The Mentality of the Voluntarily Disenfranchised

Mr Geraint Powell, a man famed for holding ‘interesting’ views on the set up of Welsh rugby and for using multiple logins and aliases to publish them, wrote this regarding the set up of a Cardiff Blues Supporters Trust:

Here is my reply (that he is unlikely to publish):

“Geraint, when will you realise that the structure of Welsh rugby has moved on since 2003? In 2003, it was a qualification that ONLY rugby CLUBS could own and run the new regional branded teams. That ruling has since changed, of course, just proving that things have further (and enormously) evolved since 2003. You, however, have fabricated the events of 2003 to produce a yardstick against which you measure the teams of 2016. Your entire writing is directed at criticising the present PRW set up for not meeting requirements that were not even part of the 2003 agreement.

In 2016, we have four Pro Teams running regional development pathways. They are NOT representative teams and they were never set up to be as such – how could they as they were ONLY allowed to be owned by clubs in 2003?

What we have is four clubs with regional academies, a la the English set up. The four Welsh clubs put their younger players out at farm clubs in lower divisions, a la the English set up.

There is not requirement, and never has been outside of the terrible Welsh media, for a supporter pathway. There has never been the expectation that supporters of Club A would switch (or share) allegiance with Pro Team A. This is another of your straw men arguments that you falsify to criticise the PRW set up of 2016.

In short, you’re an angry man shouting at shadows that you’ve fabricated in order to just allow you to shout. You cannot change the present set up (the presentation you gave to Phillips was financially naive to the point where it broke the Barclays covenants) and you have excluded yourself from Pro Rugby in Wales, as is your right. However, criticising the present set up for not meeting requirements that it was never meant to is bizarre.

And, of course, you are yet to put forward an alternative financial model that is even remotely possible. Until you can do that, all you are doing is shouting at shadows that you’ve created.”

Just to clarify, the Company structure of Cardiff Blues is very likely to alter as a result of new Lease negotiations with Cardiff Athletic Club. The latter is the owner of Cardiff Arms Park and the major shareholder in Cardiff Blues, but a stipulation of the new lease is likely to be Cardiff Blues buying back CAC’s shareholding. The Trust, therefore, is linked to the company that is Cardiff Blues Ltd and will be involved with all rugby that Cardiff Blues is involved with – from the age grade teams, the school teams, the community clubs and the professional end of the spectrum.

Supporter involvement in any sports club is vital and should be applauded. Any mentality that criticises that, as Geraint has done, is to be pitied and dismissed. Whoever is your rugby team / club / region / province / whatever, get involved and be involved. It’s your club and it won’t last without you.


One thought on “The Mentality of the Voluntarily Disenfranchised

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  1. I don’t know why people continually refer to 2003 as the most influential year in Welsh club rugby, as the real damage was done before that. The rebel season should have been the real game changer, as it prompted an offer for five clubs to join the English system. As the history books show, the WRU turned down the offer only for us to end up a short few years later with five teams in a far inferior league.

    An Anglo Welsh league now looks like non starter, but you have to wonder sometimes just where some of the Welsh clubs would be after 16 years of the kind of financial rewards reaped by their English counterparts. Let’s not forget that at time of the rebel season, Welsh clubs were frequently reaching the latter rounds of the Heineken Cup and were more than competitive at that level. Looking at the rise of the likes of Exeter, one can only speculate where the likes of Newport, Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli might now be.

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