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Welsh Club Rugby discussion.

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Oakdene
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Post by LordDowlais Tue 14 Jun 2022, 12:18 pm

I didn't want to take over anybody else's threads on here, so I thought I would just use this one, it's a very long piece in the WOL but worth reading, a very interesting article interviewing Nick Garcia of Ospreys, and that a deal for Pro Rugby in Wales is almost there.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-agreement-80-done-24220120

What do you think ?

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 14 Jun 2022, 12:33 pm

Is it interesting? It doesn't tell us a thing that we didn't already know or could take an educated guess at.

What is the "new deal" going forward for Welsh pro rugby? I'm none the wiser after reading that.

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Post by Guest Tue 14 Jun 2022, 12:56 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I didn't want to take over anybody else's threads on here, so I thought I would just use this one, it's a very long piece in the WOL but worth reading, a very interesting article interviewing Nick Garcia of Ospreys, and that a deal for Pro Rugby in Wales is almost there.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-agreement-80-done-24220120

What do you think ?

I think it sounds very positive towards the league, but then I'm a bit biased towards that sort of view as I like the URC and am happy for the Welsh teams to be in it. Interesting towards the end to hear about how forward thinking the URC are, including Garcia saying they actively try to make it better for the Welsh regions, asking them what can they do to help them, etc. Interesting about the kick off times too and how there is an open dialogue about it to try to make it work better in Wales (which suggests they recognise it is an issue, but are seeking a solution).

On the domestic front, it was very lacking in detail (understandably) so can't really comment. Sounds like they're close to a deal but who knows what it is or what it means for each team. One thing that everyone needs is to know the budgets for next season and beyond. My understanding is that they still do not know, which has made signing players difficult. We need to know the 'role' of the teams too as Buttress and Garcia seem to be at odds about that, or perhaps that element has changed since Buttress' comments a while back. I like the sound of what Garcia is saying about their (Ospreys) role being to just win as many games as possible. For me the regions should not be about just developing players for Team Wales. Unearthing and developing international players is just the cherry on the cake for me, a by product of the success of the regions. It shouldn't be the main focus. And if that means changing how we do things, e.g. reducing Pivac's access to players outside windows, then so be it. Cos it didn't seem to do us much good this year having all that access!

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 14 Jun 2022, 1:30 pm

The Oracle wrote:  And if that means changing how we do things, e.g. reducing Pivac's access to players outside windows, then so be it.  Cos it didn't seem to do us much good this year having all that access!

I'd love for that to happen but it would mean thousands of pounds less coming to the 4 regions.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 14 Jun 2022, 2:50 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I didn't want to take over anybody else's threads on here, so I thought I would just use this one, it's a very long piece in the WOL but worth reading, a very interesting article interviewing Nick Garcia of Ospreys, and that a deal for Pro Rugby in Wales is almost there.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-agreement-80-done-24220120

What do you think ?

I think it sounds very positive towards the league, but then I'm a bit biased towards that sort of view as I like the URC and am happy for the Welsh teams to be in it. Interesting towards the end to hear about how forward thinking the URC are, including Garcia saying they actively try to make it better for the Welsh regions, asking them what can they do to help them, etc.  Interesting about the kick off times too and how there is an open dialogue about it to try to make it work better in Wales (which suggests they recognise it is an issue, but are seeking a solution).

On the domestic front, it was very lacking in detail (understandably) so can't really comment.  Sounds like they're close to a deal but who knows what it is or what it means for each team.  One thing that everyone needs is to know the budgets for next season and beyond.  My understanding is that they still do not know, which has made signing players difficult.  We need to know the 'role' of the teams too as Buttress and Garcia seem to be at odds about that, or perhaps that element has changed since Buttress' comments a while back.  I like the sound of what Garcia is saying about their (Ospreys) role being to just win as many games as possible.  For me the regions should not be about just developing players for Team Wales.  Unearthing and developing international players is just the cherry on the cake for me, a by product of the success of the regions.  It shouldn't be the main focus.  And if that means changing how we do things, e.g. reducing Pivac's access to players outside windows, then so be it.  Cos it didn't seem to do us much good this year having all that access!

I would have thought that developing players for the Welsh team, and being successful would come hand in hand with each other. If the regions are developing players, that make their team successful, then team Wales would also reap the benefits of the successful regions.

I just wish the regions and the WRU would work together. A lot of people in Wales blame the WRU for all the failings of Welsh rugby, when in truth, the regions, and the clubs could do a lot more as well.

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Post by Guest Tue 14 Jun 2022, 3:42 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:  And if that means changing how we do things, e.g. reducing Pivac's access to players outside windows, then so be it.  Cos it didn't seem to do us much good this year having all that access!

I'd love for that to happen but it would mean thousands of pounds less coming to the 4 regions.


It would, but my understanding was that the monies paid by the WRU to the regions for extra access allowed the regions to buy extra squad cover for the amount of time the Welsh national players are away. So if the players are away less (perhaps just the international windows) the WRU compensates us less but the regional squads could be a bit smaller, the wage bill would be lower, we'd hopefully see more of the stars getting extra game time at the regions, the fans would like that (= potentially more bums on seats), and on paper you would imagine the regions would perform a bit better with a more settled squad, less disruption, and better players playing week in week out. Lots of assumptions in my thought there though! Not sure how realistic all that is. But for me the extra access has really hampered the regions and, now under Pivac, does not seem to give us the extra boost like it did under Gatland. Perhaps Gatland just used it to get us super fit whereas Pivac waste's the time more? Who knows.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 14 Jun 2022, 3:49 pm

The Oracle wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:  And if that means changing how we do things, e.g. reducing Pivac's access to players outside windows, then so be it.  Cos it didn't seem to do us much good this year having all that access!

I'd love for that to happen but it would mean thousands of pounds less coming to the 4 regions.


It would, but my understanding was that the monies paid by the WRU to the regions for extra access allowed the regions to buy extra squad cover for the amount of time the Welsh national players are away.  So if the players are away less (perhaps just the international windows) the WRU compensates us less but the regional squads could be a bit smaller, the wage bill would be lower, we'd hopefully see more of the stars getting extra game time at the regions, the fans would like that (= potentially more bums on seats), and on paper you would imagine the regions would perform a bit better with a more settled squad, less disruption, and better players playing week in week out.  Lots of assumptions in my thought there though!  Not sure how realistic all that is.  But for me the extra access has really hampered the regions and, now under Pivac, does not seem to give us the extra boost like it did under Gatland.  Perhaps Gatland just used it to get us super fit whereas Pivac waste's the time more?  Who knows.

It's not likely at all. The test game is the money maker and thus walks over the domestic game. More so here in Wales than anywhere else as the WRU take the coin of as many test games as possible.

The extra access hampers the regions. But if the WRU doesn't have it, it will hamper Wales. A completely broken season.

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Post by Guest Tue 14 Jun 2022, 3:52 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I didn't want to take over anybody else's threads on here, so I thought I would just use this one, it's a very long piece in the WOL but worth reading, a very interesting article interviewing Nick Garcia of Ospreys, and that a deal for Pro Rugby in Wales is almost there.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-agreement-80-done-24220120

What do you think ?

I think it sounds very positive towards the league, but then I'm a bit biased towards that sort of view as I like the URC and am happy for the Welsh teams to be in it. Interesting towards the end to hear about how forward thinking the URC are, including Garcia saying they actively try to make it better for the Welsh regions, asking them what can they do to help them, etc.  Interesting about the kick off times too and how there is an open dialogue about it to try to make it work better in Wales (which suggests they recognise it is an issue, but are seeking a solution).

On the domestic front, it was very lacking in detail (understandably) so can't really comment.  Sounds like they're close to a deal but who knows what it is or what it means for each team.  One thing that everyone needs is to know the budgets for next season and beyond.  My understanding is that they still do not know, which has made signing players difficult.  We need to know the 'role' of the teams too as Buttress and Garcia seem to be at odds about that, or perhaps that element has changed since Buttress' comments a while back.  I like the sound of what Garcia is saying about their (Ospreys) role being to just win as many games as possible.  For me the regions should not be about just developing players for Team Wales.  Unearthing and developing international players is just the cherry on the cake for me, a by product of the success of the regions.  It shouldn't be the main focus.  And if that means changing how we do things, e.g. reducing Pivac's access to players outside windows, then so be it.  Cos it didn't seem to do us much good this year having all that access!

I would have thought that developing players for the Welsh team, and being successful would come hand in hand with each other. If the regions are developing players, that make their team successful, then team Wales would also reap the benefits of the successful regions.

I just wish the regions and the WRU would work together. A lot of people in Wales blame the WRU for all the failings of Welsh rugby, when in truth, the regions, and the clubs could do a lot more as well.

Exactly my point. Yes, hand in hand. One leading to the other. But it feels the last few years the regions are just a training/fitness ground for the Welsh team. The point of their existence shouldn't be solely to serve the Welsh team. Just as the point of the English and French clubs is not to do that either.

Your 2nd point - to counter that, there are a lot of people who think the sun shines out of the backside of the WRU. When in reality many, many individuals, other unions, organisations that have worked with the WRU seem to come away shaking their heads at the amateurishness of them. Reports decry their lack of business acumen, archaic structures and governance and their incompetence in running the pro game in Wales. They are mired in scandal and controversy, sexual harassment being swept under the carpet, jobs for the boys, etc. The style of organisation is from the amateur days and unfortunately those within do not want to change as they would be kicked off the gravy train. It's a bit like the UK political system - old fashioned and broken, but with turkeys that will obviously not vote for Christmas.

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Post by Guest Tue 14 Jun 2022, 3:54 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:  And if that means changing how we do things, e.g. reducing Pivac's access to players outside windows, then so be it.  Cos it didn't seem to do us much good this year having all that access!

I'd love for that to happen but it would mean thousands of pounds less coming to the 4 regions.


It would, but my understanding was that the monies paid by the WRU to the regions for extra access allowed the regions to buy extra squad cover for the amount of time the Welsh national players are away.  So if the players are away less (perhaps just the international windows) the WRU compensates us less but the regional squads could be a bit smaller, the wage bill would be lower, we'd hopefully see more of the stars getting extra game time at the regions, the fans would like that (= potentially more bums on seats), and on paper you would imagine the regions would perform a bit better with a more settled squad, less disruption, and better players playing week in week out.  Lots of assumptions in my thought there though!  Not sure how realistic all that is.  But for me the extra access has really hampered the regions and, now under Pivac, does not seem to give us the extra boost like it did under Gatland.  Perhaps Gatland just used it to get us super fit whereas Pivac waste's the time more?  Who knows.

It's not likely at all. The test game is the money maker and thus walks over the domestic game. More so here in Wales than anywhere else as the WRU take the coin of as many test games as possible.

The extra access hampers the regions. But if the WRU doesn't have it, it will hamper Wales. A completely broken season.

I agree, but with the WRU looking to cut costs and give the regions less money over the next few years (if I've understood it correctly) this is one area they could save on. Squads already look to be reducing in size for next season from what I've seen. The WRU can't then insist on extra access from teams with smaller squads and less money. Well, they can of course......but you know what I mean.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 14 Jun 2022, 4:29 pm

The Oracle wrote:Your 2nd point - to counter that, there are a lot of people who think the sun shines out of the backside of the WRU. When in reality many, many individuals, other unions, organisations that have worked with the WRU seem to come away shaking their heads at the amateurishness of them. Reports decry their lack of business acumen, archaic structures and governance and their incompetence in running the pro game in Wales. They are mired in scandal and controversy, sexual harassment being swept under the carpet, jobs for the boys, etc. The style of organisation is from the amateur days and unfortunately those within do not want to change as they would be kicked off the gravy train. It's a bit like the UK political system - old fashioned and broken, but with turkeys that will obviously not vote for Christmas.

Yes, I agree. Also I certainly do not think the sun shines out of the WRU's backside, not one jot, but both the regions and the WRU need to do more, they both need to show how it is done. There is a lot of what you have mentioned, the incompetence and amateurism on both sides.

The Pro game and the WRU need to start setting examples, and show why they are pro and not amateur. They need to start leading by example, and not constantly bickering with each other and looking to put blame elsewhere all the time. It's getting very tiresome.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 14 Jun 2022, 7:01 pm

I have read the article properly again and it still seems like somebody saying what he thinks people want him to say. I hadn’t heard anything really about the agreement being 80% done, but that seems a random figure to pluck out of the air for me. To say it’s 80% sorted and then say we need to drill down into the detail. That’s not 80% sorted in my view.

I felt like he was talking in riddles for a lot of it, to be honest. For something he wanted sorted by the summer, to then hopefully be sorted by next season doesn’t seem 80% complete to me. It just seemed to be a load of waffle, but then perhaps that’s why he’s a successful businessman and I’m a mere rugby superstar.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Wed 15 Jun 2022, 9:10 am

The Oracle wrote:

Exactly my point.  Yes, hand in hand.  One leading to the other.  But it feels the last few years the regions are just a training/fitness ground for the Welsh team.  The point of their existence shouldn't be solely to serve the Welsh team.  Just as the point of the English and French clubs is not to do that either.

 

What a coincidence. The English and French have strong leagues that promote first team selection every game over the test game. Who owns the French and English leagues again? That's right, the teams do.

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Post by Intotouch Thu 16 Jun 2022, 12:08 am

It seems like the Welsh system, the mix of two models for pro rugby, has caused conflict nearly annually between the parties involved. It’s neither a model with fully independent privately owned pro clubs, nor completely union owned clubs but a hybrid of both.  The WRU spent something like 75% of their income on pro rugby (going off a memory of an article, sorry I dot member the source) but they don’t own the regions (except Dagons I think, which they seem to want to sell)  so can’t choose the coaches, decide to invest in coaches, or decide for example how the academies are run and their priority is to make sure that Welsh players are developed which gets frustrated by some of the decisions the Regions make on these issues. , The WRU  payments to clubs gives them certain amount of extra access to players. The clubs want more money from the union and assurances of future income and to remain independent and be successful in their own right. And year after year there is conflict between the regions and union. Each is pulling in a different direction. I think that this hybrid mix of models is causing  problems.


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Post by RiscaGame Thu 16 Jun 2022, 8:13 am

Interesting article with some thoughts from Amanda Blanc, the ex PRB Chair. Bit surprised WOL etc haven't copy pasted this yet.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/61817123

Speaking about her departure for the first time, Ms Blanc told Wales Live: "You like to do things where you make an impact.

"If you feel that that isn't being listened to, you'll move on.

"Ultimately what I would say about the Welsh Rugby Union is that the governance needs modernisation.

''You have two very distinct parts of the game - the community game and the professional game - and you know the professional game needs to have the appropriate governance for that."

Ms Blanc confirmed it was "absolutely" her decision and was succeeded as PRB chairman by Malcolm Wall.

When asked whether the WRU is beyond repair, she said: "I wish Malcolm well in his quest to do that but I do think change needs to happen."

"But there were also many non-business background people on that and I think if you have a £100m revenue business you need the appropriate governance.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 16 Jun 2022, 8:57 am

Do chuckle a little as sport's team always have their ups and downs, and when you hit a down you generally get people pointing towards the thing they've never liked. I.e. go from the quiet respectful demeanour of Lancaster for England to the brash Jones. Now the feeling we need a quiet (ish) Englishman like Borthwick or Baxter. See the same in football with the moves from the tactical Hoddle, to the passion of Keegan to the foreign Erikksen, to the English McClaren, back to Capello etc etc. When there is a fully business aligned top structure I have no doubt when the Welsh team does badly there will be calls for a rugby person to back front and centre (see the criticisms of the RFU from Woodward).

I do like the broadside from her on the women's game. Slowly slowly attitudes are changing. This is where there is money to be made:

Another key issue for Blanc was the other communities in Wales that want to play rugby.

"Look at the women's game for example," she added.

"Taking that game seriously and making sure that gets the investment that's required.


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Post by Irish Londoner Thu 16 Jun 2022, 12:23 pm

Intotouch wrote:It seems like the Welsh system, the mix of two models for pro rugby, has caused conflict nearly annually between the parties involved. It’s neither a model with fully independent privately owned pro clubs, nor completely union owned clubs but a hybrid of both.  The WRU spent something like 75% of their income on pro rugby (going off a memory of an article, sorry I dot member the source) but they don’t own the regions (except Dagons I think, which they seem to want to sell)  so can’t choose the coaches, decide to invest in coaches, or decide for example how the academies are run and their priority is to make sure that Welsh players are developed which gets frustrated by some of the decisions the Regions make on these issues. , The WRU  payments to clubs gives them certain amount of extra access to players. The clubs want more money from the union and assurances of future income and to remain independent and be successful in their own right. And year after year there is conflict between the regions and union. Each is pulling in a different direction. I think that this hybrid mix of models is causing  problems.


I agree, Wales has the worst of both worlds - Scotland, Itlay and Ireland are effectively run/controlled by the national unions, England and France are standalone clubs (albeit that English clubs in particular get a lot of funding from the RFU for player access, without which the pro game in England would be in financial trouble) and Wales seem to sit in the position of a constant push and pull between the club owners - who obviously want the clubs to do well in the URC and Europe, whilst the WRU obviously see the clubs role as keeping their international players fit between tournaments, at some point there has to be a resolution.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 16 Jun 2022, 12:39 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:

I do like the broadside from her on the women's game. Slowly slowly attitudes are changing. This is where there is money to be made:

Another key issue for Blanc was the other communities in Wales that want to play rugby.

"Look at the women's game for example," she added.

"Taking that game seriously and making sure that gets the investment that's required.


To be fair to the WRU, after some persuasion they started taking steps to improve the Welsh women's team. It took a fair bit of negative press, but they did offer pro contracts etc before other nations (I note Scotland have done similar today). I am not aware of how they invest in the game though, in comparison to other unions.

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Post by Guest Thu 16 Jun 2022, 12:47 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Intotouch wrote:It seems like the Welsh system, the mix of two models for pro rugby, has caused conflict nearly annually between the parties involved. It’s neither a model with fully independent privately owned pro clubs, nor completely union owned clubs but a hybrid of both.  The WRU spent something like 75% of their income on pro rugby (going off a memory of an article, sorry I dot member the source) but they don’t own the regions (except Dagons I think, which they seem to want to sell)  so can’t choose the coaches, decide to invest in coaches, or decide for example how the academies are run and their priority is to make sure that Welsh players are developed which gets frustrated by some of the decisions the Regions make on these issues. , The WRU  payments to clubs gives them certain amount of extra access to players. The clubs want more money from the union and assurances of future income and to remain independent and be successful in their own right. And year after year there is conflict between the regions and union. Each is pulling in a different direction. I think that this hybrid mix of models is causing  problems.


I agree, Wales has the worst of both worlds - Scotland, Itlay and Ireland are effectively run/controlled by the national unions, England and France are standalone clubs (albeit that English clubs in particular get a lot of funding from the RFU for player access, without which the pro game in England would be in financial trouble) and Wales seem to sit in the position of a constant push and pull between the club owners - who obviously want the clubs to do well in the URC and Europe, whilst the WRU obviously see the clubs role as keeping their international players fit between tournaments, at some point there has to be a resolution.

To add in to that, one difficulty the clubs face is investment, be it from the owners/businessmen already involved or attracting new investment from outside. I've probably mentioned this previously, but for me no good business people would risk investing in clubs/teams/businesses which could be folded/defunded/removed by the WRU at the drop of a hat. Already in the latest round of talks we've heard options that include scrapping the Ospreys, merging the Scarlets and Ospreys, scrapping the Dragons, making 2 of them development regions that just play kids, etc. Who would put 100s of thousands or indeed millions into that?! It's just too risky and (apologies if I'm not using the correct terms as I'm not from a business background) surely if any potential investors do their due diligence they'll find that there is very little future security for those businesses due to this. Of course, no future in sport is guaranteed. But you just don't seem to hear about plans to remove or merge or close teams from other unions. So someone with the potential to invest £1m would be a little crazy given the ease with which the union can decide who they enter into the pro comps and therefore decide the future of the club/business without actually owning it.

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Post by Irish Londoner Thu 16 Jun 2022, 3:42 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
Intotouch wrote:It seems like the Welsh system, the mix of two models for pro rugby, has caused conflict nearly annually between the parties involved. It’s neither a model with fully independent privately owned pro clubs, nor completely union owned clubs but a hybrid of both.  The WRU spent something like 75% of their income on pro rugby (going off a memory of an article, sorry I dot member the source) but they don’t own the regions (except Dagons I think, which they seem to want to sell)  so can’t choose the coaches, decide to invest in coaches, or decide for example how the academies are run and their priority is to make sure that Welsh players are developed which gets frustrated by some of the decisions the Regions make on these issues. , The WRU  payments to clubs gives them certain amount of extra access to players. The clubs want more money from the union and assurances of future income and to remain independent and be successful in their own right. And year after year there is conflict between the regions and union. Each is pulling in a different direction. I think that this hybrid mix of models is causing  problems.


I agree, Wales has the worst of both worlds - Scotland, Itlay and Ireland are effectively run/controlled by the national unions, England and France are standalone clubs (albeit that English clubs in particular get a lot of funding from the RFU for player access, without which the pro game in England would be in financial trouble) and Wales seem to sit in the position of a constant push and pull between the club owners - who obviously want the clubs to do well in the URC and Europe, whilst the WRU obviously see the clubs role as keeping their international players fit between tournaments, at some point there has to be a resolution.

To add in to that, one difficulty the clubs face is investment, be it from the owners/businessmen already involved or attracting new investment from outside. I've probably mentioned this previously, but for me no good business people would risk investing in clubs/teams/businesses which could be folded/defunded/removed by the WRU at the drop of a hat. Already in the latest round of talks we've heard options that include scrapping the Ospreys, merging the Scarlets and Ospreys, scrapping the Dragons, making 2 of them development regions that just play kids, etc. Who would put 100s of thousands or indeed millions into that?! It's just too risky and (apologies if I'm not using the correct terms as I'm not from a business background) surely if any potential investors do their due diligence they'll find that there is very little future security for those businesses due to this. Of course, no future in sport is guaranteed. But you just don't seem to hear about plans to remove or merge or close teams from other unions. So someone with the potential to invest £1m would be a little crazy given the ease with which the union can decide who they enter into the pro comps and therefore decide the future of the club/business without actually owning it.

Good points - what would a million cover at professional club these days - I mean you could probably buy and run a Welsh Premiership for a million but would it make a serious dent in the cost of running Scarlets or the Blues? LD you seem to know about funding in Wales would a million make a major difference ?

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Post by Guest Thu 16 Jun 2022, 3:58 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
Intotouch wrote:It seems like the Welsh system, the mix of two models for pro rugby, has caused conflict nearly annually between the parties involved. It’s neither a model with fully independent privately owned pro clubs, nor completely union owned clubs but a hybrid of both.  The WRU spent something like 75% of their income on pro rugby (going off a memory of an article, sorry I dot member the source) but they don’t own the regions (except Dagons I think, which they seem to want to sell)  so can’t choose the coaches, decide to invest in coaches, or decide for example how the academies are run and their priority is to make sure that Welsh players are developed which gets frustrated by some of the decisions the Regions make on these issues. , The WRU  payments to clubs gives them certain amount of extra access to players. The clubs want more money from the union and assurances of future income and to remain independent and be successful in their own right. And year after year there is conflict between the regions and union. Each is pulling in a different direction. I think that this hybrid mix of models is causing  problems.


I agree, Wales has the worst of both worlds - Scotland, Itlay and Ireland are effectively run/controlled by the national unions, England and France are standalone clubs (albeit that English clubs in particular get a lot of funding from the RFU for player access, without which the pro game in England would be in financial trouble) and Wales seem to sit in the position of a constant push and pull between the club owners - who obviously want the clubs to do well in the URC and Europe, whilst the WRU obviously see the clubs role as keeping their international players fit between tournaments, at some point there has to be a resolution.

To add in to that, one difficulty the clubs face is investment, be it from the owners/businessmen already involved or attracting new investment from outside. I've probably mentioned this previously, but for me no good business people would risk investing in clubs/teams/businesses which could be folded/defunded/removed by the WRU at the drop of a hat. Already in the latest round of talks we've heard options that include scrapping the Ospreys, merging the Scarlets and Ospreys, scrapping the Dragons, making 2 of them development regions that just play kids, etc. Who would put 100s of thousands or indeed millions into that?! It's just too risky and (apologies if I'm not using the correct terms as I'm not from a business background) surely if any potential investors do their due diligence they'll find that there is very little future security for those businesses due to this. Of course, no future in sport is guaranteed. But you just don't seem to hear about plans to remove or merge or close teams from other unions. So someone with the potential to invest £1m would be a little crazy given the ease with which the union can decide who they enter into the pro comps and therefore decide the future of the club/business without actually owning it.

Good points - what would a million cover at professional club these days - I mean you could probably buy and run a Welsh Premiership for a million but would it make a serious dent in the cost of running Scarlets or the Blues? LD you seem to know about funding in Wales would a million make a major difference ?

I was just plucking a million out of the air.  I have no idea how much someone might have to invest in rugby, or indeed if there were people half willing to do so.  I agree a million is nothing much these days.  Lets say £5m or £10m then.  The point was about the security of the investment rather than the amount.

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Post by LordDowlais Fri 17 Jun 2022, 12:21 pm

Theres a good Q&A with the supporters groups on WOL if anyone is interested:-

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/weve-been-shut-off-four-24244095

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 17 Jun 2022, 2:43 pm

It was a good Q and A. Fair play to WOL for putting that out there. I think they all made the right noises really.

From a Dragons POV, it’s good that it was highlighted how we need to be taken into private ownership. It does seem very quiet on this front. There is a Dragons Q and A on Monday with the new cost of living Tsar, so hopefully he might offer some positivity in that regard.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 20 Jun 2022, 11:45 am

Irish Londoner wrote:LD you seem to know about funding in Wales would a million make a major difference ?

Sorry, I am only now noticing this.

An extra million would make the world of difference, although it depends on how it would be used, knowing the regions they would p!ss it up against the wall on mediocre players.

What I would like to see is that money spent on better coaches, throw a few hundred thousand at Gatland to coach one of the regions, or someone of that ilk.


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Post by Oakdene Mon 20 Jun 2022, 12:03 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:LD you seem to know about funding in Wales would a million make a major difference ?

Sorry, I am only now noticing this.

An extra million would make the world of difference, although it depends on how it would be used, knowing the regions they would p!ss it up against the wall on mediocre players.

What I would like to see is that money spent on better coaches, throw a few hundred thousand at Gatland to coach one of the regions, or someone of that ilk.


This, a hundred times!! I would also like to see a better development pathway for younger coaches in Wales too.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 21 Jun 2022, 10:30 am

What pathway would that be? Something that doesn't keep on giving us the likes of Phil Davies and Byron Hayward?

Gareth Williams, probably a little underqualified himself is Wales' assistant coach. I read that he's expected to join Scarlets as defence coach. I don't see what defence coach credentials he has? And he's tasked with improving the second worst defence in the league; where-as Dai Flanagan was linked with Dragons as head coach, probably a tad under-qualified himself too.

With such appointments we can expect the mediocrity to continue.

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Post by Oakdene Tue 21 Jun 2022, 10:32 am

mikey_dragon wrote:What pathway would that be? Something that doesn't keep on giving us the likes of Phil Davies and Byron Hayward?

Gareth Williams, probably a little underqualified himself is Wales' assistant coach. I read that he's expected to join Scarlets as defence coach. I don't see what defence coach credentials he has? And he's tasked with improving the second worst defence in the league; where-as Dai Flanagan was linked with Dragons as head coach, probably a tad under-qualified himself too.

With such appointments we can expect the mediocrity to continue.

This is my point Mikey, there must be decent coaches around in the Welsh system that would give better options to the regions than people who have been there before & done very little.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 21 Jun 2022, 10:51 am

Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:What pathway would that be? Something that doesn't keep on giving us the likes of Phil Davies and Byron Hayward?

Gareth Williams, probably a little underqualified himself is Wales' assistant coach. I read that he's expected to join Scarlets as defence coach. I don't see what defence coach credentials he has? And he's tasked with improving the second worst defence in the league; where-as Dai Flanagan was linked with Dragons as head coach, probably a tad under-qualified himself too.

With such appointments we can expect the mediocrity to continue.

This is my point Mikey, there must be decent coaches around in the Welsh system that would give better options to the regions than people who have been there before & done very little.

Can you name any?

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 21 Jun 2022, 11:29 am

And with that, they bloody announce Dai Flanagan as Dragons Head Coach just as I type it.

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Post by Oakdene Tue 21 Jun 2022, 11:30 am

mikey_dragon wrote:And with that, they bloody announce Dai Flanagan as Dragons Head Coach just as I type it.

Been rumoured for a couple of weeks...

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 21 Jun 2022, 11:31 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:What pathway would that be? Something that doesn't keep on giving us the likes of Phil Davies and Byron Hayward?

Gareth Williams, probably a little underqualified himself is Wales' assistant coach. I read that he's expected to join Scarlets as defence coach. I don't see what defence coach credentials he has? And he's tasked with improving the second worst defence in the league; where-as Dai Flanagan was linked with Dragons as head coach, probably a tad under-qualified himself too.

With such appointments we can expect the mediocrity to continue.

This is my point Mikey, there must be decent coaches around in the Welsh system that would give better options to the regions than people who have been there before & done very little.

Can you name any?

Danny Wilson, his reputation is just about in tact, but he's a better forwards coach than head coach IMO. I wish we tried getting him instead. I'm not sure who else is about in Wales though. The better ones are outside of Wales...

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 21 Jun 2022, 4:51 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:What pathway would that be? Something that doesn't keep on giving us the likes of Phil Davies and Byron Hayward?

Gareth Williams, probably a little underqualified himself is Wales' assistant coach. I read that he's expected to join Scarlets as defence coach. I don't see what defence coach credentials he has? And he's tasked with improving the second worst defence in the league; where-as Dai Flanagan was linked with Dragons as head coach, probably a tad under-qualified himself too.

With such appointments we can expect the mediocrity to continue.

This is my point Mikey, there must be decent coaches around in the Welsh system that would give better options to the regions than people who have been there before & done very little.

Can you name any?

Warren Gatland. thumbsup

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 21 Jun 2022, 4:56 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:What pathway would that be? Something that doesn't keep on giving us the likes of Phil Davies and Byron Hayward?

Gareth Williams, probably a little underqualified himself is Wales' assistant coach. I read that he's expected to join Scarlets as defence coach. I don't see what defence coach credentials he has? And he's tasked with improving the second worst defence in the league; where-as Dai Flanagan was linked with Dragons as head coach, probably a tad under-qualified himself too.

With such appointments we can expect the mediocrity to continue.

This is my point Mikey, there must be decent coaches around in the Welsh system that would give better options to the regions than people who have been there before & done very little.

Can you name any?

Danny Wilson, his reputation is just about in tact, but he's a better forwards coach than head coach IMO. I wish we tried getting him instead. I'm not sure who else is about in Wales though. The better ones are outside of Wales...

Who cares where they come from mikey ?

Look at what the provinces are doing in Ireland with Lancaster, Phillipe Contepomi(now left) and even Robyn McBride, who himself was an international coach.

We need to invest money in better coaches, and stop spending it on mediocre players with inflated wages.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 21 Jun 2022, 5:03 pm

I don't care where they come from LD, that wasn't the question asked.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 21 Jun 2022, 5:13 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I don't care where they come from LD, that wasn't the question asked.

OK fair enough. OK


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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 22 Jun 2022, 9:50 am

LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I don't care where they come from LD, that wasn't the question asked.

OK fair enough.  OK


Would there be anything to be said for subsidising young Welsh coaches/recently retired players to go out from Wales and gain experience elsewhere - France, New Zealand, Japan, etc. If you look at how it's playing out with Ronan O'Gara, he's quite obviously being groomed (by accident or design) to be a provincial and then Ireland head coach at some point in the next few years.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Wed 22 Jun 2022, 10:08 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I don't care where they come from LD, that wasn't the question asked.

OK fair enough.  OK


Would there be anything to be said for subsidising young Welsh coaches/recently retired players to go out from Wales and gain experience elsewhere - France, New Zealand, Japan, etc. If you look at how it's playing out with Ronan O'Gara, he's quite obviously being groomed (by accident or design) to be a provincial and then Ireland head coach at some point in the next few years.

Who pays for that?

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 28 Jun 2022, 3:43 pm

Looks Like Dragons CEO David Buttress wants to purchase the region from the WRU:-

Q: Do you still have an ambition to take over ownership of the club from the WRU?

A: Yes, 100 per cent. Our model is me plus certainly two others, possibly three. I am not in a financial position where I can do it myself, but we have built a team of people that have an aligned passion and a desire to get involved. It has to be over the coming months, not in a year. The club has to go into private hands sooner rather than later. We can’t have a three plus one model, with three independent teams and one Union owned. I don’t think that’s fair or right. wrote:

Also, there is a very informative QA with him where he reckons there is plenty of money in Welsh rugby and a massive scope to make more.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/david-buttress-plan-buy-out-24334151

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Post by Guest Tue 28 Jun 2022, 4:11 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Looks Like Dragons CEO David Buttress wants to purchase the region from the WRU:-



Also, there is a very informative QA with him where he reckons there is plenty of money in Welsh rugby and a massive scope to make more.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/david-buttress-plan-buy-out-24334151


Yes, I read recently that the consortium was in place and ready to go but the WRU missed the deadline to supply key financial information to them Rolling Eyes   Not sure if that means the deal is dead in the water but certainly disappointing.  You'd think the WRU would want the Dragons off their hands asap.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 28 Jun 2022, 4:27 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Looks Like Dragons CEO David Buttress wants to purchase the region from the WRU:-



Also, there is a very informative QA with him where he reckons there is plenty of money in Welsh rugby and a massive scope to make more.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/david-buttress-plan-buy-out-24334151


Yes, I read recently that the consortium was in place and ready to go but the WRU missed the deadline to supply key financial information to them Rolling Eyes   Not sure if that means the deal is dead in the water but certainly disappointing.  You'd think the WRU would want the Dragons off their hands asap.

Yes, but I think the WRU just want to interfere all the time, and perhaps they think handing Dragons over would weaken them. The WRU are just a shambles, as is the whole set-up in Welsh rugby at the moment.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 29 Jun 2022, 3:15 am

There are buyers in place. Sadly the people in charge of the WRU aren’t business men, like what our current owners are. For some reason, Steve Phillips needs to run some figures.

Ultimately we are talking about better business men than him, so he has the cheek to scrutinise a man who has made a million plus success of himself.

It’s almost as necky as some small town business man, trying to sayx that professional business men waste money they have earned off the WRU, even though it’s what the pro teams are owed.

Your average simpleton forgets how long we’ve been under a Roger deal, whilst teams can invest in our league. Then they had to try to battle for some sort of parity and a threat of one less pro team. Then we have some kind of guff arguments that budgets are cut in the league, disregarding the fact that the Welsh have always been playing catch up beforehand.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 29 Jun 2022, 8:19 am

RiscaGame wrote:There are buyers in place. Sadly the people in charge of the WRU aren’t business men, like what our current owners are. For some reason, Steve Phillips needs to run some figures.

Ultimately we are talking about better business men than him, so he has the cheek to scrutinise a man who has made a million plus success of himself.

It’s almost as necky as some small town business man, trying to sayx that professional business men waste money they have earned off the WRU, even though it’s what the pro teams are owed.

Your average simpleton forgets how long we’ve been under a Roger deal, whilst teams can invest in our league. Then they had to try to battle for some sort of parity and a threat of one less pro team. Then we have some kind of guff arguments that budgets are cut in the league, disregarding the fact that the Welsh have always been playing catch up beforehand.

No need for the petty dig. thumbsup

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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 11:32 am

RiscaGame wrote:There are buyers in place. Sadly the people in charge of the WRU aren’t business men, like what our current owners are. For some reason, Steve Phillips needs to run some figures.

Ultimately we are talking about better business men than him, so he has the cheek to scrutinise a man who has made a million plus success of himself.

It’s almost as necky as some small town business man, trying to sayx that professional business men waste money they have earned off the WRU, even though it’s what the pro teams are owed.

Your average simpleton forgets how long we’ve been under a Roger deal, whilst teams can invest in our league. Then they had to try to battle for some sort of parity and a threat of one less pro team. Then we have some kind of guff arguments that budgets are cut in the league, disregarding the fact that the Welsh have always been playing catch up beforehand.

Welsh rugby has not been "under a Roger deal" since Project Reset in 2018.

Roger would have 100% shut the Dragons.
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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 11:34 am

Guest wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Looks Like Dragons CEO David Buttress wants to purchase the region from the WRU:-



Also, there is a very informative QA with him where he reckons there is plenty of money in Welsh rugby and a massive scope to make more.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/david-buttress-plan-buy-out-24334151


Yes, I read recently that the consortium was in place and ready to go but the WRU missed the deadline to supply key financial information to them Rolling Eyes   Not sure if that means the deal is dead in the water but certainly disappointing.  You'd think the WRU would want the Dragons off their hands asap.

I read this and chuckled.

The idea that Buttress sold was the WRU withholding some information. I'm not sure how that can possibly be true when he is a Board Member so will have access to the Management Accounts, so there's no information that would be 'unknown'.

I think the truth of the matter is that no investor would purchase the Dragons whilst there is no future to pro rugby in Wales under the WRU's control. The WRU refuse to install a long term future for the pro game in Wales, they refuse to modernise, so the only information that could possibly be withheld is the same that is withheld from the other three - i.e. what does the future look like
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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 11:35 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I don't care where they come from LD, that wasn't the question asked.

OK fair enough.  OK


Would there be anything to be said for subsidising young Welsh coaches/recently retired players to go out from Wales and gain experience elsewhere - France, New Zealand, Japan, etc. If you look at how it's playing out with Ronan O'Gara, he's quite obviously being groomed (by accident or design) to be a provincial and then Ireland head coach at some point in the next few years.

You mean like Mark Jones did?

Or Joe Worsley did?

Or, as you note, Ronan O'Gara did?

And all did it without subsidy.
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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 11:37 am

LordDowlais wrote:

I would have thought that developing players for the Welsh team, and being successful would come hand in hand with each other. If the regions are developing players, that make their team successful, then team Wales would also reap the benefits of the successful regions.

I just wish the regions and the WRU would work together. A lot of people in Wales blame the WRU for all the failings of Welsh rugby, when in truth, the regions, and the clubs could do a lot more as well.

It's very difficult to develop players when the positive osmosis of working with the better players is reduced because of Team Wales demands.

There's a negative circle that has been created by the WRU: take the best players for too long = reduced time for the next generation to work with the best players = lower quality next generation players.

What "more" could the regions do?
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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 11:39 am

LordDowlais wrote:

Yes, I agree. Also I certainly do not think the sun shines out of the WRU's backside, not one jot, but both the regions and the WRU need to do more, they both need to show how it is done. There is a lot of what you have mentioned, the incompetence and amateurism on both sides.

The Pro game and the WRU need to start setting examples, and show why they are pro and not amateur. They need to start leading by example, and not constantly bickering with each other and looking to put blame elsewhere all the time. It's getting very tiresome.

How can the regions "show how it is done"? What is "it"? What example can the pro game lead with?
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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 11:41 am

Intotouch wrote:It seems like the Welsh system, the mix of two models for pro rugby, has caused conflict nearly annually between the parties involved. It’s neither a model with fully independent privately owned pro clubs, nor completely union owned clubs but a hybrid of both.  The WRU spent something like 75% of their income on pro rugby


None of that is true. There is no "mix of two models" other than since they bought the Dragons.

It is a model of fully independent privately owned clubs in the case of the other three, exactly as in England and France.

And the WRU spends about 40% of its income on pro rugby, nowhere near 75%
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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 11:42 am

Irish Londoner wrote:

I agree, Wales has the worst of both worlds - Scotland, Itlay and Ireland are effectively run/controlled by the national unions, England and France are standalone clubs (albeit that English clubs in particular get a lot of funding from the RFU for player access, without which the pro game in England would be in financial trouble) and Wales seem to sit in the position of a constant push and pull between the club owners - who obviously want the clubs to do well in the URC and Europe, whilst the WRU obviously see the clubs role as keeping their international players fit between tournaments, at some point there has to be a resolution.

It would be a shock to Benetton to read they are controlled/run by their Federation.

Again, bar the Dragons, Wales has the same model as France and England.
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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 11:43 am

RiscaGame wrote:

To be fair to the WRU, after some persuasion they started taking steps to improve the Welsh women's team. It took a fair bit of negative press, but they did offer pro contracts etc before other nations (I note Scotland have done similar today). I am not aware of how they invest in the game though, in comparison to other unions.

That's not quite true, either.

The investment in the women's game came as part of the CVC 6N payment. CVC insisted on it.
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Post by PhilBB Wed 17 Aug 2022, 11:46 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:LD you seem to know about funding in Wales would a million make a major difference ?

Sorry, I am only now noticing this.

An extra million would make the world of difference, although it depends on how it would be used, knowing the regions they would p!ss it up against the wall on mediocre players.

What I would like to see is that money spent on better coaches, throw a few hundred thousand at Gatland to coach one of the regions, or someone of that ilk.


This is an interesting mentality at play here: "knowing the regions they would p!ss it up against the wall on mediocre players"

It's worth remembering that the number of non-Welsh players is limited to 6 plus 2 time servers. So those "mediocre players" would either be non-Welsh players not wanted elsewhere (or those who don't want to go to France or Japan or Ireland, in reality) or Welsh qualified players as that is what the WRU mandates.

Yet, of course, the 'bloke in the street' just thinks "money wasted on mediocre players".

As a yardstick, I think Vermeulen is on something like £650,000 a year at Ulster.
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