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Friday, 31 January, 2003, 15:47 GMT
Llanelli refuse to yield
Llanelli and Cardiff refuse to merge with other clubs
Llanelli have rejected the latest proposal for a four-team professional structure to represent Wales in European and Celtic competitions.

The Scarlets have again insisted they want to stand alone as a separate club in a five-team structure.

Chief executive Stuart Gallacher has called for a "complete and frank public appraisal" of the financial state of the Welsh Rugby Union and the Millennium Stadium plc before any reorganisation plans are discussed.

Gallacher feels the current financial crisis facing Welsh rugby is purely down to the poor management of the WRU over the last seven years.

He also demanded an apology from Welsh Rugby Union chief executive David Moffett over claims Llanelli owe the Union 2.3 million.

Gallacher said that the majority of the debt is cancelled out by money actually owed to Llanelli by the WRU.

"We have checked the current financial position between the WRU and Llanelli RFC and the truth is that they owe us more money than we owe them," said Gallacher.

"Also we believe that as a result of the WRU's unlawful acts over recent years, we could legally substantiate significant claims against the WRU.

"We have to date declined to take such action in the wider interests of Welsh rugby."

Six of the eight Welsh Premier clubs agreed on Thursday to a plan to create four regional entities, with each club holding a 50% ownership.

The Welsh Rugby Union board has also given the plan its blessing.

We have not agreed to a 50-50 partnership with Ponty

Cardiff chairman Peter Thomas
But Cardiff and Llanelli declined to support the proposal before consulting with their board of directors.

And having done so, both clubs have said that such a plan is "not in the best interests of Welsh rugby".

The four-team structure would see Llanelli merging with Swansea, while Cardiff would join forces with Pontypridd.

WRU chief executive David Moffett suggested on Thursday that Cardiff were prepared to form a join entity with Pontypridd.

But Blue and Blacks chairman Peter Thomas has now dismissed Moffett's claims.

Cardiff, like Llanelli, are still favouring a five-team structure for next season.

He said: "We have not agreed to a four-team scenario, and we have not agreed to a 50-50 partnership with Ponty.

"We have never considered such a partnership."

The WRU has refused to comment on the latest collapse in the restructuring process.


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