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Monday, 8 April, 2002, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
WRU chairman comes under threat
WRU offices
Pressure on the WRU committee is growing
One of Welsh rugby's top officials has said the position of WRU chairman Glanmor Griffiths is under threat following the latest impasse over the restructuring of the game.

Les Williams, vice chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union, said Mr Griffiths position was becoming "more and more untenable".

Glanmor Griffiths
Glanmor Griffiths does not think he needs to resign
He was speaking after an extraordinary meeting of the union in Cardiff on Sunday overwhelmingly rejected a WRU-backed plan to slim down the number of top Welsh rugby clubs from nine to six.

Speaking on BBC Wales's Good Morning Wales programme Mr Williams said it was not up to him to call for Mr Griffiths to step down over the issue.

But he added: "His position becomes more and more untenable if you try to impose on the clubs something they don't accept."

Earlier, there were calls for the entire Welsh Rugby Union general committee to resign following Sunday's vote against of the 'Gang of Six' plan.

Sunday's extraordinary general meeting in Cardiff's St David's Hall voted by 325 votes to 98 against the WRU' backed proposal to cut the number of top-flight clubs in Wales from nine to six.

After the meeting, Griffiths said he was determined to stay where he is.

"I don't feel the need to resign, we are a democratic organisation," he said. "We've got to work together to find proposals which are acceptable to the clubs.

"I'm disappointed, I thought the vote would be closer. I'm disappointed nobody got up to support the proposition, the ones who did get up came from those opposing it.

Proposals

The 'Gang of Six' clubs who make up the Premier Rugby Partnership Wales (PRPW), had tabled the proposal in a bid to improve performance and the game's structure.

They - Bridgend, Cardiff, Llanelli, Newport, Pontypridd and Swansea - had said their plan to slim down the top flight was vital to ensure financial and sporting success.


The meeting's mood was overwhelming in favour of radical change in the management of the game

Llanelli chief executive Stuart Gallacher
PRPW chairman Stuart Gallacher, the Llanelli chief executive, was putting on a brave face after their plan was rejected as expected.

"Whilst the vote itself did not lead to agreement for immediate wide-reaching change in the professional game, the meeting's mood was overwhelming in favour of radical change in the management of the game.

"The next stage must be to deliver this change."

A proposal to increase the number of premier division clubs to 12 was not even voted on, but their representatives called for heads to roll after the meeting.

"The WRU should look at themselves and those who voted for the Gang of Six should step down," said Dave Escott, representing the First Division clubs.

Another EGM is now scheduled for early May, and the WRU general committee could find itself effectively voted out of power to be replaced by a professional executive board that would run the game in Wales.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales's Bob Humphrys
"The status quo remains - but maybe not for much longer"
BBC Wales's Bob Humphrys
"The mood of clubs at yesterday's meeting was clear"
See also:

06 Apr 02 | International
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06 Apr 02 | International
Fans petition rugby chiefs to quit
05 Apr 02 | International
Hansen to lead Wales through strife
05 Apr 02 | International
Henry backs Hansen
05 Apr 02 | International
Hansen wins Wales job
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