welsh rugby debacle

welsh rugby debacle

Post by Tom Westo » Tue, 02 Apr 2013 19:29:38

All about finances and structure rather than playing standards this time.

There's a little side show going on about various proposed moves
for George North:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/21991046

All of this is becoming farcical, it strikes me.

The four regions are all up to their eyeballs in debt, meanwhile
the Welsh game seems (for the moment at least) in rude health, with a
decent crop of talent bring in revenues at an international level,
which the WRU is using to pay back debt on the Millennium stadium,
rather than investing in anything resembling grass roots infrastructure.

So we have ended up with
- a successful international team, with a strong, young team
- a reasonably financially robust WRU
- four unloved regional franchises who are completely uncompetitive in Europe
- a withering club structure

This is in stark contrast with say a decade or two ago where there was a fanatically supported vibrant club structure that was always capable of
taking a few scalps in Europe but a national team that was struggling to
keep up with the second tier international teams.

I am honestly unsure which is better but can't really believe it's an either/or
situation.

It seems inevitable that the pendulum will swing back at some point.
The French business model will prove unsustainable and the expat contingent will
come back to the UK and also maybe the national team will not be so strong.
What structure will they come back to?

Maybe Wales is heading for the Argentina model: amateur club scene, all the talent plays in foreign leagues with clauses to play for the national team.

Unless the WRU can financially support the regions, this seems the only outcome.