A report by the Welsh rugby team has proposed cutting a Welsh professional zone from the start of the 202324 seasons.
Ospreys, Cardiff, Scarlets, and Dragons are four professional football teams in Wales.
The file changed into commissioned for the Professional Rugby Board (PRB), the employer that runs the sport in Wales with contributors from the four areas and Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
The PRB will review the proposals with its next meeting scheduled for May 11.
The consultant Oakwell Sports Advisory wrote the report titled ‘Independent review of the financial health of Welsh rugby.’
The report indicates four alternatives or recommendations, of which lowering a vicinity is one.
Other proposals include an alternative player sponsorship model. Under the current arrangement. TLTU contributes 80% of the salaries of the top 38 national players, and the region accounts for the remaining 20%.
There are also plans to introduce the Welsh Professional Gaming Agreement (WPGA) and create a centralized business agency and strategy.
The PRB can reject these recommendations.
The report makes six critical findings. Including stating that WRU’s performance matches its industry peers and that professional, regional. And community gaming investments align with other companies. Other unions and Welsh rugby governing procedures and responsibilities must be reviewed and re-signed.
It also says that “Welsh rugby must immediately develop a sustainable business sponsorship model over the next ten years.”
Which area will be cut?
The Wales Rugby Union currently owns the Dragons. But Ospreys does not have its land as it uses the Swansea.com stadium, home of the Swansea City Football Club.
In 2020, the projected allocation to the four regions was £26 million, but this has since fallen to £3 million.
A £20 million loan for the teams has been torn. The WRU will have to be refund by the regions themselves.
The report said that if an area of Wales were to close. There would be an average immediate saving of £7.8m. The lower estimate is £6 million when it could be as high as £8.9 million.
The cut area could land on a refurbished Indigo Premiership league, but that’s on a semi-pro level.
The plan to reduce the professional territory will reduce the Welsh player base to 135 players and place 45 players on each team.
Existing contractual obligations to players will be fulfilled by the remaining three regions.
Changes are demand.
There is a feeling that something needs to be done after another bad season for the Welsh regions.
The four groups didn’t win a sport in European opposition. All groups will end withinside the backside 1/2 of the United Rugby Championship without an aspect qualifying for the league play-offs.
The region’s defeat is also due to Wayne Pivac’s Welsh side finishing 5th in the Six Nations 2022 with just one win and one loss against Italy.
Regional rugby was brought in 2003 at the expense of clubs, with five sides initially built before the Celtic Warriors was scattering a year later.
This is not the first time a merger has been brought and Osprey and Scarlets are set to join forces in 2019 before the plans are shelved.
A WRU spokesman said: “Oakwell has been permitting by the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) to carry out a report exploring the strategic options available to play professionally in Wales.
“It includes some recommendations that are part of the ongoing discussions at the PRB.
“Different reviews are informing those discussions, and it’d be beside the point to remark similarly at this juncture.”
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