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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 July, 2003, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Revolt against WRU reform
WRU chief executive David Moffett
WRU chief executive David Moffett is furious with the revolt
Welsh rugby has been thrown into turmoil yet again following a revolt against Welsh Rugby Union chief executive David Moffett.

Cost-cutting measures are the cornerstone of Moffett's plans to modernise Welsh rugby and rescue the game in Wales from its spiral of debt.

But 12 junior Welsh clubs led a revolt at the WRU's AGM in Port Talbot against the Australian's reforms, which would have seen their grants cut from 8,000 to 6,000 a season.

Only 16 clubs out of the 239 membership backed Moffett's proposals, with the remainder supporting the rebels from District G - Burry Port, Bynea, Carmarthen Athletic, Felinfoel, Furnace United, Kidwelly, Laugharne, Llanelli Wanderers, Llandybie, Newcastle Emlyn, New Dock Stars and Trimsaran.

The WRU has debts of 66 million and it has been Moffett's priority to reduce that huge figure, but the revolt by the junior clubs blows a 400,000 hole in his budget for the coming season.

The revolt infuriated Moffett, who has impressed the majority of observers since taking up his post, and caused him to seriously consider his position.

But Welsh rugby can consider itself fortunate that the man likes a challenge, and there can be few bigger than tackling the self-interest that is imbedded so deeply in Welsh rugby.

I was obviously a little bit disillusioned but I'm not going away
WRU chief executive David Moffett

"I had to consider my position in light of the overwhelming decision to have the board overturn its budget," Moffett said.

"There are difficult decisions to be made and it is people's democratic right to dispute them, but that's not going to stop me and others from wanting to do the right thing by Welsh rugby in the long term.

"I was obviously a little bit disillusioned - but I'll fight to get good governance and I'm not going away."

Steve Pike, the chairman of District G and secretary of Llanelli Wanderers led the revolt on Saturday.

He has accused the WRU of spending too much money on luxuries and that grass roots clubs should not have to pay for Union overspending.

The row overshadowed the installation of David Pickering as the new WRU chairman, taking over from the departing Glanmor Griffiths, who admitted he was "very disappointed" by the revolt.

It also makes a mockery of the Together - Wales in Union campaign, launched by the WRU last week in an effort to put the feel-good factor back in Welsh rugby.

The executive body will meet next week in an effort to work out a compromise.


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