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Roger Lewis Leaving (OFFICIAL)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote KID A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2015 at 9:42am
Some cracking posts in this thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobbySosban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2015 at 1:34pm
From today's issue of The Breakdown by Paul Rees in the Guardian:

CHANGE AT THE TOP IN WALES

The Welsh Rugby Union this week announced that its chief executive, Roger Lewis, who is also the CEO of the Millennium Stadium, would be standing down in October after nine years in charge. There was no media conference, only an email of a few hundred words that pointed out a list of achievements.

You would have thought, especially given the gushing reaction in some of the Welsh media to news that was overdue, that a media conference for a man who had, some said, delivered grand slams and driven down the WRU’s debt was the least he merited, an opportunity to bask in the glow of friendly questions.

Except some would have been more awkward. Such as did the chief executive jump or was he pushed? His departure was decided in January after a meeting of the board of directors when they made it clear they were looking to move in a different direction. Lewis’s time was up. It was tantamount to a vote of no confidence and the only question was when he went: before the start of the Six Nations, at the end of the tournament or through to the World Cup?

His final day will be on 31 October, when the World Cup final will be played at Twickenham, but it would be no surprise if he had not found himself on gardening leave by then. If he is still in office, he no longer has the power and influence he once wielded, the inevitable outcome of last year’s election of board members by clubs.

David Pickering, the WRU chairman throughout Lewis’s tenure, was voted out as a national representative. He was replaced by the former Wales outside-half Gareth Davies, then the chief executive of Newport Gwent Dragons, and a vacancy created the retirement of Gerald Davies, whose valedictory speech to the clubs at an annual general meeting called earlier in the year lamented the low esteem in which Wales were held throughout the rugby world, was filled by another ex-international, Anthony Buchanan.

Pickering and Lewis had a close working relationship, but when Gareth Davies was elected as chairman, armed with a mandate by the clubs who, while acknowledging the progress made by Wales since Gatland had been appointed head coach at the end of 2007, were concerned at the deteriorating state of the game in the levels below: the shop window may have looked good but the state of the stockroom demanded attention.

Davies has taken that mandate on. There was a jockeying for power initially but he stood firm as chairman, winning the battle to have Gerald Davies’s name put forward as the WRU’s recommendation for the post of chairman of the Guinness Pro12. A board that under Pickering’s chairmanship had found it difficult to stand up to Lewis found its voice.

Gareth Davies and Lewis had been on the opposite sides during a television debate at the start of last year over the state of the game in Wales, in particular the failure of the WRU to agree a partnership deal with its four regions who feared they were being shoved towards financial doom.

The regions had taken to social media to press their case, believing that most of the established media in Wales were unwilling to jeopardise their relationship with the WRU, something that led to a lack of accountability. Gareth Davies and Lewis were never going to get on with the former not just behind the regions but committed to addressing the concerns of the grassroots and building trust.

The elite side of the game has prospered under Lewis who, not unreasonably, saw the international game as the financial driver but Wales is one of the few countries in the world that can lay claim to rugby union as its national sport. One of the concerns of the regions during their long standoff with the WRU was that they wanted to be able to get involved in the game in their areas to help it and them grow but they were, to be euphemistic, discouraged.

That is changing under Gareth Davies. This week’s email announcement contained a short tribute to Lewis from him. It was said in victory. The WRU has lost a chief executive with a remarkable gift for publicity and a huge capacity for work but who was not comfortable around the table negotiating with those who held a contrary view to his. Welsh rugby will be duller without him but his legacy of a strong top and a weaker middle and bottom must not be an enduring one.


If you don't already receive The Breakdown by email every Thursday, I recommend signing up for it:

To subscribe to the Breakdown, just visit this page, find “The Breakdown” and follow the instructions



Edited by NobbySosban - 26 February 2015 at 1:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KID A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2015 at 1:36pm
Originally posted by NobbySosban NobbySosban wrote:

His departure was decided in January after a meeting of the board of directors when they made it clear they were looking to move in a different direction. Lewis’s time was up. It was tantamount to a vote of no confidence


Interesting stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobbySosban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2015 at 1:38pm
And this somewhat hastily thrown-together piece on the investigative site WalesEye:

Rogered

Posted on February 26, 2015 by waleseye

Amid all the fawning adulation of Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) chief executive Roger Lewis, Wales Eye thought the facts should be presented.Mr Lewis said the time was “right” to step down “after a remarkable period”.

It has certainly been remarkable. 

He tried to muzzle the media to stop the truth coming out. He has presided over an organisation where ticket prices are beyond the reach of many ordinary rugby fans, but officials refuse to lower them nearer kick-off.

A huge civil war between professional rugby clubs erupted during his tenure, and a vicious row put the WRU at loggerheads with the grassroots game.

Mr Lewis is, in short, one of the most controversial figures in world rugby.

But he is not known for his modesty. In one interview Mr Lewis said:  “I know my success is staggering to many…”

He is keenly interested in the performance of the national team and the image that projects, but is rarely seen attending any matches of the four regions where the success rate in recent seasons has been miserable.

In July 2013, Wales Eye were prevented from publishing a full profile of Mr Lewis following the threat of legal action (see http://tmblr.co/ZwCEOspXMfAJ ).

Soon after, we revealed how the small independent website and TV station, Rebecca television, were accused by him and other senior executives at the WRU of libel for giving details about a documentary on the financial affairs of the then chairman David Pickering (see http://tmblr.co/ZwCEOsqSeUvX ).

CONTROVERSIES

Wales Eye have also been at the forefront of revelations about how thousands of emParc y Scarletseats at the Millennium stadium were shown around the world during key rugby internationals involving Wales, after giving details of how fans could not afford sky-high ticket prices (see http://tmblr.co/ZwCEOsn9QXge ).

One life-long fan, businessman Neil Gregory, has followed the Wales team all over the world and calculates he has provided the WRU with more than £20,000. This, he suggests, many others may have paid over two or three decades supporting the team through thick and thin. He told Wales Eye he found the sight of so many emParc y Scarletseats at the stadium incredibly dispiriting.

“It makes my blood boil,” he said. “This money could go towards supporting grass-roots rugby in Wales. They should fill the seats by Dutch auction (where ticket prices become cheaper as kick-off approaches)or even circulate unsold tickets to schools 36 hours before the games to inspire kids.

“Pictures of swathes of emParc y Scarletseats being beamed across the world inspire no one and they certainly won’t be supportive of the boys in red either.”

The backdrop to these controversies is the civil wars which have erupted between the WRU and rugby clubs in Wales. One row focused on the demand for important players to receive ‘central’ contracts at the union, not with their professional rugby regions.

The regions had complained about the wages they were forced to pay their star players who became injured but were usually fit for six nations games. Yet they baulked at the level of control demanded by the WRU. The argument simmered for several years as the details were thrashed out.

Wales Eye revealed how at one stage the four Welsh regions were even planning to go it alone (see http://tmblr.co/ZwCEOs1LhFfjW ).

The bitterness between the regions and the union became so bad that Cardiff castle not the Millennium stadium was being hired to present details to the media before a key game (see http://tmblr.co/ZwCEOs1CzDylu ).

INPUT

Another row focused on a reorganisation of the grassroots game and the perceived mismanagement by the WRU. Clubs felt they were effectively presented with the plans to shake up the game and had little input.

But there were problems at the national level too.

The former Wales team manager Gareth Jenkins was unceremoniously sacked, and just before Mr Lewis was controversially filmed talking sternly to him in a French car park.

Mr Lewis was a producer at Radio One in the 1970s, working on the execrable summer roadshow programme. But he is “proud” of his achievements.

At a personal level his vanity is notable. When he arrived at the WRU in 2006 he wore glasses. Yet he was happy to tell people how he went to a top Harley Street doctor for laser surgery on his eyes so he would not have to wear them.

Through it all though, Mr Lewis has gone from strength to strength. He heads the South East Wales Economic forum and is believed to harbour political ambitions.

But of course the success of Mr Lewis is staggering to many.



Edited by NobbySosban - 26 February 2015 at 2:07pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote minded Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2015 at 1:43pm
Paul Rees' breakdown was more of an interesting read i feel, and free too!
Quote The Welsh Rugby Union this week announced that its chief executive, Roger Lewis, who is also the CEO of the Millennium Stadium, would be standing down in October after nine years in charge. There was no media conference, only an email of a few hundred words that pointed out a list of achievements.

You would have thought, especially given the gushing reaction in some of the Welsh media to news that was overdue, that a media conference for a man who had, some said, delivered grand slams and driven down the WRU’s debt was the least he merited, an opportunity to bask in the glow of friendly questions.

Except some would have been more awkward. Such as did the chief executive jump or was he pushed? His departure was decided in January after a meeting of the board of directors when they made it clear they were looking to move in a different direction. Lewis’s time was up. It was tantamount to a vote of no confidence and the only question was when he went: before the start of the Six Nations, at the end of the tournament or through to the World Cup?

His final day will be on 31 October, when the World Cup final will be played at Twickenham, but it would be no surprise if he had not found himself on gardening leave by then. If he is still in office, he no longer has the power and influence he once wielded, the inevitable outcome of last year’s election of board members by clubs.

David Pickering, the WRU chairman throughout Lewis’s tenure, was voted out as a national representative. He was replaced by the former Wales outside-half Gareth Davies, then the chief executive of Newport Gwent Dragons, and a vacancy created the retirement of Gerald Davies, whose valedictory speech to the clubs at an annual general meeting called earlier in the year lamented the low esteem in which Wales were held throughout the rugby world, was filled by another ex-international, Anthony Buchanan.

Pickering and Lewis had a close working relationship, but when Gareth Davies was elected as chairman, armed with a mandate by the clubs who, while acknowledging the progress made by Wales since Gatland had been appointed head coach at the end of 2007, were concerned at the deteriorating state of the game in the levels below: the shop window may have looked good but the state of the stockroom demanded attention.

Davies has taken that mandate on. There was a jockeying for power initially but he stood firm as chairman, winning the battle to have Gerald Davies’s name put forward as the WRU’s recommendation for the post of chairman of the Guinness Pro12. A board that under Pickering’s chairmanship had found it difficult to stand up to Lewis found its voice.

Gareth Davies and Lewis had been on the opposite sides during a television debate at the start of last year over the state of the game in Wales, in particular the failure of the WRU to agree a partnership deal with its four regions who feared they were being shoved towards financial doom.

The regions had taken to social media to press their case, believing that most of the established media in Wales were unwilling to jeopardise their relationship with the WRU, something that led to a lack of accountability. Gareth Davies and Lewis were never going to get on with the former not just behind the regions but committed to addressing the concerns of the grassroots and building trust.

The elite side of the game has prospered under Lewis who, not unreasonably, saw the international game as the financial driver but Wales is one of the few countries in the world that can lay claim to rugby union as its national sport. One of the concerns of the regions during their long standoff with the WRU was that they wanted to be able to get involved in the game in their areas to help it and them grow but they were, to be euphemistic, discouraged.

That is changing under Gareth Davies. This week’s email announcement contained a short tribute to Lewis from him. It was said in victory. The WRU has lost a chief executive with a remarkable gift for publicity and a huge capacity for work but who was not comfortable around the table negotiating with those who held a contrary view to his. Welsh rugby will be duller without him but his legacy of a strong top and a weaker middle and bottom must not be an enduring one.



Edited by minded - 26 February 2015 at 1:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobbySosban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2015 at 3:35pm
My own reverential appreciation of Roger Lewis:


I started scribbling this over a year ago in a genuine attempt to understand and represent Lewis. The more I learned and the more I saw of his leadership, the angrier I got about his politico style, PR-led strategy and opaque objectives - I guess my feelings come across fairly clearly, but not without acknowledging his strengths and achievements.

The inevitable question of Lewis's 'legacy' has already been asked, and the WRU Ministry of Truth had several weeks to prepare and flood the airwaves with Roger's friends in order to echo the 6 Nations, World 7s & financial stability achievements from his tenure.

The announcement was slipped in a few hours before the Wales team announcement which would inevitably dominate the headlines & discussions from later in the day, mid-way through the 6 Nations, lest a failure to capture another Grand Slam (or at least a less-then strong championship showing) be thought responsible for his departure.

The Great Welsh Public will undoubtedly swallow and repeat the party line - strong leadership; hiring the 'best coach in the world'; strong, sustained international success; financial prudence - while never really understanding the choices the WRU made in paying back the bank debts rather than reinvesting in a period of record low interest rates.

It's a moot point whether the Wales triumphs could have been produced without the Union's undivided focus on the elite game, but to my mind, stronger foundations and a successful, winning mentality at pro level could only have further strengthened the international squad, and arguably kept more players in Wales.

For that reason, I believe there will always be a massive question mark over his divisive and destruction strategy which, ultimately, failed. His real legacy will be decided by the next generation which he willfully chose not to invest in.

Arrivederci, Rog.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rob o'r Bont Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2015 at 4:22pm
Originally posted by roy munster roy munster wrote:

Originally posted by Rob o'r Bont Rob o'r Bont wrote:

Originally posted by roy munster roy munster wrote:

Originally posted by Eastern outpost Eastern outpost wrote:

Originally posted by Rob o'r Bont Rob o'r Bont wrote:

With apologies to W. H. Auden

Start all the clocks, pick up the telephone,
Tell all your friends that he has gone,
Silence the disco prank and with muffled drum
Restore the rugby atmosphere to the Milenium Stadium. 

Let aeroplanes circle rejoicing to the sun
Scribbling on the sky a new era has begun,
Put red bows round the white post of the touchline flags,
Let every player wear 'our game is saved' on their kit bags. 

He tried to ruin my North, my South, my East and West,
If he had his way, West wouldn't be Best,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
He tried to destroy it, and he was wrong.

The stars are needed now: put out every one;
Pick up the moon and restore the sun;
Pour out the champaign and sweep up the wood.
We can restore our game once more; and Wales can be good.



Just when you've been fed too much nonsense on Fever, something like this comes out of the blue. Excellent, worthy of crediting W H Auden rather than apologies.

If a building surveyor looked at the Lewis legacy, he'd be calling in the ground works experts to substantially reinforce the foundations of the professional game.
Have playing numbers gone up or down across wales in the past decade, im hoping you can save me the trouble from googling it
Not sure I follow your banter roy.

do you know if playing numbers across wales have risen or fallen during dodgers regime
I got that bit mun. Smile

Just didn't understand its context with this subthread.  However, my guess would be that numbers have gone down overall. But that is just a gut feeling.



Edited by Rob o'r Bont - 26 February 2015 at 4:23pm
That's the Scarlets, its in their DNA.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roy munster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2015 at 10:26pm
Hhands up who'd buy a second hand car , or even a second hand car seat cover from our great leader?
ROYMOND MUNTER MBE (FOR SERVICES TO THE COMBOVER)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2015 at 4:00pm
Originally posted by roy munster roy munster wrote:

Hhands up who'd buy a second hand car , or even a second hand car seat cover from our great leader?
 
The thing is: up to now he has just been in charge of rugby. What happens if he really does harbour wider political ambitions?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roy munster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2015 at 4:11pm
Originally posted by John John wrote:

Originally posted by roy munster roy munster wrote:

Hhands up who'd buy a second hand car , or even a second hand car seat cover from our great leader?

 
The thing is: up to now he has just been in charge of rugby. What happens if he really does harbour wider political ambitions?
sacre bleur could he become the welsh tony bliar?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote salmidach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2015 at 4:13pm
he's currently the south-east wales economic guru isn't he? basically his job is to make cardiff richer and leave the rest behind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gate12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2015 at 4:28pm
I did have a quick look through the document they produced for that, I may have missed something but it just looked like a sales brochure.
 
Heading that up whilst having a full time CEO job must mean he's working all hours, the guys a legend.
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