The EGM has yet to take place but unfortunately I don’t think much will change. The clubs are intimidated by the WRU and some have been promised things that are yet to happen so few are prepared to rock the boat. This is unfortunate as if they all the clubs talked to each other and rocked the boat it would surely capsize and we would hopefully start again with something better, well could it be worse…
For me twitter has been of interest over the last few months when these issues have been more in the spotlight. Personally I took the decision 2-3 years ago not to hand over any of my money to the WRU. Two main reasons for this
1. The 4th Autumn International. Do I need to say more? Gatland says he needs the players at least 2 weeks before a match to prepare. The WRU and Gatland wants a 4th AI that gives the regions less than a week to prepare for the European Cup. Then Gatland criticises the regions for not performing in Europe…..
2. An interview with Roger Lewis a few years back saying that Team Wales is the future of Welsh Rugby. No Roger, grassroots are the future of Welsh rugby as that is where your players will come from. As a grassroots coach I would feel betrayed by the WRU. Volunteers in all sports (I coach football) spend many hours a week, sometimes in horrible conditions as there is no optional roof on our pitches, making it possible for Wales to field a team not just this year but in years to come. But sorry grassroots rugby coaches what you do is not part of the future.
However, there is one thing that some clubs have taken as a reason/excuse to stay faithful with the WRU and blame the regions for all ill.. that confuses me…
Compensation for players that they have developed and in their eyes, the regions steal from them!?
So if I get it right, there are a number of clubs out there who think that they can have a professional rugby team in their town, village? They think they can find the sponsors build a stadium say Parc Y Scarlets size..keep a business of that size going?
Also this said compensation that they want, I have been wondering where it will come from and the only solution I can see is that they want a transfer system like in football. During two transfer windows any player can be bought regardless of contract as long as you pay enough money for him. This is the difference, in football the clubs/regions are paid for a player as long he’s under contract and from this payment compensation to the players’ previous clubs is paid is some cases. At the moment most professional rugby players will see through their contract and then sign a new contract which might be with another club. If so their previous club/region is not paid as the player is not bought as in football. There have been a few early release compensations paid, eg George North but they are few and far between. So my conclusion can only be that they want rugby to be more like football as they would then be able to receive compensation…Because as we all know money doesn’t grow on trees and any form of compensation costs.
I have written a blog before where I talked about the relationship between clubs and regions, Regional Rugby – Thoughts, so just a recap now. For me a local club would aim to have minis, juniors and a senior team. Some local clubs might be able to field teams in all age groups some not, but the aim is there. I can’t see that it should be the aim for every local club to have their own professional team, that just doesn’t work, anyone disagree? This means that the professional tier will cover more than one local club while at the same time being the local clubs’ top tier. It is theirs, so when a player goes on to play professionally, maybe starts in the academy, they have reached the local clubs top tier!
Unless of course the local club rather keep the player, as they get no compensation, not encouraging him to reach his full potential as a rugby player which for some could be playing for Wales….