Change Is on the Way but with Plenty of Warnings; RUGBY UNION: WRU Working Party Report Points the Way to the Future
Byline: GARETH ROBERTS Rugby Reporter
THE Welsh Rugby Union could be run by an eight-man executive board by 2003 if the report by Sir Tasker Watkins's working party is accepted.
A special general meeting of the Welsh Rugby Union could be held as early as February, with any constitutional changes that follow pushed through in the following 12 months.
Radical constitutional change would have to be accepted by 75 per cent of the 239 clubs and affiliated WRU organisations to speed the proposals on their way.
The current 27-man general committee would be replaced by a two-tier system.
The report's main proposals are: The WRU to be run by an eight-man panel including executive professional appointments to commercial and marketing roles plus finance and rugby directorship appointments.
There would be an independent chairman and three members from a 19-man WRU policy-setting council on the executive board.
The 19-man council would meet on a quarterly basis to decide on policy and review the executive board's progress.
But the executive board members, all full-time directors, would handle day-to-day running.
Professional rugby would be limited to Premier level, the rest of the sport reverting to recreational rugby.
Payments to players below Premier level would be permitted, but not from WRU funds.
Any money passing through WRU hands to clubs at lower levels would be used to buy kit, improve facilities and fund equipment, transport and training costs for teams.
The more teams a club runs, the more money it would receive. …