Dragons chief executive Gareth Davies: Regions aren't chasing 'victory', just a fair deal
8:34am Wednesday 16th July 2014 in Sport
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons chief executive Gareth Davies insists the regions have no desire to 'beat' the Welsh Rugby Union in the saga over a fresh participation agreement – all they want is a fair deal.
Regional Rugby Wales, the body that represents the Dragons, Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets, are currently attempting to secure a new deal with the governing body after the last one expired on June 30.
The row has been rumbling on for years and the chairmen of the four regions last week wrote a letter to David Pickering and Roger Lewis, chairman and chief executive of the WRU respectively.
In it they declared that if an accord is not signed off by Friday then they "will terminate all further discussions with the WRU and concentrate on taking decisions for the benefit of their own businesses".
Meetings will take place this week and Davies is, as ever, hopeful of a resolution to the saga.
He said: "The line that (WRU board member) Gerald Davies used at the EGM was right – Welsh rugby's reputation is tarnished.
"This is not a case of the Union beating the regions or the regions beating the Union, it's about the need to find a solution that's right for Welsh professional rugby.
"The regions need to secure a deal that is right for us as a four and the current one isn't.
"We need to address that and this is not about who 'wins' because if we sign a six-year deal then we (RRW and the WRU) have to get on from day one of that deal.
"It's not a case of point-scoring; it's about finding a solution."
The governing body aren't just facing a troubling time with the regions; disgruntled clubs could force a second extraordinary general meeting of the summer.
Former Newport lock John Manders, who is chairman of Cardiff-based Old Illtydians, has emailed his fellow clubs asking for them to support an injunction against proposed league changes and to call for another extraordinary general meeting of the governing body.
Manders, who made 31 appearances for the Black and Ambers between 1980 and 1982, wants to debate the changes to the Swalec Leagues and to hold a vote of no confidence in chief executive Lewis.
Clubs were balloted after last month's EGM in Port Talbot and 137 voted in favour of the restructure (41 per cent) while 88 voted against.
Manders, however, feels that the process of introducing the changes has been rushed and believes there is appetite for further consultation.
"Even now, keeping our clubs viable is very challenging within the current economic climate; these changes will make it even more difficult," he writes.