Category Archives: Regions

orwell

The Ministry of Truth

“Censorship is saying: ‘I’m the one who says the last sentence. Whatever you say, the conclusion is mine.’ But the internet is like a tree that is growing. The people will always have the last word – even if someone has a very weak, quiet voice. Such power will collapse because of a whisper.”

Ai Weiwei

There is something very odd going on in the reporting of Welsh rugby.

Back in January, BBC Wales ran a Scrum V special on the current crisis. A number of Gwladers were there . Those present felt that the edited, broadcast version of the programme – which went out some 6 hours after it was recorded – gave a misleading impression of the tone of the debate.

The feeling was that much of the voluble audience reaction – largely negative reaction to comments made by Roger Lewis, Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) Chief Executive Officer – had failed to make it to the edited version of the programme. It was also alleged that passages of the programme which, in the view of some of those present, had reflected badly on Roger Lewis had been cut completely. In fact, they felt so strongly about this that they – along with others who were present – wrote a letter of complaint to the BBC Trust and the BBC Complaints Department

The complaint was dismissed.

A specific question raised in the complaint was whether WRU staff or other representatives were involved in the editing of the programme. They were told that they were not. Today, WalesEye carries a piece on comments allegedly made by a member of the BBC Wales sport department staff about interference in the programme-making process.

Those comments concerned the perceived influence of senior BBC Wales figures in removing a respected Welsh rugby journalist – the Guardian’s Paul Rees – from a Radio Wales programme. It is fair to say that Rees has generally been supportive of Regional Rugby Wales’ case in recent months, and it is also fair to say that the programme’s host – Peter Jackson of the Rugby Paper – has similarly tended to support the professional teams.

Nevertheless, WalesEye allege that Paul Rees was “effectively gagged” and removed from the programme’s panel because “…senior management decided his views on the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) were ‘inappropriate.”

Rees was asked, by a researcher for the programme, to outline some of the key points he would make. He was, of course, a member of the panel at the ScrumV debate in January and stated that he would maintain his critical tone. It is alleged that the matter of his participation on the programme was “referred up” to senior figures, after which it was decided to “stand him down” from contributing to the programme.

WalesEye’s source, a BBC Wales programme-maker, is quoted saying that,

“It’s disheartening when you are trying to make a programme that reflects all sides in a debate, to be told that certain things just cannot be said.”

Of course, it is very difficult to prove these things, and I have no personal information about the veracity or otherwise of the WalesEye story and the alleged comments of the BBC programme-maker contained within. The story does, however, highlight a general perception among many of us who are sceptical of the WRUs conduct in recent years that the governing body would like to control the news agenda. 

There is a clear impression that the Western Mail, for instance, has no interest in upsetting the WRU – news of the clubs’ decision last month to call an Extraordinary General Meeting was buried some ten pages into the sports pages. 

Paddy French – former producer of ITV Wales current affairs programme “Wales This Week,” alleged in an April 2012 article  that his programme on the business dealings of David Pickering – a man now into his second decade as WRU Chairman – was prevented from airing by senior ITV Wales executives.

The programme had been due to air on Monday 15 May 2006. The previous day, an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Welsh Rugby Union had decided to recreate the role of WRU Chief Executive Officer, a post which had been wound up with the departure of David Moffett in 2005.

Four months later, ITV Wales’ Managing Director Roger Lewis moved into that new post.

In December of that year, his Head of News at ITV Wales, John Williams, found his way to a new role as Head of Communications at the WRU.

Elis Owen, the ITV Wales Director of Programmes who had made the final decision to pull that edition of the Wales This Week programme, moved into Roger Lewis’ old job as ITV Wales MD.

In 2009, he was appointed BBC Cymru Wales’ Head of Commissioning. 

But of course the world is changing.  Mainstream media is increasingly having to compete with social media (which has led to the thoroughly entertaining spectacle of Western Mail Chief Rugby Hobbit Andy Howell having regular Twitter meltdowns when his ill-researched pronouncements are routinely ripped to pieces). 

Having ignored social media for much of this affair, the WRU seem to have surprisingly changed track. The sudden appearance of an apparently legitimate WRU account on Twitter – @WRUMediaOffice – which seems to owe its existence entirely to propping up the precarious position of the Union’s senior executive – has prompted much amusement.

The account profile notes that it is “Welsh Rugby Union media office. Tweets are for info only”.

“Info” seems to include accusing David Moffett of being “rude” and arguing the toss about the success of the WRU in recent years. Quite why another “official” WRU twitter handle is required to provide info when @WelshRugbyUnion already exists to…um… provide info isn’t explained.

Neither is it explained why the policy of totally ignoring David Moffett and disgruntled clubs – to the extent of sending a security guard to accept the clubs’ letters requesting the forthcoming EGM – has suddenly morphed into arguing with the Twittersphere.

Sorry, did I say “totally ignoring”? I meant “maintaining a dignified silence, with dignity, in private and behind closed doors as we look forward while reflecting on the past”.

Gwladrugby.com recently carried a very detailed article on the travails of rugby in Wales. It was based upon interviews with many people on all sides of the argument, including the editor of this site. 

Today, the WRU have forced us to remove the article.

We don’t want anyone to be pressurised in this way.  We have therefore, reluctantly, today removed the article.

Furthermore, there are rumours galore that clubs who support the calling of the EGM are nervous of speaking publicly, while those in opposition are more than ready to do so. Why would that be? Why would two clubs, with differing opinions, have such different approaches to stating their case publicly?

Perhaps they’re aware of what’s happened to IWRTV, an online TV channel developed through collaboration between former Wales international Paul Turner and Dischro Creative.

They’ve produced a number of very interesting and thoroughly well-researched online programmes in recent months. They also took to showing a few highlights – filmed by their own cameras – of matches in the lower reaches of the Welsh rugby pyramid.

The WRU approached IWRTV, indicated that BBC Wales held the rights to all matches (despite never having shown any interest in broadcasting footage of these games) and demanded of IWRTV not only a business plan outlining their editorial stance, but an additional £200,000 for the rights to matches they had already sold to BBC Wales.

It’s difficult to understand what harm IWRTV were doing. They were showing footage which would otherwise be unavailable, and doing so online. Yet the WRU sought to stifle yet another media outlet.

There may, of course, be nothing in all of this. It’s possible that people are hearing rumours and half-stories, adding them all together and leaping to an entirely erroneous conclusion. I’d like to believe that. 

I’ll finish with a plea. The forthcoming EGM offers an opportunity for all who care about Welsh rugby to meet and to discuss the issues affecting them – from the professional teams right down to the smallest village club. The WRU seem to be keen to persuade clubs to stay at home, to fail to engage with the debate, and to simply hand their votes to WRU President – and chair of the EGM – Dennis Gethin

This matter is too important – to all of us who support the game here – to be treated in this way. Inform yourselves. Build a clear understanding of the issues. Question your club committeemen. Question your district representatives. Question David Moffett. Question what you read and hear. Make your own minds up. And please, turn up at next week’s EGM to engage with the issues.

Ignoring the debate – or, worse still, allowing it to be supressed – will be the ruin of us.

David Moffett, the Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union

Putting the record straight over the demise of the Celtic Warriors

The dislike for me over the Warriors continues to be argued using half- truths and misinformation. Here are the facts, like them or not.
1. Leighton Samuel approached me to say he wanted out as he could no longer sustain the losses of £1 million a year. (Remember what happened with his RL team)
2. Pontypridd had been declared bankrupt and with the exception of 2/3 matches their supporters did not follow the Warriors in sufficient numbers and LS moved all games to the Brewery Field.
3. Neither I nor the WRU made any promise to continue with the Warriors.
4. I was expected by the remaining Warriors fans (approx. 2,500 regularly attended matches) to commit the WRU to on-going losses of £1 million plus per year.
5. I was not prepared to do that and recommended to the Board that the Warriors be closed down. The Board voted unanimously including those that are still there from the Region affected.
6. There is no way I was prepared to put the Board or myself at risk of being prosecuted of entering into financial arrangements knowing we could not meet our financial obligations.
7. This was in an environment where the WRU had been left on the edge of bankruptcy and technically insolvent by the Board prior to my arrival.
8. 10 members of that Board are still there and have been rewarded with an extra 10 year’s service with no accountability for their actions. I saved their jobs and reputations.
9. The Chairman, in particular has recently sought to take all the credit for the rescue, in a letter to clubs. He was on the Board for 5 years before my arrival and did nothing. He was not even aware of the size of the problem.
If there are any clubs, Chairmen or Secretaries out there who would have behaved differently and would have put themselves and the Union at risk, will they please have the courage to publicly say so.

doublespeak

The Orwellian world of WRU Doublespeak

Ladies and gentlemen. We have now entered the end times. In the face of widespread criticism, the embattled Welsh Rugby Union has now truly lost the plot and is turning on the very supporters it pretends to respect.

What follows is a statement from the joint group of Welsh regional rugby supporters’ clubs. It includes a letter written by the Chairman of the WRU, David Pickering, which contains so much management rubbish that it is almost impossible to understand. The WRU have reached a point where they are unable to articulate what it is they are supposed to be doing.

Here is the statement:

Fellow Supporters,

You will be aware that following our meeting with the WRU in December 2013 we were offered a follow up meeting in the New Year which has still to materialise. We had a meeting scheduled for the end of March which was postponed by the WRU as they said it would not be a good time to meet. We of course registered our extreme disappointment and asked whether they would be prepared to answer some questions in writing whilst we waited for them to reschedule the meeting. The request was accepted and we posed the following questions:

  • What is the WRU’s strategy and vision for Welsh regional rugby?
  • What are the WRU intending to do to improve the commercial aspects and competitive nature of the Pro 12 game in Wales?
  • What actions do the WRU intend to take to attract more support for the regional game?
  • What would you like to see from us as a Joint Supporters’ Group in support of the strategy for regional rugby?

These questions were duly answered in a letter from David Pickering and the response reads as follows:

The WRU strategy and aim is that the four existing Regional Operations develop and thrive as the professional strata of the national sport of Wales. Our Regional organisations are funded by competition income, direct funding from the WRU and commercial income generated by their own business operations. We seek to monitor progress of each Regional Organisation through the forum of the current PRGB where concerns are shared and positive actions are identified. The professional level of the game in Wales is a crucial element of the pyramid of rugby which starts at grassroots level and leads through to the senior international team. This structure feeds the success of the sector of the senior international team which is the principle means of generating the level of income needed to support the priorities of elite and community rugby and the upkeep and use of the Millennium Stadium.

The future of the Pro 12 is linked to the new European competitions which will rely in the national and Celtic league structures as the means of entry qualification. That qualification is proposed to be based on meritocracy which the stakeholders are agreed and will introduce a level of jeopardy which should improve the attraction of the competition for teams and supporters. This, in turn, will help improve the commercial focus of the competition for future reasons. The impact on the elements of income generation which lie in the hands of the Regional Organisation is sure to be improved

The WRU has always sought to assist the Regional Organisations in improving the level of support for the professional level of rugby in Wales and that dialogues takes place in a structured way through the PRGB. For example the WRU has long suggested the Judgement Day format as a means of introducing new fans to Regional rugby and this has now been adopted by the four Regional Organisations.

The supporters groups are a vital foundation for the success of Regional rugby in Wales. Your passionate support will always play a crucial role in helping to make the Regional environment engaging and entertaining for new or old fans and you play an important role in spreading the word about why Regional rugby deserves to be followed. Your voice will continue to be heard and the WRU looks forward to hearing your views, concerns and ideas in the future.

The remainder of the letter from Mr Pickering was based around the disappointment of the WRU that we took minutes at the meeting and put them into the ‘public domain’ as they did not understand that this would be the case. 

We have responded to them pointing out that not only did we make this clear at more than one occasion at the meeting because we are elected by our members and have a responsibility to communicate with you, but that a copy of the minutes were sent to them (and amendments made by their representatives) prior to them being circulated to members. 

They also stated that they ‘found it unhelpful to the course of the dialogue we had hoped to develop in the future’ and that they ‘will ensure that they are fully conversant with the understanding and terms of any meeting we mutually agree to take part in’.

We will of course keep you updated on any future communications.

nev1

Peace in our time?

So the telly deal is done. One of the biggest sticking points in the unholy European rugby war has been resolved. Sky and BT will share the rights to the new, improved “European Rugby Champions Cup.”

It’s been an unnecessarily painful birth. The single most important issue has always been money, and who controls it. We always knew the answer, of course: television. And now the disagreement between Sky and BT is resolved, we have a way forward.

So if the answer was so simple and obvious, why has it taken so long to get to this point? It’s been over two years now since the English and French clubs served notice of their intention to abandon the old European Cup.

It’s important to note at this point that England and France are the countries where the money comes from: that’s where the majority of the chimney pots (and satellite dishes) are located. As I said last week, us Welsh are just spectators at this rugby feast, and we’re not the ones picking up the tab.

The French and English clubs are calling the tune, as they always have done throughout this long and drawn-out process. Now, finally, they’ve got what they want. A fairer share of tournament money and representation.

The important point is that it is now rugby clubs, and not unions, who are in control. But were all the unions digging their heels in? No. It was just the Irish (IRFU) and Welsh (WRU) governing bodies who were, as late as January this year, still clinging to the old order. They’ve failed in their attempt to retain control of the professional game in Europe. It’s quite clear that they’ve annoyed the hell out of their negotiating partners in England into the bargain. “It’s time for the egos and blazers to get out of the way, and leave the business to real businessmen,” has been the clear message from the other side of Offa’s Dyke.

Why would the IRFU and WRU be opposed to the new deal? Well, for the Irish it’s quite clear. They’ve brought very little to the table in terms of TV money and have enjoyed more than their fair share of the proceeds of European rugby. The WRU take the money from TV deals, and pass it straight on to the Welsh regions, who then use it to pay the players they’ve developed and supplied to “Team Wales.” Incidentally, the WRU still declare this money (several million pounds a year) as revenue on their balance sheet, even though it’s questionable as to what they’ve contributed to the generation of that revenue.

“So what?” you might ask. Surely the deal is done, and we can go back to watching the battles on the pitch? Not quite. There’s still the significant matter of the lack of any agreement between the WRU and the regions (RRW) over participation in competitions and the supply of players to Team Wales. That’s quite a big obstacle to get over, especially when the regions are on record as having little or no confidence in Roger Lewis, the WRU CEO and his colleagues.

There is also another challenge hoving into view: the spectre of former WRU CEO David Moffett, who has returned to Wales to mount a challenge to the WRU Chairman David Pickering. Moffett’s aim is to reform the WRU and replace the current board and executive with people who might be able to do a better job of doing a deal with the regions. He’s also very keen on semi-pro and community rugby in Wales getting their fair share of the cash which is sitting the WRU’s coffers. Nobody can argue with that noble aim. Good luck to him.

Whatever you might think of Moffett and his record when he was in the job, he has managed to provoke much-needed debate on the way in which the WRU operates, and the behaviour of the people who run it.

It is quite clear to many of those who have been party to the discussions (if you can call them that) between the WRU and RRW, that a solution to this Welsh problem would be reached very quickly if we could get rid of the egos, vested interests and incompetence at the top of the WRU. If Moffett succeeds in securing that change, then we will have a lot to thank him for.

This crisis is not just about the WRU. During the course of the last few months, the mainstream media in Wales have failed to hold the WRU to account. Of course, the Western Mail have no obligation to provide a balanced view of the issues, but their journalists could at least make an effort to practise their trade competently. Instead, the self-styled “National Newspaper of Wales” has resorted to regurgitating WRU press releases and speculating as to which Team Wales player will be next to sign a central contract with the WRU.  This is not journalism by any stretch of the imagination. It is public relations. The Western Mail now relies upon access to Team Wales in order to fill its pages in print and online. It doesn’t matter how superficial the story is, as long as people click on it, the paper will creep along with a tiny trickle of advertising revenue, staving off the inevitable for a little longer.

BBC Wales, on the other hand, has quite clear obligations, which it has totally failed to meet in its treatment of the crisis in Welsh rugby. We know very well that the BBC and WRU are business partners;  parties to the TV deal which sustains them both. If it wasn’t for the access to “Team Wales” that this partnership affords BBC Wales, there would be hardly anything left of the corporation in Wales. Look at ITV Wales if you want to know what a rugby-less BBC Wales might look like. The WRU are fond of the BBC because they are a free and unquestioning PR department who will say (or more often, not say) whatever the WRU tell them to.

In the absence of proper media analysis and journalism in the mainstream, it has fallen to the likes of Gwladrugby.com and others on social media, as well as the London press, to hold the WRU to account. Whenever this unedifying episode does finally end, we will be left wondering whether the problems in Welsh rugby would’ve been sorted out a lot more quickly if our national media had demonstrated a bit of backbone and basic journalistic skills.

pinocchio-nose-new

Reading between the lies

So, another worrying turn in the continuing battle between the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and the four organisations it still seems intent on bringing to heel – the professional teams represented collectively by Regional Rugby Wales (RRW). Weeks of quiet on the thorny issue of central contracts are threatening to spark into life over the WRUs apparent decision to compete with the Ospreys for the signature of tight-head prop Adam Jones. 

The four professional teams have long stated that they have agreed that,

The Regions will only play centrally contracted players on collective agreement between all four Regions – as part of a complete structural solution for the future of the game in Wales.”

Their united opposition to central contracts would remain unless the concept formed “part of a clear and proper strategy and agreed framework to achieve long-term solutions for player retention in Wales; and guard against any quick fix, ad-hoc action.”

So when Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton signed a central contract with the WRU on 25 January , on the apparent understanding that he would be placed with his home team the Cardiff Blues, it raised the odd eyebrow.

Defending his decision to put the WRU in direct competition with a Welsh region for the signature of the Welsh captain, WRU CEO Roger Lewis suggested RRW’s opposition to central contracts was nothing more than a bit of playing to the gallery.

He stated, pretty explicitly, that the four professional teams had approached him and said,

“They were unable to contract six players. They needed assistance and help with Jonathan Davies, Rhys Priestland, Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Jones, Leigh Halfpenny and Sam Warburton. That’s where it all began and then when the participation agreement wasn’t signed by December 31st we put our minds to it… and thought how on earth can we keep players in Wales?”

Lewis claimed that his hand had been forced by Leigh Halfpenny’s decision to leave Wales altogether and sign for Toulon. Warburton’s agent, Derwyn Jones, was wheeled out to hint that the WRU hadn’t competed with Cardiff at all, but had actually saved Warburton for the nation.

Apparently, the WRU’s offer of a contract led the national captain to

Twice rejecting £700,000-a-year offers from big-spending French clubs. It’s understood he had already turned down one such bid from Stade Francais and last week he rejected another from Toulon after the European champions came back in for him.”

All very laudable, I’m sure. Much of the recent success of the national team has been built on a Partnership Agreement which has kept the bulk of Wales’ international class players at home, and provided national team coach Warren Gatland with access to these players in excess of anything afforded most of his equivalents in the northern hemisphere. Nobody would corroborate Derwyn’s story, obviously, and nobody dug too deeply into it.

Then Scott Williams, Alun Wyn Jones and Rhys Priestland signed for their Regions, rejecting the WRU’s central contracts. Everything pointed to Adam Jones, the last of the six, signing for the Ospreys. Then it all went quiet. A person who is (astonishingly enough) employed by the Western Mail started talking about Jones signing a central contract and playing for the Dragons. Their coach Lyn Jones, a reliable source whenever stories of Ospreys players signing for the Dragons rear their heads, said yesterday that Adam was very close to signing a central contract as negotiations with the Ospreys had “stalled.”

Today (9 April), Adam Jones’ region, the Ospreys, spoke to the Evening Post. The region’s Chief Executive Andrew Hore accused the WRU of

“Continuing to negotiate with Adam Jones and breaking a pledge that they would not compete with them for his signature. We received email confirmation from the Welsh Rugby Union on February 12 that they would not compete with us to sign Adam.”

“We subsequently discovered they were continuing to negotiate with him and have offered him considerably more.”

So that would seem to be pretty clear. The WRU have maybe been less than honest. Perhaps. Well, who knows. I trust them implicitly, of course, but others might not.

Interestingly, and hilariously, Wales’ foremost fearless purveyor of facts (given to him by the WRU) Andy Howell has started pushing a line that I confess to having missed: Wales coach Warren Gatland paved the way for the WRU competing with the Regions last December:

“What happens to players who are not wanted by the Regions and go to France or England but who are good enough for the national team? Do you just discard them? There needs to be a separate group of people who decide on what a fair market value is for players so they aren’t taken advantage of by the Regions potentially offering them, say £100,000 less because they know that player is desperate to play for Wales and doesn’t want to leave the country because he knows he won’t be selected.”

Never one to miss out on an opportunity for a spot of shameless toadying, Howell piles in:

“Say, for example, the Ospreys were only offering Adam £100,000 a year because they knew he was intent on staying in Wales, would it be fair? Not in my opinion because he’s clearly worth much more. I agree with Gatland, an independent panel would need to be formed to decide the market value of players if Gatland’s law was to be enforced, which I believe it should.” 

If the general narrative of today’s shambles is to be believed, it looks as though that independent panel has been formed. I wonder who’s on it? Whatever, we at least know that the six players weren’t wanted by their Regions, despite three of them rejecting central contracts and, er… signing for those Regions.

So it seems that, contrary to an email sent by the WRU to the Ospreys in February, the WRU (or an independent panel, natch) have decided that it’s perfectly acceptable to muscle in and compete with Welsh Regions for players.

The question we should be asking is, “Why?”

Why is it acceptable for the WRU to compete with Welsh Regions for players? What purpose does it serve? I suppose the WRU would argue that keeps players in Wales. Except it doesn’t, really, because it seems likely that both Sam Warburton and Adam Jones would have stayed here anyway.

Does it make better use of the game’s finances? No, because the WRUs actions are driving up the cost of Welsh players, and it’s costing nobody but themselves, the Regions and the Welsh game at large. But it is a handy little wedge which can be used to annoy the Regions and maybe create a few divisions.

It is irresponsible, it is underhand, it is duplicitous. In short, it is entirely consistent with the behaviour of the WRU and Roger Lewis. We are fools for expecting anything better.

 

 

David Moffett, the Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union

“Moffesto” launched: former CEO lays out his agenda for change

Today former WRU CEO David Moffett has launched the manifesto which forms part of his bid to gain a place on the WRU board.  Moffett chose the Castle Hotel in Neath as the location for the official launch of his campaign. That choice isn’t a coincidence: the Castle Hotel is where the WRU was founded in March 1881.

Entitled, “One Wales – Building a sustainable future together”, the detailed document describes his vision to re-unite Welsh rugby.

Moffett says it’s time for change in Welsh rugby as the game in Wales faces a number of difficult decisions:

“Welsh Rugby stands at the crossroads and needs to decide which path it wants to take for the future. Under the current regime the idea of ONE WALES is as far from reality as is possible. The clubs are so removed from the WRU that they have become increasingly insular in outlook.

For the first time in Welsh Rugby history a candidate for election to the position of Chairman is releasing a comprehensive Manifesto, on which Welsh Rugby can decide.

With the release of my Manifesto the choices are very, very clear.

Either continue with the current dictatorial, undemocratic approach which has disenfranchised the community game or adopt a system which owes much to the past when the clubs had more say in the way the WRU is run.

The latter path is my vision for Welsh Rugby; the former has no place in a democratic union of clubs.

My Manifesto sets out what I would like to achieve in the next 3 years:

  1. The resurrection of the Community Game
  2. A partnership to secure and grow the Professional and Semi-Professional Games
  3. The restructuring of the Governance of the WRU
  4. A complete review of the financial performance of the WRU

I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but I am fully prepared to take on board additional suggestions and constructive feedback to build on my initial proposals.

Playing my part

If the clubs endorse my Manifesto and believe that my strategic plan is what Welsh rugby needs, I intend to do everything I can to represent them as the WRU’s first independent chairman.

There is a better way of doing things, not just for the national team, but also for every aspect and tier of Welsh rugby. Welsh clubs are special; they have been overlooked for too long and it’s time for change.”

There are a number of key recommendations in the manifesto which Moffett says are necessary in order to realise his vision for change:

“The following summarises the key important recommendations I believe will provide Welsh Rugby with the strongest platform for sustainable growth. These points will be outlined in more detail in the pages that follow.

  • ‘Local solutions for local problems’ within the Community Game – a radical change in the relationship between the WRU and its member clubs
  • Replacement of the district representation system with five Regional Rugby Boards
  • Devolution of power back to the clubs
  • £1.5M immediately available to fund club Infrastructure grants, to be administered by the Regional Rugby Boards
  • An additional £2M to be made available to supplement Government funding in the crucial area of increasing participation
  • New 4G pitches prioritised for mini, junior, schools & youth rugby in every region
  • WRU Ambassadors to sponsor new advisory groups to design radical new approaches for age-grade rugby, Rugby 7s, women’s rugby, match officials and medical support
  • Support for Premiership and Championship clubs to identify & implement the key reforms, appropriate competition structures and financial support that they need
  • New Combined Player Contracts to be negotiated on a basis that benefits the WRU, the professional teams and the players. A unique opportunity exists to set a new benchmark in the increasingly difficult world market for players & coaches.
  • Five-year rolling franchise deals for professional teams
  • Expansion of the number of professional teams to be formally considered
  • Chairman’s Special Advisory Group to be set up to recommend a new approach for the Welsh language across Welsh Rugby
  • Reform of the WRU Board, including the appointment of an Independent Chairman, and the commitment to set a target number of Board positions to be held by women by 2020
  • Immediate external review of the financial position of the WRU
  • Sale of Millennium Stadium naming rights
  • Reduction in non-essential Board and Executive costs
  • Accountability at all levels of Welsh Rugby.”

You can read the document in full here:

One Wales – a Manifesto for Welsh Rugby by David Moffett