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Brian Price with BBC Sport Online's Gareth Lewis
"The timing of an announcement like this is bad"
 real 28k

Sunday, 30 July, 2000, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Price slams shirt deal
Colin Charvis in action
Under cover: there will be a sponsor's name behind the ball in the autumn
The Welsh rugby side are set to have shirt sponsors for the first time, in a move that could generate millions of pounds for the Welsh Rugby Union.

The WRU also hope to announce a new sponsor for the Challenge Cup by the end of the week.

The competition has been sponsorless since SWALEC pulled out two years ago.

The shirt sponsor's logo should be in place in time for Wales' autumn internationals against Samoa, the USA and South Africa.

Former Wales captain Brian Price is unhappy at the proposed move.

Speaking exclusively to BBC Sport Online, he said, " I am a traditionalist and there's not many things left in Welsh rugby going back years.

"The shirt with just the three feathers is one of them and I had hoped we would keep it and not follow the likes of England."


Many other clubs are struggling with their finances. It is partly due to bad management by the IRB for announcing five years ago that every level of rugby would be professionalised
  Brian Price

"I suppose it is inevitable as everyone is making money out of every avenue possible," Price said.

A little excessive

The former Newport lock was also surprised at the amount paid to Wales' players for their world cup matches - 37,000 on average - which was revealed at the AGM of the WRU on Saturday.

"It is a little excessive, a tremendous amount for how they played.

"The results were not that good and the team did not play that well," he said.

Wales went out in the quarter-finals, losing to Australia, but also lost to Samoa along the way.

Price also questioned the timing of the shirt deal and salary announcements, in a week when Pontypool went into liquidation and Neath were rumoured to be under financial pressures.


I am satisfied IMG will be in a position to put recommendations to us by autumn. Talks are advanced
  Glanmor Griffiths

"Many other clubs are struggling with their finances.

It is partly due to bad management by the IRB for announcing five years ago that every level of rugby would be professionalised," he said, advocating a return to amateurism at the lower levels of the game in Wales.

International management group, IMG, are dealing with the shirt sponsorship on behalf of the WRU, whose chairman Glanmor Griffiths said, " I am satisfied IMG will be in a position to put recommendations to us by autumn. Talks are advanced."

It was not revealed which name would be emblazoned across Wales' famous red jersey.

The Welsh side currently has a deal with sportswear manufacturers Reebok, who make Wales' shirts, a contract worth 1.3 million last year.

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30 Jul 00 |  Rugby Union
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29 Jul 00 |  Rugby Union
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