Regions launch fresh attack at WRU
January 4, 2014
The regions are facing an uncertain future © Getty Images
After the Welsh Rugby Union's letter to the clubs became public, the Welsh regions have hit back at the WRU saying the organisation's focus "is all about control and not the best interests of Welsh rugby".
Following the deadline for a new Participation Agreement coming and going without any deal, the regions and the WRU issued contrasting statements as the two bodies seemed poles apart in finding any common ground for a deal regarding the future of domestic rugby in Wales.
The regions are keen on joining the breakaway Rugby Champions Cup next term while the WRU is steadfast in its wish for Welsh sides to continue playing in the Heineken Cup.
And following the publication of a letter sent by the WRU to the member clubs in Wales stating its views on the current debate regarding the future of domestic rugby in the country, the regions have issued a strong statement in which it slams the WRU.
In a 10-point statement, called 'The Facts', the regions say the "WRU has failed miserably to negotiate equitable and fair revenue distribution for Welsh clubs in line with clubs in England and France" while also illustrating the reasoning behind their wish to join the Champions Cup, a competition they say will bring an extra £12m into the regional game.
The regions also claim their wish to join the Champions Cup was met with a "disrespectful response" and led to a "vitriolic and disingenuous attack on the Welsh regions".
The regions have called for a deal over the Participation Agreement to be sorted by January 31 after the original agreement tabled by the WRU was not signed. The WRU has since said it will propose a fresh deal, a move which the regions seem surprised by.
"It is incredulous to the Welsh regions that the WRU refused to discuss any item in the current Participation Agreement before its deadline of December 31 but is now willing to offer a 'new agreement' on different terms," RRW said. "Equally it is yet to be explained by the WRU why bringing an additional £12m into the game by the Regions, is not in the best interests of Welsh rugby."
As the civil war intensifies in Wales, the two parties seem further apart than ever, a point illustrated in RRW's statement. "It would seem from the recent correspondence from the WRU to clubs in Wales that their focus is all about control and not the best interests of Welsh rugby."
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