Yesterday, representatives of the Joint Supporters Group which includes Cardiff Blues Supporters Club , Dragons Official Supporters Club, Ospreys Supporters and Crys 16 met with the Chief Exec of the WRU, Martyn Phillips along with Ryan Jones – both who sit on the PRB.
The update we received was completely in line with what’s been reported in the media before today.
It would now seem that the situation has dramatically changed in light of reported events and the statement via the Ospreys today, and the subsequent statement by PRB which confirms what we were told yesterday.
We were assured that the recommendation to proceed with 4 regions based in the North, South, West and East of Wales was agreed unanimously by all PRB representatives which includes the Chairs of each of our regional Boards. We were assured that the proposed changes are financially focused and aim to tap into new markets both on and off the field, as well as evolve the regional structure to one which is more future proofed than the existing model. This of course would have a huge impact for the Ospreys and Scarlets.
Last night we expressed our sadness and anger at the disregard for existing supporters who have been deemed ‘expendable’ when compared to a potential new market. Members from OSC and Crys 16 passionately explained the impact they felt this would have on them and the wider supporter base of the Ospreys and Scarlets. CBSC and DOSC fully supported this position.
We also expressed our complete disappointment on behalf of all supporters of professional rugby in Wales at the lack of communication during the discussions over the last few months regarding ‘Project Reset’. This was recognized by Martyn and Ryan who said that it was difficult to communicate when positions and decisions were changing by the day.
Members of the JSG are united in the belief that regional rugby supporters have largely been ignored and excluded from any of consultation during this period, with the exception of some more regional communications at the Scarlets. We have agreed that we stand together as announcements and decisions are made, and we support each other and the stance that all existing regions should remain. There are precious few people putting money into the regional game in Wales and we represent those that do … so as you would expect, we have requested a follow up meeting in the coming weeks which was agreed.
We will of course provide our members and the wider supporter community with further updates as soon as they are available.
The Joint Supporters Club represents the four official Supporters organisations for the Welsh region (Crys16, Ospreys Supporters Club, Cardiff Blues Supporters CLub and Dragons Supporters Club).