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The Future for Regional / Professional Rugby

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Grammar School Boy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grammar School Boy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2023 at 7:42pm
A necessary first step, but the hard work has yet to be done to improve the relationship with the Professional game.  A positive step today, which I hope leads to bigger ones in the next 12 months.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reesytheexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2023 at 1:43am
Wise of Ieuan Evans to step down. He was in the midst of a maelstrom he never expected but has pushed this through with Nigel Walker, so he can leave on a high note. I am not sure how he would fit in with the new structure anyway and the new appointments to be made. 

Also a word for the community clubs who saw sense and voted overwhelmingly for the reforms. I would like to know out of interest who the 3 per cent of clubs that voted against come from? Perhaps some just didn’t return a vote or it was a spoilt vote? 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scarletpimp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2023 at 12:27pm
Originally posted by aber-fan aber-fan wrote:

It's got to be good news hasn't it? Ieuan is to be admired for his 'turkey voting for Christmas' effort - he did a great job as a figurehead to get this change done, but knows the job needs someone with more business experience to carry on.

I daresay the details may need to be revisited in future, but at least it seems as if there'll be a bunch of people who can be held responsible if things go wrong. With any luck, though, it'll be onward and upward... We'll see.

Agree on IEUAN...yes done well.
A word of praise for Walker too.He has impressed me, and his work getting contracts agreed for women, was much appreciated. 
As Aber has said..onwards and upwards  now.
Change had to come,  it's been painful, and some of the revelations, 
staggering  !
No looking back now. It will take a while, but hopefully  we are the right road
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Wasp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2023 at 6:00pm
Ieuan has been on the board since 2020 and is definitely part of the problem, not the solution. His pitch to become chair involved telling the clubs he would make sure they weren't pushed out by the regions.

He was there when Amanda Blanc resigned. He would have seen her letter and listened to her leaving speech, but I don't recall him speaking out.

He deserves no credit at all in my opinion. He was backed into a corner by the BBC documentary and had no choice but to act when the Principality and others talked about walking away.

As for Nigel, he did make some progress with the women's game and joined in Sep 21, so I can cut him some slack, but the Charlotte Wathan case has been known for a long time. I don't see how any of the current board or exec come out of this with credit, TBH.

BBC and the sponsors forced them to act
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote crj89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2023 at 7:47pm
Originally posted by Wasp Wasp wrote:

Ieuan has been on the board since 2020 and is definitely part of the problem, not the solution. His pitch to become chair involved telling the clubs he would make sure they weren't pushed out by the regions.

He was there when Amanda Blanc resigned. He would have seen her letter and listened to her leaving speech, but I don't recall him speaking out.

He deserves no credit at all in my opinion. He was backed into a corner by the BBC documentary and had no choice but to act when the Principality and others talked about walking away.

As for Nigel, he did make some progress with the women's game and joined in Sep 21, so I can cut him some slack, but the Charlotte Wathan case has been known for a long time. I don't see how any of the current board or exec come out of this with credit, TBH.

BBC and the sponsors forced them to act

I didn’t like the way he backed Steve Phillips, looking after number one at that point, only when the optics needed to change then so did he. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote NobbySosban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 11:09am
Originally posted by crj89 crj89 wrote:

Originally posted by Wasp Wasp wrote:

Ieuan has been on the board since 2020 and is definitely part of the problem, not the solution. His pitch to become chair involved telling the clubs he would make sure they weren't pushed out by the regions.

He was there when Amanda Blanc resigned. He would have seen her letter and listened to her leaving speech, but I don't recall him speaking out.

He deserves no credit at all in my opinion. He was backed into a corner by the BBC documentary and had no choice but to act when the Principality and others talked about walking away.

As for Nigel, he did make some progress with the women's game and joined in Sep 21, so I can cut him some slack, but the Charlotte Wathan case has been known for a long time. I don't see how any of the current board or exec come out of this with credit, TBH.

BBC and the sponsors forced them to act

I didn’t like the way he backed Steve Phillips, looking after number one at that point, only when the optics needed to change then so did he. 
Ieuan was advised - and his bid for the WRU Board engineered - by Roger Lewis, who wanted to protect his legacy and deliver his vision with Steve Phillips as CEO. Ultimately, when independent Board appointments became possible (as some governance changes were inevitable), this would pave Lewis's way back into Westgate Street.

Phillips' strategy, inherited from Lewis, was to continue starving the pro game until at least one more 'Region' went under, allowing the WRU to control and reshape the game - 2 or 3 Reejuns, full Blazer control, all focused on Team Wales and the glory of the Union. PRB's hard work - led by the savvy commercial heads of the pro clubs and including the highly impressive input of Amanda Blanc - put a spoke in their wheel, thank god.

It's perhaps fitting that the toxic culture created by Lewis should eventually do for Phillips Embarrassed and Ieuan has largely been a passenger in what has transpired, giving Phillips a glowing discharge with full honours and benefits, then following Nigel Walker's principled lead in instigating reforms and addressing the investigation into sexism, racism & misogyny.

With the governance reforms now voted through, Ieaun will lose his position as Chair to a far more able and qualified person, and will no doubt be looking for a face-saving role in the new structure - a figurehead position, maybe, such as President if & when Gerald Davies steps down, and/or roles with the B&I Lions which are suited to his experience.

Legendary player, whichever red shirt he played in, but a great example of backward-looking, inappropriate appointments in a sport still stuck in the amateur era. I have no doubt he'll discharge his duties to the best of his abilities, very much so, but probably best that his turn at the head of the Board is just a cameo, albeit at a crucial time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wil Chips Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 11:15am
Good posts, honest, fair and of course harsh to those that see Ieuan as a decorated ex player, a Scarlets legend and decent guy.

I'm interested in how Walker's role plays out. Speaks well, has a couple of wins under his belt around the women's game, but I can't get passed his 'hold the regions feet to the fire' comment. It epitomized all that is wrong in the relationships between the WRU and regions.

My final worry, is who wants the jobs on offer, or rather what caliber of person would want the challenge.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 11:23am
Originally posted by Wil Chips Wil Chips wrote:

Good posts, honest, fair and of course harsh to those that see Ieuan as a decorated ex player, a Scarlets legend and decent guy.

I'm interested in how Walker's role plays out. Speaks well, has a couple of wins under his belt around the women's game, but I can't get passed his 'hold the regions feet to the fire' comment. It epitomized all that is wrong in the relationships between the WRU and regions.

My final worry, is who wants the jobs on offer, or rather what caliber of person would want the challenge.

Ieuan was always going to be tainted by the obvious link with the toxic culture prevalent during his tenure. Walker, of course, himself was a senior figure while much of the nonsense went on but we have no way of knowing what part he played or indeed if he fought against the culture.

I agree his feet to the fire comment was ludicrous and although he apologised do we really need a top executive who is so out of touch with reality????? Coming to the jobs on offer - if Amanda Blanc were to take a senior non exec role such as chairperson I think people would associate the future WRU as an organisation that was going places. The role of a chairperson going forward is fundamental in actually holding the full time executives' feet to the collective fire of WRU ambitions. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gate12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 12:45pm
Originally posted by NobbySosban NobbySosban wrote:

Originally posted by crj89 crj89 wrote:

Originally posted by Wasp Wasp wrote:

Ieuan has been on the board since 2020 and is definitely part of the problem, not the solution. His pitch to become chair involved telling the clubs he would make sure they weren't pushed out by the regions.

He was there when Amanda Blanc resigned. He would have seen her letter and listened to her leaving speech, but I don't recall him speaking out.

He deserves no credit at all in my opinion. He was backed into a corner by the BBC documentary and had no choice but to act when the Principality and others talked about walking away.

As for Nigel, he did make some progress with the women's game and joined in Sep 21, so I can cut him some slack, but the Charlotte Wathan case has been known for a long time. I don't see how any of the current board or exec come out of this with credit, TBH.

BBC and the sponsors forced them to act

I didn’t like the way he backed Steve Phillips, looking after number one at that point, only when the optics needed to change then so did he. 
Ieuan was advised - and his bid for the WRU Board engineered - by Roger Lewis, who wanted to protect his legacy and deliver his vision with Steve Phillips as CEO. Ultimately, when independent Board appointments became possible (as some governance changes were inevitable), this would pave Lewis's way back into Westgate Street.

Phillips' strategy, inherited from Lewis, was to continue starving the pro game until at least one more 'Region' went under, allowing the WRU to control and reshape the game - 2 or 3 Reejuns, full Blazer control, all focused on Team Wales and the glory of the Union. PRB's hard work - led by the savvy commercial heads of the pro clubs and including the highly impressive input of Amanda Blanc - put a spoke in their wheel, thank god.

It's perhaps fitting that the toxic culture created by Lewis should eventually do for Phillips Embarrassed and Ieuan has largely been a passenger in what has transpired, giving Phillips a glowing discharge with full honours and benefits, then following Nigel Walker's principled lead in instigating reforms and addressing the investigation into sexism, racism & misogyny.

With the governance reforms now voted through, Ieaun will lose his position as Chair to a far more able and qualified person, and will no doubt be looking for a face-saving role in the new structure - a figurehead position, maybe, such as President if & when Gerald Davies steps down, and/or roles with the B&I Lions which are suited to his experience.

Legendary player, whichever red shirt he played in, but a great example of backward-looking, inappropriate appointments in a sport still stuck in the amateur era. I have no doubt he'll discharge his duties to the best of his abilities, very much so, but probably best that his turn at the head of the Board is just a cameo, albeit at a crucial time.

I don't profess to know the full chronological order of events but I thought that Ieuan's pitch always included governance reforms which included an independent chair so I'm not sure why he'd tee himself up for departure for Roger and Steve's benefit?

Ultimately whatever the circumstances that have led us to this point were and whatever the political manoeuvring was he's succeeded where Butcher and Gareth Davies failed.

I'm not sure what value there is in hypothesising who the heroes and villains are, every party in this has an agenda and angle, and the reality is everyone could have done a lot better over the last decade.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 1:34pm
I once found myself put onto a committee running an organisation that was, if anything, in a worse state than the WRU. It took three and a half years to move it the way I wanted. There was a swirling mess of political intrigue and I had no idea who any potential allies might be or who I could trust. But when I made a move, there were enough allies to drive the change through and more than a decade later the organisation is thriving. I stepped down when the new structure came into existance and did nothing for the organisation for half a dozen years although I do now serve it in a technical capacity. I'm probably still "damaged goods" in terms being on the board amongst quite a large section of the membership.

We have no idea what happened in the past few years within the confines of the WRU boardroom, whether the situation was as toxic as we suspect it was, whether Ieuan spoke out against all that was wrong ( I dont blame him if like me he thought getting the change involved holding fire until the time was right.). What is most important is that change was achieved and he deserves credit for delivering it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobbySosban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 2:34pm
Originally posted by Gate12 Gate12 wrote:

I don't profess to know the full chronological order of events but I thought that Ieuan's pitch always included governance reforms which included an independent chair so I'm not sure why he'd tee himself up for departure for Roger and Steve's benefit?

Ultimately whatever the circumstances that have led us to this point were and whatever the political manoeuvring was he's succeeded where Butcher and Gareth Davies failed.

I'm not sure what value there is in hypothesising who the heroes and villains are, every party in this has an agenda and angle, and the reality is everyone could have done a lot better over the last decade.
Lewis & Phillips needed the Independent Chair implemented in order to potentially facilitate Roger (or one of his acolytes) back into the hot seat at some point, probably after Ieuan had served a full term and be ready for President.

BTW, I certainly don't characterise him as a villain in all this, in fact it's probably been A Good Thing that he was Chair when the tide of public opinion & outrage were so strong, he could do nothing but go with it. Ieuan Evans fills a special place in many Scarlets hearts, including mine, and I for one wouldn't want to see him tarnish his reputation by doing the 'wrong thing' by Welsh professional & Test rugby. His post-playing CV is certainly nowhere near stratospheric enough to warrant the requirements of being Chair of a £100m turnover business, but he will have the honour of being the person who oversaw the long-overdue, much-needed change the game in Wales so desperately needed.

On the 'feet to the fire' comment by Nigel Walker, I put that down to the culmination of the relentless pressure he was under as soon as Phillips stepped down - he was over-assertive in one soundbite and regretted it almost immediately. I believe he apologised to the pro team CEOs a couple of days later, if not publicly, but was keen not to be seen to backslide on his promises to the players pre-England match.

I suspect Walker wants to go back to his Performance Director role as soon as possible, the Group CEO role isn't really for him on a permanent basis, but I reckon he's been the right person for the job during this crisis, and I hope he stays in an influential role for the long term - he's a good guy, sees all parts of the picture and has a great deal of experience with a cooperative demeanour. Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Wil Chips Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 3:09pm
I'll keep an open mind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ladram Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 4:00pm
it's done it's gone let's look at the future.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ap sior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 4:05pm
Originally posted by ladram ladram wrote:

it's done it's gone let's look at the future.

But DON'T repeat the mistakes of the past.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ladram Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 4:16pm
Originally posted by ap sior ap sior wrote:

Originally posted by ladram ladram wrote:

it's done it's gone let's look at the future.

But DON'T repeat the mistakes of the past.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eastern outpost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2023 at 6:02pm
The contract with the pro-clubs for funding is not yet signed though. Hoping it will be this week.
In a world where you can be anything – Be Kind.
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