WRU to ballot clubs on new league structure proposals
17 June 2014 22:00pm
By Graeme Gillespie
A ballot of all Welsh Rugby Union clubs is to take place asking which National League structure format for the amateur game in Wales they would prefer to see adopted for next season [2014/15].
The move follows feedback from clubs at the weekend's Extraordinary General Meeting where a number of views were expressed over whether the proposed structure should be changed or not.
A new National League structure was proposed after the findings of a WRU working party recommending a new format were approved last year by the Board of Directors.
The new structure was proposed after clubs expressed concerns including worries about travelling distance and cost related to the original league structure.
The league structure changes were communicated to clubs in August 2013 and a document outlining where each club would be placed in the new structure was sent to clubs once placings were finalised after the conclusion of all the fixtures in the 2013/14 season.
Clubs will now be notified of the ballot and the WRU Board will then consider the feedback received before finalising any decision on the league structure to be used for next season.
WRU Chairman, David Pickering, said: "The ballot will now take place so that all our member clubs can express their preferences.
"At the EGM strong views were expressed on all sides of the argument so it is vitally important the WRU finds out what the majority viewpoint is on this issue.
"The Board of the WRU originally acted on this issue based on feedback we received within the Club Census which gathered data from more than 80% of our member clubs.
"It is now clear that there are other concerns amongst member clubs and some who originally advocated change have now reconsidered.
"Any change to our league structure is a radical move which affects the whole of the community game and the WRU must be prepared to listen to the voice of the clubs.
"Of course the final proposed structure could only be shared with clubs after the season ended and placings were confirmed and it is right and proper that our clubs based their opinions on that document.
"We are a listening Union and although it means we have to move quickly and gather the latest feedback at this stage of the off-season we are prepared to engage directly with the clubs on this crucial issue.
"At the weekend I promised that we would be prepared to take on board the views of the clubs on important issues and this is example of us listening and then acting accordingly."
Details of the ballot will be sent to clubs tomorrow and the feedback will be considered by the full Board of the WRU as soon as possible.
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