In a Gwladrugby exclusive, former Welsh Rugby Union Chief Executive David Moffett reveals the reasons behind his decision to return to Welsh Rugby.
I guess there will be a lot of readers wondering why I have chosen this time to seek a return to the hurly burly of Welsh Rugby.
The catalyst has been the latest imbroglio between the WRU and the regions. It is my firm opinion that there is no respect or trust between both parties. This situation has existed for many years now. Indeed there is scarcely a year goes by without a stoush of some kind and the inevitable threat of litigation.
This has simply got to stop and stop now. There is no one in the world who thinks that the actions of the WRU or the regions is acting in the best interests of Welsh Rugby.
Putting aside the real facts for one minute and considering the whole picture, this type of behaviour reflects very badly on Welsh Rugby and indeed affects the wider Welsh community. After all rugby is the National sport.
The current behaviour of both parties is less than professional and must make the players, both professional and amateur squirm with embarrassment. Remember the WRU exists to encourage and foster participation in the game at all levels. How can anyone say that this latest shambles is contributing to that purpose?
Because of the strategies that I implemented as CEO with the assistance of the Board, Wales has had its most successful decade in its history. This has happened both on and off the field. The introduction of regions and the restructuring of the debt whilst I was CEO have had a profoundly positive effect on the fortunes of Welsh Rugby. That these gains are now in jeopardy says a lot about the current administration.
Instead of all this fighting and bickering the WRU should be basking in the glory of being current 6 Nations champions and providing the bulk of Lions who defeated Australia. But No! Here we go again and it must stop.
How can we best achieve the stability Welsh rugby deserves?
That answer lies with the member clubs, the owners of Welsh Rugby. I believe the clubs have been treated quite shabbily in recent years. They have never been consulted on major issues and they have struggled financially. That is not how shareholders should be treated.
The clubs elect a board who elect a Chairman. This should be enough to protect their interests. The board then selects a CEO. This system largely renders the executive irrelevant in the politics of the game. The Board sets policy and the executive executes it or that is what should happen.
My firm belief is that the clubs should call an EGM to ask the WRU and Regions a series of questions aimed at getting a better understanding as to how Welsh rugby has engineered such a mind numbing dispute. Only then can they make up their mind as to what should happen next. They and only they have the power to set the pathway for the future of Welsh rugby. I think the time for them to exercise that power has arrived.
So, what can I add? Here are a few attributes but by no means exhaustive.
- A track record of unprecedented success with Welsh Rugby.
- An unshakeable view that the clubs own the WRU.
- An understanding and adherence to good governance
- An inclusive, inspiring and motivating personality.
- An absolute gutsful of the continued fighting and bickering
I will be back in Wales next week to start my campaign for election to the board and will provide regular updates on the Gwladrugby blog.