the Governance changes at the WRU are pushed through, that the pro game administration is separated from the community game administration and that, finally, Welsh rugby can move forward after the disastrous Lewis years.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 9:10 am

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:I must have been out of the country then, as this is news to me.

You honestly have not heard this being talked about down your way ? They have been on about it in our club for a few weeks now, well most of them are complaining about it anyway, because they are saying the regions are getting a leg up but the clubs and grass roots are not, but like I told them, they do not know if that is true. Smile

I knew the RSA was up for renewal but not that this level of detail had been proposed.

On your last point, I think people need to look at regions and grass roots as completely separate now. I know technically grass roots feeds into the pro game, but in terms of structure, funding, etc. they are wildly different beasts. Therefore, if one is being given a ‘leg up’ then it shouldn’t mean the other should be too, or that there is favouritism. They’re just completely different strands.

Yep, that is what I've been saying, also, whilst sometimes they do have a point, I was asking what they wanted the extra money for, because it should not be for paying players.

What I would like to see the WRU doing, is looking at clubs in the grass roots area's and offering improvements to their facilities, and not just handing money over to the clubs. They could do this whilst working with the local councils to improve the changing rooms, car parking facilities, toilets, that type of thing.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 9:15 am

LordDowlais wrote:
What I would like to see the WRU doing, is looking at clubs in the grass roots area's and offering improvements to their facilities, and not just handing money over to the clubs. They could do this whilst working with the local councils to improve the changing rooms, car parking facilities, toilets, that type of thing.

They've been doing just that for decades.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 9:17 am

http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/club/36883.php#.W0cOSy2ZMWo

http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/development/club/funding.php

http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/news/33984.php#.W0cOhi2ZMWo
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 9:18 am

LordDowlais wrote:Typical, the red bar bandits are out, members here are ruining this forum. Rolling Eyes

Don't false claims and lies ruin the forum?
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 9:54 am

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
What I would like to see the WRU doing, is looking at clubs in the grass roots area's and offering improvements to their facilities, and not just handing money over to the clubs. They could do this whilst working with the local councils to improve the changing rooms, car parking facilities, toilets, that type of thing.

They've been doing just that for decades.

Sorry, I meant doing it more. Down to the very small village clubs that nobody here's that much about.

Phil I am trying to ignore you on here, I really am, because I do not want to spoil things. You are stinking up this place with your constant obsession to always be correct, and always win the internet.

You are a sad parochial man, please, do not reply to anything I type anymore. I blame the moderators on here, how they continually allow you to behave like this on here is beyond me.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by BamBam on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 11:49 am

Andy Dowlais wrote:The Union opted to bring in a consultant by the name of David Lovett to look at the state of the game and offer some financial expertise and an independent pair of eyes.

Essentially, what he concluded was the regional game needs more money.

Wonder how much he got paid to come up with that pearl of wisdom

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 12:27 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Sorry, I meant doing it more. Down to the very small village clubs that nobody here's that much about.

Phil I am trying to ignore you on here, I really am, because I do not want to spoil things. You are stinking up this place with your constant obsession to always be correct, and always win the internet.

You are a sad parochial man, please, do not reply to anything I type anymore. I blame the moderators on here, how they continually allow you to behave like this on here is beyond me.

You post trash. I correct it. You moan.

Just don't post trash in the first place. You're the one who was caught lying, not me.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 2:12 pm

One other issue I've got, and have always felt this way, is with the awarding of funding based on 'supplying players to team Wales'.  Not so much the concept, but more to do with the practicalities and basically funding being based on the perceptions of one man (i.e. Warren Gatland at the moment).  

According to the article in the OP part of the distribution of funding will be based on number of players supplied to team Wales.  I get that they're away from their region so this needs to be covered, but perhaps not all of the money should be based on this.  Being selected, for me, is not really an accurate measure of whether a team is producing international quality players.  Just look at the criticism Gatland has had over the years for not picking certain players or picking duds who were past their best.  Under the new scheme the Welsh coach's subjective view of what sort of player he likes will directly affect the funding of the region.  So for example, let's say that Ollie Griffiths has a stormer next season for the Dragons, he's been tipped for the top and is now putting in excellent performances, but in Gatland's eyes he doesn't fit into his plans because he prefers a guy at the Blues and so does not select Griffiths, and therefore the Blues get the funding.  My question - is it right that Blues get the funding and Dragons get none just based on subjectivities outside of their control.  Similarly, the national coach picking a woefully out of form player who is gash for the region and gash for the national team = extra funding.  Doesn't seem right.

Another likely example - if Pivac comes in and decides to go with what he knows at the Scarlets and picks the bulk of the team from there, then they will get the bulk of the funding.  Again, is that right?  Yes, in a way because they will be losing more players, but it doesn't mean the other 3 have not developed good enough players. Lack of selection does not necessarily mean lack of development (of players).

I guess what I'm saying is that there perhaps needs to be a more robust and less subjective measure than simply 'no. of players selected by the Welsh coach' in order to calculate the distribution of funding.  Not sure what, but it seems daft that teams could be penalised where they produce a good crop of players who are probably international class but the coach doesn't pick them due to politics/game plan/stubbornness, etc.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 2:25 pm

The Oracle wrote:One other issue I've got, and have always felt this way, is with the awarding of funding based on 'supplying players to team Wales'.  Not so much the concept, but more to do with the practicalities and basically funding being based on the perceptions of one man (i.e. Warren Gatland at the moment).  

According to the article in the OP part of the distribution of funding will be based on number of players supplied to team Wales.  I get that they're away from their region so this needs to be covered, but perhaps not all of the money should be based on this.  Being selected, for me, is not really an accurate measure of whether a team is producing international quality players.  Just look at the criticism Gatland has had over the years for not picking certain players or picking duds who were past their best.  Under the new scheme the Welsh coach's subjective view of what sort of player he likes will directly affect the funding of the region.  So for example, let's say that Ollie Griffiths has a stormer next season for the Dragons, he's been tipped for the top and is now putting in excellent performances, but in Gatland's eyes he doesn't fit into his plans because he prefers a guy at the Blues and so does not select Griffiths, and therefore the Blues get the funding.  My question - is it right that Blues get the funding and Dragons get none just based on subjectivities outside of their control.  Similarly, the national coach picking a woefully out of form player who is gash for the region and gash for the national team = extra funding.  Doesn't seem right.

Another likely example - if Pivac comes in and decides to go with what he knows at the Scarlets and picks the bulk of the team from there, then they will get the bulk of the funding.  Again, is that right?  Yes, in a way because they will be losing more players, but it doesn't mean the other 3 have not developed good enough players.  Lack of selection does not necessarily mean lack of development (of players).

I guess what I'm saying is that there perhaps needs to be a more robust and less subjective measure than simply 'no. of players selected by the Welsh coach' in order to calculate the distribution of funding.  Not sure what, but it seems daft that teams could be penalised where they produce a good crop of players who are probably international class but the coach doesn't pick them due to politics/game plan/stubbornness, etc.

I think the best way to allay your fears on that is to recognise that not all of the WRU payments to its suppliers is based on players selected per international squad. That noted, you're right to recognise the effect of a player being selected for Wales:

1. He needs to be replaced by his employer
2. His market value goes up.

Therefore, in simple terms, a player costing £100k a season will, upon being selected, cost £170k a season (the cost of his replacement) and then cost £220k a season upon contract renewal.

Thankfully, this WRU Executive now realise this whilst the previous board ignored it under Lewis, despite PRW making presentations to the board to show the effect of international selection.

There will also be payments for other targets - academy work, u20 selection, limits on non-Welsh players etc. But its right in sport to reward the winners, to reward the best, so supplying players to the national team must be met with the higher payments.

The above payment model is that adopted by the French and English unions and is obviously the most sensible.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 3:03 pm

The Oracle wrote:One other issue I've got, and have always felt this way, is with the awarding of funding based on 'supplying players to team Wales'. Not so much the concept, but more to do with the practicalities and basically funding being based on the perceptions of one man (i.e. Warren Gatland at the moment).

Sorry oracle, I did not want to copy and paste all your article so just used your first paragraph.

I agree with you on this, and I think that perhaps a more incentive influenced payment can be made, for the amount of Welsh players you produce/employ, and the least amount of NWQ players you have on your books.

So if you have more WQ players with the potential for them to represent their country, then perhaps the region should get a little extra for the percentage of WQ players they produce/employ.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 3:10 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
I agree with you on this, and I think that perhaps a more incentive influenced payment can be made, for the amount of Welsh players you produce/employ, and the least amount of NWQ  players you have on your books.

So if you have more WQ players with the potential for them to represent their country, then perhaps the region should get a little extra for the percentage of WQ players they produce/employ.

As that's already in place, I'd be amazed if it disappeared. It's a basic condition within the English and French systems, too.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 3:20 pm

Yes, but lets say there is a 100% amount, that you can get if you have all WQ players, and no NWQ players, I know the quality might drop in the caliber of players, but lets just say this is the case, and you squad is 100% full of WQ players, in every position, subs and all. Then you get 100% of the money you are entitled to.

Now say you have a few NWQ players, and the % of WQ players in your squad drops to 75%, that is the choice of the region, so they then only entitled to 75% of the money they can potentially get.

Look I don't know, it's just an idea.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 3:23 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Yes, but lets say there is a 100% amount, that you can get if you have all WQ players, and no NWQ players, I know the quality might drop in the caliber of players, but lets just say this is the case, and you squad is 100% full of WQ players, in every position, subs and all. Then you get 100% of the money you are entitled to.

Now say you have a few NWQ players, and the % of WQ players in your squad drops to 75%, that is the choice of the region, so they then only entitled to 75% of the money they can potentially get.

Look I don't know, it's just an idea.

That's similar to what is in place now. There's a limit on selection, rather than numbers in the wider squad, so that a payment is released if 17/23 average is hit of Welsh qualified players.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 3:35 pm

So they get more money if they have more Welsh players ? I was not aware of this.

I thought they got a set amount, and get extra via the dual contracts with the team Wales players. So you would get more funding if you had more DC players. Any other players, including NWQ the regions had to cover themselves, this was my understanding.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by Kingshu on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 3:43 pm

The Oracle wrote:One other issue I've got, and have always felt this way, is with the awarding of funding based on 'supplying players to team Wales'.  Not so much the concept, but more to do with the practicalities and basically funding being based on the perceptions of one man (i.e. Warren Gatland at the moment).  

According to the article in the OP part of the distribution of funding will be based on number of players supplied to team Wales.  I get that they're away from their region so this needs to be covered, but perhaps not all of the money should be based on this.  Being selected, for me, is not really an accurate measure of whether a team is producing international quality players.  Just look at the criticism Gatland has had over the years for not picking certain players or picking duds who were past their best.  Under the new scheme the Welsh coach's subjective view of what sort of player he likes will directly affect the funding of the region.  So for example, let's say that Ollie Griffiths has a stormer next season for the Dragons, he's been tipped for the top and is now putting in excellent performances, but in Gatland's eyes he doesn't fit into his plans because he prefers a guy at the Blues and so does not select Griffiths, and therefore the Blues get the funding.  My question - is it right that Blues get the funding and Dragons get none just based on subjectivities outside of their control.  Similarly, the national coach picking a woefully out of form player who is gash for the region and gash for the national team = extra funding.  Doesn't seem right.

Another likely example - if Pivac comes in and decides to go with what he knows at the Scarlets and picks the bulk of the team from there, then they will get the bulk of the funding.  Again, is that right?  Yes, in a way because they will be losing more players, but it doesn't mean the other 3 have not developed good enough players.  Lack of selection does not necessarily mean lack of development (of players).

I guess what I'm saying is that there perhaps needs to be a more robust and less subjective measure than simply 'no. of players selected by the Welsh coach' in order to calculate the distribution of funding.  Not sure what, but it seems daft that teams could be penalised where they produce a good crop of players who are probably international class but the coach doesn't pick them due to politics/game plan/stubbornness, etc.


I was wondering about this also, does it not also mean that a successful region could get more money (recruit internationals from other regions) earn more money etc, until there is either one or two super regions and 2/3 poorer ones.
Also do the central contacts not already reward the regions for international players? Will they get central contracts plus extra paid extra?

I can understand wishing to reward performance and hope there are limits, checks and measures put in place, otherwise it could end up Scarlets or another hoover up most of it, which may demperment others.

In would be nice that maybe the extra money was paid for developing players, ie the number from each region in the under 20's gets rewarded instead.


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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 3:52 pm

PhilBB wrote:


I think the best way to allay your fears on that is to recognise that not all of the WRU payments to its suppliers is based on players selected per international squad. That noted, you're right to recognise the effect of a player being selected for Wales:

1. He needs to be replaced by his employer
2. His market value goes up.

Therefore, in simple terms, a player costing £100k a season will, upon being selected, cost £170k a season (the cost of his replacement) and then cost £220k a season upon contract renewal.

Thankfully, this WRU Executive now realise this whilst the previous board ignored it under Lewis, despite PRW making presentations to the board to show the effect of international selection.

There will also be payments for other targets - academy work, u20 selection, limits on non-Welsh players etc. But its right in sport to reward the winners, to reward the best, so supplying players to the national team must be met with the higher payments.

The above payment model is that adopted by the French and English unions and is obviously the most sensible.

Completely agree that it’s right to award the winners and the best. It’s just the selection process (to get into the national team) can at times be biased and often does not necessarily result in the best players being picked. So to be rewarded/penalised in terms of funding based on the judgement of 1 man such as Warren Gatland does not seem a robust system to me. As an example, Warren will pick his squad next season and teams will be allocated funding appropriately. Then let’s say Wayne Pivac comes in and cleans out the ones he doesn’t like. Let’s say that means Ospreys have 8 less squad members, for arguments sake, and therefore 8x less funding. Does that mean that the Ospreys have not developed those players to international standard? They had the previous season, but not this one! Because, it all goes on the say of one man. So it seems a bit of a ‘flimsy’ funding model to me as a result. But glad there are other targets to achieve too.[/quote]


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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 4:18 pm

Or a more succinct summary from me, and perhaps the call we’ll hear from the regions over the years to come:

“We’re developing internationals, mun, they’re just not getting selected!”
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 4:27 pm

LordDowlais wrote:So they get more money if they have more Welsh players ? I was not aware of this.

I thought they got a set amount, and get extra via the dual contracts with the team Wales players. So you would get more funding if you had more DC players. Any other players, including NWQ the regions had to cover themselves, this was my understanding.

They get more if they limit the game time of their non-Welsh players. There are a number of different targets for the services provided.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 4:28 pm

Kingshu wrote:
I was wondering about this also, does it not also mean that a successful region could get more money (recruit internationals from other regions) earn more money etc, until there is either one or two super regions and 2/3 poorer ones.
Also do the central contacts not already reward the regions for international players? Will they get central contracts plus extra paid extra?

I can understand wishing to reward performance and hope there are limits, checks and measures put in place, otherwise it could end up Scarlets or another hoover up most of it, which may demperment others.

In would be nice that maybe the extra money was paid for developing players, ie the number from each region in the under 20's gets rewarded instead.


Sport is about rewarding success, not penalising it.

There are no central contracts right now and it looks, thankfully, that the National Dual Contracts are to go.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 4:39 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Completely agree that it’s right to award the winners and the best. It’s just the selection process (to get into the national team) can at times be biased and often does not necessarily result in the best players being picked. So to be rewarded/penalised in terms of funding based on the judgement of 1 man such as Warren Gatland does not seem a robust system to me. As an example, Warren will pick his squad next season and teams will be allocated funding appropriately. Then let’s say Wayne Pivac comes in and cleans out the ones he doesn’t like. Let’s say that means Ospreys have 8 less squad members, for arguments sake, and therefore 8x less funding. Does that mean that the Ospreys have not developed those players to international standard? They had the previous season, but not this one! Because, it all goes on the say of one man. So it seems a bit of a ‘flimsy’ funding model to me as a result. But glad there are other targets to achieve too.
[/quote]

I don't think that you're looking at this in quite the right way.

The WRU is the customer. It is looking to pay its suppliers for the materials they produce and it turns into its own product (the National Team). This isn't about which players are "best", its about the customer paying its supplier.

At present, the payments for international players aren't so arbitrarily dished out in the manner you've noted. For example, Cardiff got a payment this season for Rhys Patchell. Obviously they didn't get the full amount, but there is a sliding scale of payment for reward here. It's not binary.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 4:55 pm

PhilBB wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Completely agree that it’s right to award the winners and the best. It’s just the selection process (to get into the national team) can at times be biased and often does not necessarily result in the best players being picked. So to be rewarded/penalised in terms of funding based on the judgement of 1 man such as Warren Gatland does not seem a robust system to me. As an example, Warren will pick his squad next season and teams will be allocated funding appropriately. Then let’s say Wayne Pivac comes in and cleans out the ones he doesn’t like. Let’s say that means Ospreys have 8 less squad members, for arguments sake, and therefore 8x less funding. Does that mean that the Ospreys have not developed those players to international standard? They had the previous season, but not this one! Because, it all goes on the say of one man. So it seems a bit of a ‘flimsy’ funding model to me as a result. But glad there are other targets to achieve too.

I don't think that you're looking at this in quite the right way.

The WRU is the customer. It is looking to pay its suppliers for the materials they produce and it turns into its own product (the National Team). This isn't about which players are "best", its about the customer paying its supplier.

At present, the payments for international players aren't so arbitrarily dished out in the manner you've noted. For example, Cardiff got a payment this season for Rhys Patchell. Obviously they didn't get the full amount, but there is a sliding scale of payment for reward here. It's not binary. [/quote]


Nice business analogy. I like it.

I guess the way I’m looking at it is this:

Let’s say Cadbury’s, Nestle, Rowntree and Haribo are all supplying a company their products to make into another product. A new chief exec comes in and decides it wants less of Nestle’s product than in recent years and more of Haribo’s. That customer/company doesn’t really care that it has affected Nestle’s business, and income, as it doesn’t have much/any obligation to them. Nestle can look for other deals and markets to break into instead, all being well.

But in rugby the new head coach coming in and suddenly wanting less of a region’s product than his predecessor means less funding which will directly impact the regions that they DO have an obligation to develop and support. So it’s quite the opposite of the business analogy. Plus, the regions are not able to go to another market/business to tout their wares (players) because the WRU are the sole customer for welsh internationals. They have the monopoly over the product.


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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 4:59 pm

I appreciate I’m just picking up on one small part of what sounds like a good proposal for the new RSA. I’m probably blowing out of proportion, as usual. I think I’d just like a better metric than Gatland or Pivac’s ‘say so’.


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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 5:02 pm

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:So they get more money if they have more Welsh players ? I was not aware of this.

I thought they got a set amount, and get extra via the dual contracts with the team Wales players. So you would get more funding if you had more DC players. Any other players, including NWQ the regions had to cover themselves, this was my understanding.

They get more if they limit the game time of their non-Welsh players. There are a number of different targets for the services provided.

There was no mention of this in the article. So what are the DC's for ? Obviously if you have a player on one of those, you are getting more funding than somebody who doesn't have a player on a DC.

Take Dan Evans at Ospreys for example, obviously Gatland does not like him, he is not on a DC either, so who is paying his wages ? It's not the WRU surely. Also, Ospreys are not getting any incentives off the WRU for employing him.

can you put a little more meat on the bone ? Do you know if the regions get extra funding for these unused WQ players ?

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 5:17 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Nice business analogy. I like it.

I guess the way I’m looking at it is this:

Let’s say Cadbury’s, Nestle, Rowntree and Haribo are all supplying a company their products to make into another product. A new chief exec comes in and decides it wants less of Nestle’s product than in recent years and more of Haribo’s. That customer/company doesn’t really care that it has affected Nestle’s business, and income, as it doesn’t have much/any obligation to them. Nestle can look for other deals and markets to break into instead, all being well.

But in rugby the new head coach coming in and suddenly wanting less of a region’s product than he predecessor means less funding which will directly impact the regions that they DO have an obligation to develop and support. So it’s quite the opposite of the business analogy. Plus, the regions are not able to go to another market/business to tout their wears (players) because the WRU are the sole customer for welsh internationals. They have the monopoly over the product.

Ah, the monopsony problem.

Remember, though, that the buyer in this scenario is also buying other products from Nestle and, if Nestle loses the part of the contract you mention, Nestle's cost significantly drop too.

As noted, this isn't binary. It's not 'all or nothing'.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 5:19 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
There was no mention of this in the article. So what are the DC's for ? Obviously if you have a player on one of those, you are getting more funding than somebody who doesn't have a player on a DC.

Take Dan Evans at Ospreys for example, obviously Gatland does not like him, he is not on a DC either, so who is paying his wages ? It's not the WRU surely. Also, Ospreys are not getting any incentives off the WRU for employing him.

can you put a little more meat on the bone ? Do you know if the regions get extra funding for these unused WQ players ?

The article didn't really touch on the Roger's Services Agreement, so that's probably why it wasn't in there.

For your Dan Evans example, the Ospreys are paying him. As he's Welsh qualified, his selection by the Ospreys will go towards unlocking the payment for hitting the 17/23 target.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 13 Jul 2018, 5:52 pm

£90m turnover for the WRU??
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Fri 13 Jul 2018, 6:27 pm

Pot Hale wrote:£90m turnover for the WRU??

Is that good or bad???
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Fri 13 Jul 2018, 7:00 pm

A bit of googling and I can see that the SRU announced record turnover of £50m in 16/17, England claim revenues of £200m, Ireland just announced revenues of 85.7m euros for 17/18 (report released a few hours ago apparently).

So £90m sounds about right for the WRU I guess - more than Scotland, much less than England and about the same as Ireland.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 13 Jul 2018, 11:21 pm

The Oracle wrote:A bit of googling and I can see that the SRU announced record turnover of £50m in 16/17, England claim revenues of £200m, Ireland just announced revenues of 85.7m euros for 17/18 (report released a few hours ago apparently).

So £90m sounds about right for the WRU I guess - more than Scotland, much less than England and about the same as Ireland.

90 million sterling is 100 million euro approx.

Ireland won the Six Nations and European Cup so I’d expect their revenues to be increased somewhat.
Very impressive turnover from WRU. I can see why they’re going the same route as IRFU and increasing payments to fund the regions properly.

Kudos to Welsh rugby.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 5:09 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
The Oracle wrote:A bit of googling and I can see that the SRU announced record turnover of £50m in 16/17, England claim revenues of £200m, Ireland just announced revenues of 85.7m euros for 17/18 (report released a few hours ago apparently).

So £90m sounds about right for the WRU I guess - more than Scotland, much less than England and about the same as Ireland.

90 million sterling is 100 million euro approx.  

Ireland won the Six Nations and European Cup so I’d expect their revenues to be increased somewhat.
Very impressive turnover from WRU. I can see why they’re going the same route as IRFU and increasing payments to fund the regions properly.

Kudos to Welsh rugby.


It helps the revenue having a bigger stadium than Ireland too I suppose. An extra 23,000 seats, an extra AI game, 3 home 6N games this year compared to last year’s 2. Assuming they were pretty much sold out that must make for some difference in revenue. However, it would be interesting to see what’s actually left at the end though (I.e. profit rather than revenue)!

Where I guess it differs is that if a welsh region won the league or European cup then it wouldn’t (as far as I know) affect the WRU revenues. At least not directly. The club would keep it all, with the exception perhaps of the Dragons?
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 5:13 pm

On another note there does seem to be a much different tune being played by the WRU with the new chief exec compared to the Roger Lewis days. Seems more harmony between club and country too.

Not before time!
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 2:56 pm

The Oracle wrote: I hope expectations for the Dragons in comparison to the other regions are therefore kept in check appropriately Wink

I think the publicly stated target of winning 6 games will be where people judge them. And I’d hope, realistically the other regions are aiming to provide greater value for money by winning more that 25% more than themst.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 3:04 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:One other issue I've got, and have always felt this way, is with the awarding of funding based on 'supplying players to team Wales'.  Not so much the concept, but more to do with the practicalities and basically funding being based on the perceptions of one man (i.e. Warren Gatland at the moment).  

Sorry oracle, I did not want to copy and paste all your article so just used your first paragraph.

I agree with you on this, and I think that perhaps a more incentive influenced payment can be made, for the amount of Welsh players you produce/employ, and the least amount of NWQ  players you have on your books.

So if you have more WQ players with the potential for them to represent their country, then perhaps the region should get a little extra for the percentage of WQ players they produce/employ.

I see your point, but that would mean a team that fielded the local colleges squad and got jumped every game would be better funded than a team who fielded an 85% welsh team (on average), with numerous welsh international players, and quality nwq lads to fill in during the international Windows.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 3:22 pm

The Oracle wrote:On another note there does seem to be a much different tune being played by the WRU with the new chief exec compared to the Roger Lewis days. Seems more harmony between club and country too.

Not before time!

Reading between the lines on it all, it seems kind of what fans have been asking for for years (going back to the start of garlands reign). Whilst dual contracts seemed to be a step in the right direction, there were some big flaws in them. The first one being it seemed like the union tried to dish them out fairly evenly to begin with. The first season there were as many dragons on them as Scarlets. Then another flaw is that they were long contracts, not yearly. So players who failed to live up to their billing were contracted but not really providing any value for money. I’m thinking of Tyler Morgan, Rory Thornton, and the ginger lad at number 8 (I can’t temember his name). How many games did they play during their contracts compared to Owen Watkin, Seb Davies or Ellis Jenkins?

If this new agreement dies financially favour regions prividing international players, and the value gets review each season based on players provided the previous season/expected to feature this season (like the English EPS), then that’s more of a fair way of rewarding the regions.

One issue I see going forward, just using this seasons transfers, the Ospreys will have 3 extra welsh international players on their book next season, so that would mean their funding sent up by 3 welsh squad players? Does this mean that the race to sign international squad players from other regions might start up again? Because if it does the market value in a welsh capped player goes up and this whole agreement is worthless.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by Pot Hale on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 4:56 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
The Oracle wrote:A bit of googling and I can see that the SRU announced record turnover of £50m in 16/17, England claim revenues of £200m, Ireland just announced revenues of 85.7m euros for 17/18 (report released a few hours ago apparently).

So £90m sounds about right for the WRU I guess - more than Scotland, much less than England and about the same as Ireland.

90 million sterling is 100 million euro approx.  

Ireland won the Six Nations and European Cup so I’d expect their revenues to be increased somewhat.
Very impressive turnover from WRU. I can see why they’re going the same route as IRFU and increasing payments to fund the regions properly.

Kudos to Welsh rugby.


It helps the revenue having a bigger stadium than Ireland too I suppose. An extra 23,000 seats, an extra AI game, 3 home 6N games this year compared to last year’s 2. Assuming they were pretty much sold out that must make for some difference in revenue. However, it would be interesting to see what’s actually left at the end though (I.e. profit rather than revenue)!

Where I guess it differs is that if a welsh region won the league or European cup then it wouldn’t (as far as I know) affect the WRU revenues. At least not directly. The club would keep it all, with the exception perhaps of the Dragons?

PRO14 and European Cup Competition Income goes to the WRU as they deem themselves as one of the organizers and select the teams that enter the competitions. Unlike the AW Cup or the club sevens competition which was organized between RRW and PRL. The WRU passes on the CI monies without charge to the regions as part of their annual contribution to the regions - under current RSA.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by The Oracle on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 5:08 pm

Ok, Pot Hale, thanks. How does prize money work? Actually, is there prize money for winning the Euro cup?! Do the winners get some sort of lump sum? I’m wondering whether the WRU would get any winners money (hypothetically Wink )and if so, would they just shovel it on the the region that won it?
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 10:14 am

The Oracle wrote:Ok, Pot Hale, thanks. How does prize money work? Actually, is there prize money for winning the Euro cup?! Do the winners get some sort of lump sum? I’m wondering whether the WRU would get any winners money (hypothetically Wink )and if so, would they just shovel it on the the region that won it?

In Wales, any prize money is paid to the clubs directly (I believe) as they are shareholders in EPCR. The Irish teams are not as they don't legally exist outside of the IRFU.

The prize money for placings in the 6N is significant, however. It's how the IRFU turned a projected loss into a small profit.

And, of course, WGD's interview on WO today is excellent. Finally, the WRU are doing what many of us have campaigned for over the years with separating the pro and community games.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 10:38 am

I wonder what Roger Lewis is making of all this. I mean, on the one hand I couldn't give a f*ck what he thinks, but I wonder if he regrets being such a power-crazed ass.

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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by PhilBB on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 10:54 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I wonder what Roger Lewis is making of all this. I mean, on the one hand I couldn't give a f*ck what he thinks, but I wonder if he regrets being such a power-crazed ass.

He's a narcissist. He won't regret a thing.
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Re: Project Reset - Big changes in Welsh rugby

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 10:58 am

His attitude stank. And let's not forget the Western Mail backed him to the hilt.

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