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ESPN SCRUM / Wales / News
Moffett poised to sue the Welsh board
ESPN Staff
March 2, 2014
David Moffett, the Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union pictured at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales on April 1, 2003.
David Moffett - ready to head to the courts © Getty Images

David Moffett, the former group chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, is threatening to take legal action against the board after what he claims was a defamatory statement issued to clubs by the WRU last week.

Moffett, who has drawn up an alternative plan for Welsh rugby, took exception to the statement, signed by the union's chairman David Pickering, which tagged Moffett's expose of the union's finances as "scurrilous".

In an email sent on Saturday and published in the Rugby Paper, Moffatt wrote to Pickering: "Your lack of response to my confidential email of Wednesday 27th February is both disappointing and short-sighted. As a result I have briefed lawyers to take action against you and your co-signatories for defamation.

"You and your co-signatories used the following terminology in respect of a document that I had circulated widely on the internet and to every club in Wales: Put very simply, the document is inaccurate and although the WRU does not usually counter scurrilous comment it is important that our club officials and members have access to the correct information.

"I drew your attention to the definition of scurrilous: 'making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation'. As of today you have still not provided any documentation to the clubs to back up your assertion. I find your comments deeply offensive. Accordingly, if you have not publicly apologised for these comments by 5pm on Monday, 3rd March, I will commence legal proceedings against you."

Speaking to the Rugby Paper, Moffatt said he expected legal proceedings to happen. "It's appalling that they should be using this sort of terminology. All I have done is take the numbers from the union's own annual reports."

The crux of the dispute is a paper from Moffatt in which he said the board had reserves of £11 million and that at least £6 million could be released to clubs. He accused the Union of "knowingly keeping the clubs poor".

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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