Pooler director Jeffreys warns of bleak future

POOLER corporate director Ben Jeffreys has warned the Welsh Rugby Union not to bury their heads in the sand despite seeing off a vote of no confidence.

An extraordinary general meeting was held in Port Talbot last Sunday after 39 clubs expressed their concerns about the way the game was being run by the governing body.

Only four club representatives out of almost 500 voted to oust the current regime.

Nonetheless, Welsh rugby legend, and board member, Gerald Davies said the episode had to serve as a wake-up call.

He said: "We need to have a strong identity and we need cohesion, collaboration and cooperation. We need to restore Welsh rugby and not through self-interest.

"We cannot carry on with having more of the same. We need the right rugby governance Welsh rugby can be proud of.

"We cannot come back here in five years' time for another EGM, as has become the pattern. If we do, we have failed. We cannot leave here without believing we need to change."

Jeffreys warns that rugby faces an identity crisis and that the trouble lies ahead unless there is real direction from the WRU.

"Unless there is change the club game is going to die a prolonged death. We are not connecting with people emotively in the way we need to," he told the Pontypool Free Press.

"From discussions I've had over two years, club supporters are absolutely sick to death with the way the game is being run.

"They are disenfranchised, attendances are dipping and volunteer participation in the game has fallen.

"All clubs have different requirements and I respect the outcome of the vote and their democratic right, however I do not feel the outcome represents the true feeling within Welsh rugby and for that I feel the game will feel the effects of this outcome for years to come."

The WRU are balloting clubs to see if they want to adopt a proposed new league structure or stick with the existing one for next season.

Comments (4)

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5:46pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Risca1 says...

You would have thought Mr Jefferies representing Pontypool RFC would have learnt their lesson to take on the WRU. Only 1 winner.
You would have thought Mr Jefferies representing Pontypool RFC would have learnt their lesson to take on the WRU. Only 1 winner. Risca1
  • Score: -6

9:44am Fri 20 Jun 14

Melvyn The Milk says...

.....and do they have long memories!!!!! May have been more diplomatic to follow the other sheep who voted for the status quo. What goes round comes round with the WRU. Enjoy your lower league status Pooler.
.....and do they have long memories!!!!! May have been more diplomatic to follow the other sheep who voted for the status quo. What goes round comes round with the WRU. Enjoy your lower league status Pooler. Melvyn The Milk
  • Score: -5

6:35pm Fri 20 Jun 14

blue lagoon 2 says...

Pontypool rgc and their fans still have a chip on their shoulder, if they were good enough last seadon and gained automatic promotion would they have rejected the proposed league restructure or continue their battle with the wru? I think not
Pontypool rgc and their fans still have a chip on their shoulder, if they were good enough last seadon and gained automatic promotion would they have rejected the proposed league restructure or continue their battle with the wru? I think not blue lagoon 2
  • Score: -6

9:11pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Foxyboy3rd says...

The thing is that Pooler still play on what is a park pitch.
I can remember John Perkins bemoaning how they couldn't cope with the professional scene .It was a bit rich because I can remember who started paying back in the 70's when Newport were still an amateur club.
The thing is that Pooler still play on what is a park pitch. I can remember John Perkins bemoaning how they couldn't cope with the professional scene .It was a bit rich because I can remember who started paying back in the 70's when Newport were still an amateur club. Foxyboy3rd
  • Score: -5

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