Re: Regional Rugby in Wales - Cutting Four Teams to Three

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The WRU pay 80% of the Welsh international players regional wages. The meeting is to decide whether that is a good or a bad thing for the regions. The cutting of one region was one suggestion on a list of options on the report that are being discussed.
English clubs are complaining that they can't compete when trying to sign/keep Welsh international's because of the funding. Likewise is it wise for an English club to take on a rising Welsh star and develop him, only to lose him when he becomes an international. There are lots of things in the mix to consider.

If the committee choose not to fund any region, or change them to a development region, then they stand alone and lose up to 80% of income. If they suggested two regions could become development regions unless they merged, that could happen,but it is a committee made up of 4 regions and 4 others.
All the regions are saddled with a 5 million pounds debt to the WRU. The Dragon's/Newport RFC couldn't service a smaller debt when they asked the WRU to take over. Its possible that another Region will do the same if nothing changes. All of the above has nothing to do with Rodney Parade being viable with Newport County playing there. It does raise the question, is the 15,000 capacity Parc y Scarlets viable?

Re: Regional Rugby in Wales - Cutting Four Teams to Three

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Bangitintrnet wrote: May 13th, 2022, 11:15 am The WRU pay 80% of the Welsh international players regional wages. The meeting is to decide whether that is a good or a bad thing for the regions. The cutting of one region was one suggestion on a list of options on the report that are being discussed.
English clubs are complaining that they can't compete when trying to sign/keep Welsh international's because of the funding. Likewise is it wise for an English club to take on a rising Welsh star and develop him, only to lose him when he becomes an international. There are lots of things in the mix to consider.

If the committee choose not to fund any region, or change them to a development region, then they stand alone and lose up to 80% of income. If they suggested two regions could become development regions unless they merged, that could happen,but it is a committee made up of 4 regions and 4 others.
All the regions are saddled with a 5 million pounds debt to the WRU. The Dragon's/Newport RFC couldn't service a smaller debt when they asked the WRU to take over. Its possible that another Region will do the same if nothing changes. All of the above has nothing to do with Rodney Parade being viable with Newport County playing there. It does raise the question, is the 15,000 capacity Parc y Scarlets viable?
My dear chap, you just don't get it do you?

The WRU are discussing chopping one of the Welsh regional sides. There is a probability that they won't at least not now. However there is a possibility that they will. If they do make this cut Dragons are the team which will go. That unfortunately for us is as near to being certain as anything can be.

If the Dragons are cut our tenure at Rodney Parade is tenuous to put it mildly.

My opinion is that the WRU will put off the decision. This however leaves Newport County with the sword of Damocles hanging over us. And worse because we have ignored the need to secure home stadium for the last 34 years our future relies on an organisation which owes us nothing.

Re: Regional Rugby in Wales - Cutting Four Teams to Three

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Bangitintrnet wrote: May 13th, 2022, 11:15 am The WRU pay 80% of the Welsh international players regional wages. The meeting is to decide whether that is a good or a bad thing for the regions. The cutting of one region was one suggestion on a list of options on the report that are being discussed.
English clubs are complaining that they can't compete when trying to sign/keep Welsh international's because of the funding. Likewise is it wise for an English club to take on a rising Welsh star and develop him, only to lose him when he becomes an international. There are lots of things in the mix to consider.

If the committee choose not to fund any region, or change them to a development region, then they stand alone and lose up to 80% of income. If they suggested two regions could become development regions unless they merged, that could happen,but it is a committee made up of 4 regions and 4 others.
All the regions are saddled with a 5 million pounds debt to the WRU. The Dragon's/Newport RFC couldn't service a smaller debt when they asked the WRU to take over. Its possible that another Region will do the same if nothing changes. All of the above has nothing to do with Rodney Parade being viable with Newport County playing there. It does raise the question, is the 15,000 capacity Parc y Scarlets viable?
And further to that and regarding ownership, don’t the Blues rent their ground? Ospreys don’t own theirs either I believe.All regions need multimillion handouts and WRU are ( like FAW ) run by old men eager to preserve their privileges while seeking not to do anything radical. Welsh rugby needs a massive shakeup, crowds are dwindling and needs restructuring. The old days when every village had a team are long gone.

Re: Regional Rugby in Wales - Cutting Four Teams to Three

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Stan Einstein is right of course.
Stan has his repetitive worry about our home, that doesn’t mean that just because he repeats it that it has no grounds. RP belongs to the WRU so our future is bound up inevitably with them and the Dragons. There are no alternatives in Newport for a league club, we know that after exhaustive discussion and a consideration of our financial situation so his case has merit.
Our future will be affected by WRU decisions, that much is patently obvious. We need to be flexible and ready for change and able to take any opportunities that present themselves. I hope the club will be ready and able to grasp them when they arise. It’s the old bollox of “ challenges being opportunities “ that is spouted in manager speak.
It’s always been clear to me that both Dragons and my beloved County are in the same boat as regards their dependence on RP and by extension the WRU. What has frustrated me over the years is the mutual antipathy of some fans and the dinosaurs failure to realise that and work together mutually. We had better learn to do that quickly and it’s pleasing to know that the two entities are presently enjoying a much improved relationship. This fight will need all the resources of both outfits and possibly other players, United we stand…

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Stan A. Einstein wrote: May 13th, 2022, 2:03 pm
Bangitintrnet wrote: May 13th, 2022, 11:15 am The WRU pay 80% of the Welsh international players regional wages. The meeting is to decide whether that is a good or a bad thing for the regions. The cutting of one region was one suggestion on a list of options on the report that are being discussed.
English clubs are complaining that they can't compete when trying to sign/keep Welsh international's because of the funding. Likewise is it wise for an English club to take on a rising Welsh star and develop him, only to lose him when he becomes an international. There are lots of things in the mix to consider.

If the committee choose not to fund any region, or change them to a development region, then they stand alone and lose up to 80% of income. If they suggested two regions could become development regions unless they merged, that could happen,but it is a committee made up of 4 regions and 4 others.
All the regions are saddled with a 5 million pounds debt to the WRU. The Dragon's/Newport RFC couldn't service a smaller debt when they asked the WRU to take over. Its possible that another Region will do the same if nothing changes. All of the above has nothing to do with Rodney Parade being viable with Newport County playing there. It does raise the question, is the 15,000 capacity Parc y Scarlets viable?
My dear chap, you just don't get it do you?

The WRU are discussing chopping one of the Welsh regional sides. There is a probability that they won't at least not now. However there is a possibility that they will. If they do make this cut Dragons are the team which will go. That unfortunately for us is as near to being certain as anything can be.

If the Dragons are cut our tenure at Rodney Parade is tenuous to put it mildly.

My opinion is that the WRU will put off the decision. This however leaves Newport County with the sword of Damocles hanging over us. And worse because we have ignored the need to secure home stadium for the last 34 years our future relies on an organisation which owes us nothing.

Well let's see, it was Les Scadding who was going to leave us, and we would be Fecked. Then it was the money that Les Scadding wanted, in order to leave the club to the fans, that would make us Fecked. Then it was better to use that money to buy some land and resign from the EFL as we were Fecked. Then it was the Rugby will never put a grass pitch down so we are Fecked. County need to find out how others have built there own grounds, or we are Fecked. Then it moved to we are Fecked because of our agreement. Then we are Fecked because there will be houses built on Rodney Parade. Then unless County are the dominant partner we are Fecked. Now we are Fecked because the WRU own the ground and we can't pay the rent when we are relegated.

I'm not sure how many positions that totals, that we will be Fecked in, but I do know that it must rival the Kamasutra FFS

Re: Regional Rugby in Wales - Cutting Four Teams to Three

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lowandhard wrote: May 13th, 2022, 2:27 pm Stan Einstein is right of course.
Stan has his repetitive worry about our home, that doesn’t mean that just because he repeats it that it has no grounds. RP belongs to the WRU so our future is bound up inevitably with them and the Dragons. There are no alternatives in Newport for a league club, we know that after exhaustive discussion and a consideration of our financial situation so his case has merit.
Our future will be affected by WRU decisions, that much is patently obvious. We need to be flexible and ready for change and able to take any opportunities that present themselves. I hope the club will be ready and able to grasp them when they arise. It’s the old bollox of “ challenges being opportunities “ that is spouted in manager speak.
It’s always been clear to me that both Dragons and my beloved County are in the same boat as regards their dependence on RP and by extension the WRU. What has frustrated me over the years is the mutual antipathy of some fans and the dinosaurs failure to realise that and work together mutually. We had better learn to do that quickly and it’s pleasing to know that the two entities are presently enjoying a much improved relationship. This fight will need all the resources of both outfits and possibly other players, United we stand…
Hi Mike,

Believe me I don't like having to be repetitive. But certain posters, one in particular, seem intent on either giving the reasons why the WRU won't chop the Dragons or in making rather tiresome insults. And in doing so merely prevent serious thought being given to the problem that no matter how well managed the finances of the club are, no matter how brilliantly Newport County are on the pitch, an outside sporting body can cause a crisis at our club which will end in Tier 6, Spytty Park and a renewed rivalry with St Albans.

And I know that your son would never shaft County and I believe the WRU would not have a primary objective of destroying Newport County. But if Newport County were to be collateral damage to an action the WRU took in their best interests, then I can see a very bleak future. And we'd only have ourselves to blame.

EDIT.

After finished writing my post I read Bangitinthenet's latest opus. He rather makes my point.

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Dragons chairman David Buttress has been frustrated in his bid to take them back into private ownership but vowed to fight for the region's future.

"Worrying is a rubbish waste of time," the minority shareholder Tweeted in response to the Rodney Roar fans account.

And this copied from the Wales online.....

Like most things in life, saying a professional rugby team should be scrapped is the easy bit. Actually doing it? Not so much.

This week saw the emergence of the 'Umbers Report', which was commissioned by the Professional Rugby Board to assess the 'strategic options' available to the game's administrators in Wales. The game here is at yet another crossroads following another season of unsatisfactory results on the field.

The regions failed to fire in Europe and missed out on the URC play-offs. One of them - the Ospreys and Scarlets are scrapping it out - will make the Champions Cup next season by virtue of being the top Welsh side. But it is only that which can be salvaged from the wreckage.

And so to the recommendations. One of a number of suggestions put forward in the report was that one of the four regions be scrapped. That once again put the Dragons in the firing line because they have been the weakest side in Wales for quite some time. It also threw the Ospreys back out on the edge due to the lack of ownership over their stadium.

READ MORE:Dean Ryan slams 'unacceptable' Welsh rugby situation

The recommendations from the report will go before the PRB at a meeting next week, so does that mean we're on the verge of losing a region? Probably not.

First of all, it's worth repeating that this is just one suggestion that was put forward in the report. Second of all, especially in the case of the Ospreys, the WRU cannot just snap their fingers and make a region disappear.

Say we reach a point where all members of the PRB agree the Ospreys should go, barring the region's CEO Nick Garcia, it still couldn't happen. The WRU could not simply cut off the payments they are duty-bound to fulfil by the Professional Rugby Agreement (PRA). Were they to do that, it would be a breach of contract and it would certainly end up in court.

The only way the Ospreys will cease to exist is if they pull the trigger themselves. This is why the failed merger between the Scarlets and Ospreys got close in 2019, because the regions involved wanted it to happen until the terms became too unpalatable for the Swansea-based side.

There is not a situation where the Ospreys can be forced out if they do not want to go, not without any move in that direction being completely engulfed by legal action. Given that they are under new ownership, and have made a series of off-field appointments which suggest Y11 are in it for the long haul, the prospect of them rolling over for the three remaining regions to prosper is highly unlikely. Indeed, they have been bullish in their response over the past 48 hours.

The Dragons are a slightly different case. The majority owners of the region are the WRU after they took over in 2017. Chairman David Buttress, who is a minority shareholder, had plans to take them back into private ownership but the Covid-19 pandemic was a major issue and the lack of clarity over the WRU's funding going forward has slowed things down.

So if somebody had to go, the Dragons would be the easiest for the WRU but that then lends itself to another question - why would you want to, regardless of what it looks like on a balance sheet?

If it was all about the finances, the WRU would have let the Dragons fade away back in 2017 instead of taking on the relatively significant financial burden of keeping them alive. The opportunity was handed to them on a plate. But there was a realisation that cutting off Gwent would have been a mistake, whatever the region's failings on the field.

Emotion can be a dangerous thing in business but there is emotion involved in these sorts of decisions that runs a hell of a lot deeper than any suggestion in a strategic report. There is a lazy notion that fans from the area suddenly deprived of elite rugby are going to flock to their nearest rival, in this case Cardiff. It is simply fanciful with no base in reality. It will never happen.

Keeping professional rugby alive at Rodney Parade is not the root of the problems Welsh rugby currently faces, and getting rid of them wouldn't solve those problems either.

Then there is the real death knell for the idea of losing a region. TV revenues and competition money would be reduced by 25 percent. Private equity firm CVC would also reduce their investment in the game. In 2020, they acquired a 28 percent stake in the URC, which meant Welsh rugby came in for a windfall of circa £30 million, which was originally reported as arriving in five payments over three years.

Were Welsh rugby to reduce their number of entrants into the URC from four to three, then CVC would reduce any future payments by 25 percent. Welsh rugby is not in a position to forego that sort of income.

There is also said to be a clawback clause in the CVC agreement with the URC. They invested in a 14-team league and if that suddenly becomes a 13-team league, they'd be looking for some of their money back and knocking on the WRU's door for it. Again, not a position the game's governing body in these parts wants to be in given the already precarious financial position.

Then there is the playing side of things. Welsh rugby's player base would be drastically reduced and opportunities for young talent within the region that got the chop would be hard to come by. Player development is already a problem in Wales and that is not solved by ostracising a quarter of your talent pool.

So on the surface, reducing the number of regions sounds like a quick fix and it has been discussed in the background for years. But when you open the bonnet and examine the mechanics of how it can actually work and what the real consequences are, then it shows it's true colours.

It would be an ugly, protracted, drawn-out hurricane of legal proceedings.

Re: Regional Rugby in Wales - Cutting Four Teams to Three

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Taken from an interview with a former Harlequins CEO in the Wales online.....

“But I suppose my take on this whole thing is that small countries don’t have the luxury of making big mistakes because they don’t have much margin for error and Wales rugby has made more than a few over a number of years. I don’t have the detail to know how critical things are, but we appear to have come to something of a tipping point.

“The question everyone in Welsh rugby has to ask themselves is how much money do we generate, how many teams does that support and can we access any other capital, either loan, equity or private. If you can’t get any more funding, you are probably going to have to restructure and cut your cloth according to your revenues.

“I want to make it clear, I am not taking a view on three, four, five or 83 teams. That’s not my point. What I am saying is if you are not financially sustainable, it will lead to a crisis in the long run. Sports organisations can only run a structure that they can finance. It’s as simple as that. People jumping up and down, either in the media or on the terraces, doesn’t change that.

“You see it in all sports. ‘Oh, the board aren’t ambitious’. I hate that so much. It usually comes from the fans. What that basically means is ‘Why aren’t you losing more money?’

“It’s all very well saying pump more money in. People always say this. Invest. Ok. Well, paying players higher wages is not investment. That’s a cost. There is no return on that. They are the same players, they are just being paid more money. It hasn’t produced a player. Investment in pathways produces players, investment in facilities can produce revenue.

“It’s easy to play what’s your perfect structure. You can say we’ll have this number of teams, we’ll put loads of money into development, we’ll upgrade all the stadia, we’ll have low ticket prices, we’ll keep driving the revenues and get better broadcast deals and higher attendances. The hard bit is how you do it and how do you fund how you do it?

“I know people will say look at the Grand Slams, yeah absolutely. But in the long run you’ve got to find a way to be competitive with the resources you have got.

“The number of teams doesn’t come down to finance entirely. The other big variable is how many players of a certain level are your development systems producing.”

While he was born in Essex, Evans spent his formative years in Wales. His family moved to Cardiff when he was a baby and he went on to attend St Peter’s junior school and Lady Mary High School, before heading off to Christ College, Brecon.

As a teenager, he would stand on the north enclosure at the old Arms Park watching Wales in the great days of the 1970s. So, as he looks on from his home in Hertfordshire, does it sadden him to see the current state of the game in this country?

“It makes me very sad, but it doesn’t help, does it, me being sad? We can spend a lot of time and waste a lot of energy looking at how did we get here. Well, does it really matter how we got here, we are here. If you lose your way on the journey, there’s not a lot of point spending time agonising over where you took the wrong turning. No, the question is how do we get back on the road.

“Welsh people could spend a long, long time arguing how we got here, but it’s pretty much a waste of time because we are here. You should be spending your time trying to work out ways in which we can get out of it and what does that involve.”

Evans continued: “If you look at the advantages and disadvantages Welsh rugby has got, there are a lot of things you can’t do very much about and they are not great. It’s a small country with not many people, it’s not a particularly well off area, so there’s not a lot of very high incomes and there’s not many large corporate organisations. And we are very close to England which has a much larger market and much higher revenues.

"None of those things you can change, so there’s no point bleating on about it. You are not going to change Wales into Luxembourg overnight financially. You are not going to suddenly cut us off at Offa’s Dyke and float us into the Atlantic, so you can’t get to Bristol. You can’t control these things, they just are and they have consequences.

“So what do you do? Well, you need to concentrate on a few things. You need to keep working hard on your player pathways because one of the advantages Wales does have is that because rugby still has such cultural prominence it gets a higher proportion of the best athletic talent than other countries and they are located very close to each other.

"That’s an advantage in terms of preparation and getting clusters and hubs to work and having a playing schedule at age-groups. It’s the big area where Wales has a competitive advantage and they must make the most of it.

“What we also need is more aligned interests, so the interests of the players, the teams and the Union are aligned. Then we can all move in the same direction. We have never been able to get the kind of collective alignment in Wales that you need in any sport to be successful. We haven’t even got agreement on a salary cap, which is unbelievable. So all you are doing is injecting inflation into the wage market. It’s just extraordinary.”

He added: “You have got to change the governance, Gareth Davies was right there. It’s undoubtedly necessary. I don’t think you can come out the other side of this without it.”

And on the identity of the pro sides, he says: “I just can not get worked up about whether you call them clubs, regions or franchises. I just think it’s a nonsense. They are teams aren’t they? For God’s sake.”

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Whether or not the Dragons are kaput the so called “prime development land” of Rodney Parade is nothing of the sort its got poor drainage is hemmed in and for housing is in the less desirable NP19 postcode at the start of a house price slump/recession ditto for leisure use I’m repeating myself but can see county being given first refusal on any sale and imagining a campaign to retain sporting venue status would ensue as would political support and even support from our much maligned Newport RFC friends I just don’t see Rodney parades future as a sports venue being seriously threatened by any issues or folding of the Dragons not in the next decade at least

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There is expensive accessway, constructed between the school and RP, to alow pedestrian access, through the walkway that the flats were designed parallel to. This leads to a £5 million pound footbridge which leads onto multiple lit fountains on either side of the footpath, which leads onto the main pedestrian access to Friers Walk shopping centre.

5 different planning consents, all at different time lines, all linked, so that the view of the shopping centre is at its best, and most appealing. That is what designated planning produces, it is not random in any shape or fashion. RP is designated sports use, the Council require the fans footfall to use the bridge, and the car parks shops etc. The designated area for housing is adjacent the Usk, or old industrial brown field sites.

The WRU were aware of this when they took over the site, and they have invested in developing RP to make it more viable. The discussion now is how they can also make developing young talent viable. At the moment the system only provides the Welsh Internationals with better contracts, and the region's are only paying 20% of their wages, as they are missing from regional fixtures in the lead up to National fixtures. The theory being that the developing talent take over when the internationals are unavailable. It doesn't appear to be working that way, with the region's filling their squads with aging internationals, who won't get called up instead.

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CathedralCounty wrote: May 15th, 2022, 5:00 pm Whether or not the Dragons are kaput the so called “prime development land” of Rodney Parade is nothing of the sort its got poor drainage is hemmed in and for housing is in the less desirable NP19 postcode at the start of a house price slump/recession ditto for leisure use I’m repeating myself but can see county being given first refusal on any sale and imagining a campaign to retain sporting venue status would ensue as would political support and even support from our much maligned Newport RFC friends I just don’t see Rodney parades future as a sports venue being seriously threatened by any issues or folding of the Dragons not in the next decade at least
I don't know why you keep on going on about drainage and access.
If somebody was to build houses on there then they can dig and install a decent sewer drainage system, it did't stop them building the flats along Rodney Road (people do live on the ground floor), I am sure all you are thinking of is a few times RP got water logged in the past. You seem to forget
that new pitch drainage was put in this year and we didn't have any problems.
And as for access, this can be gained by coming in through the Corporation Road by the away fans entrance.
All this is immaterial because its not going to happen.

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