Tuesday 15 July 2014

Crunch time

One of the things which is said to put people off politics is bickering, posturing and backstabbing, but if you want to see real anger, Machiavellian manoeuvrings, treachery and bile the place to go is Welsh rugby where the long simmering dispute between Regional Rugby Wales and the Welsh Rugby Union has reached fever pitch.

At the end of last week the RRW issued a very strongly worded statement accusing the WRU in effect of acting in bad faith and seeking to wreck negotiations between the two bodies. The WRU responded with a PR operative's wet dream of a statement claiming it was surprised and disappointed by the line taken by RRW.

While that was going on, the BBC was fed a leaked letter from the RRW to the WRU which was mangled and spun to give the impression that the RRW had asked the WRU to step in and take over the running of the regions.

The full text of that letter setting out RRW's proposals and demands was then published in full in the Rugby Paper (click here).

This was followed yesterday by a report in the South Wales Argus saying that the regions had given the WRU an ultimatum demanding a response to their proposals for a new rugby services agreement by 4pm on 14 July, with a final agreement to be signed by 18 July. If no progress is made, they will terminate all further discussions with the WRU, the Argus was informed.

Whether RRW received a response by 4pm yesterday is not yet known, but what is clear is that the next few days will be decisive for regional rugby, with the Scarlets in particular facing a very grim future if there is no last minute compromise.

One of the strangest aspects of this story is its treatment in what can only loosely be called the Welsh media, where there has been only very patchy coverage. When you consider that this is a highly dramatic dispute about the future of the national game, the fitful and at times rather skewed nature of the reporting is something which should be ringing alarm bells well beyond the world of rugby boardrooms.

1 comment:

top up said...

talking of local sports, is Carmarhenshire County Council holding up proceedings on the asset transfer business?
Whispers around are they have not supplied little things such as bills and invoices so the clubs involved have no real idea of breakdown of all costs so they can compare the council's sums to a private contractor. Or on a DOY basis.
Talk of lambs to the slaughter.
Why on earth would someone want to take on asset transfer when they have no idea of what they are going to be spending.

When things go pear shaped, a twon council always has the twon council taxpayer to rely on to pick up the costs.

If any club or community council accepts the asset transfer without checking facts first, are they fit for purpose.

If any council is thinking of transfer, the first thing they would ask for is the invoices and costs. Time is running out and it won't be long until the process is back on the agenda again.

First consultation period is ending next week, inviting comments and suggestions. But how can the public comment on something when all they have is what was printed in the press and take that as fact?

Or is there something we don't know about? yet. Or would it be a case of we won't ever know now