So, it's out there, Danny Wilson will be leaving the Cardiff Blues next summer after opting not to take up the final year of his contract, amid ongoing financial issues.

We said a few weeks ago that 2017 would be the most crucial of all the crucial years in the history of Cardiff Rugby so far, and it is turning out to be just that.

Of course this a massive disappointment to the large majority of the fan base, as Danny Wilson was obviously a very talented coach as well as a hugely popular figure in and around the Arms Park.

The immediate aftermath of the announcement will no doubt see fingers being pointed at all manner of parties, as well as some overreactions we come to expect when any story about the Cardiff Blues hits the headlines.

Therefore, let's try and have a look at the facts as we know them of Danny's imminent departure, and what the future holds now the news is in the public domain.

This whole saga started back in May with the admittance by Peter Thomas, after the questioning of CF10's representatives at the shareholder meeting, that they were actively looking for the Welsh Rugby Union to come in and take over the 'franchise'. 

Mr Thomas felt that he had put enough money into the club, and that if the WRU took over the running of the rugby side of the business, then he and the board could get down to the work of agreeing the CAP lease with Cardiff Athletic Club.

It's difficult to blame the Chairman for his reluctance of putting any more money into Cardiff Blues Ltd, as it is now known, after ploughing a rather substantial amount of money into his hobby over the years.

However, the way the WRU 'takeover' announcement was handled not only ended any hope of that happening, if indeed there was any chance in the first place, it had the knock-on effect of drastically setting back the lease negotiations with CAC.

The subsequent chain of events saw a scenario where a number of senior players being released come close to fruition. That was only stopped by a threat from Wilson himself to walk in the summer, which caused Peter Thomas to put his hand in his pocket once more and fund the side for this season.

Despite that, a number of financial restrictions did come into place. A new defence coach had to be loaned from the WRU, in the shape of Shaun Edwards, while second row Franco van der Merwe was allowed to find a new club before even arriving in Cardiff.

As a result, the ethos of the club was changed from trying to form the best squad available to filling the squad with academy players and solely developing from within, which in the short-term means serious squad management issues.

With around 20 players set to be out-of-contract this summer, those challenges don't appear to be going away,

Danny Wilson has recognised this and asked the board for more money in the playing budget to organise a core of experience and foreign quality to supplement the talented youngsters coming through to ensure we remain competitive next season.

However, the board have had to put the business first, and the current state of the finances mean no further investment can be made in the squad, only restrictions. They have to be realistic, they can't be blamed for that.

With Peter Thomas no longer prepared to bankroll the club, the current Pro14 TV deal not being adequate and the Welsh Rugby Union consistently underfunding the professional game (except if you're in Gwent, apparently), money has just dried up at the Arms Park.

Equally, Danny cannot be blamed for deciding it's not in his best interests to stay with little chance of being able to compete for Champions Cup rugby and beyond. He's a very good coach and can get better elsewhere.

It goes without saying that Wilson is honest and honourable enough to put his all into the rest of the season, or however long he stays at the Arms Park, and he should retain the full support of the fans and be wished the best in wherever he decides to go next.

What the future holds for the Cardiff Blues will be decided in boardrooms, and as our other recent blog shows, the tangled web of people interested in our future makes it very difficult to see the road ahead.

One thing is for certain though, Cardiff Rugby fans will be there until the bitter end. We're gluttons for punishment, but we love the club and it's bigger than any one man. 

We need positive news though, and it's time to implore the board and CAC to sort the lease out as soon as possible. The future is looking bleak at the moment, but by joining CF10 Rugby Trust we can, together as supporters, try to actively shape the path our great club takes back to the top of European rugby!


  • Wed, 27/09/2017 - 20:28 reply

    Hearing the news regarding Danny, first of all my thoughts were to stop watching our team in the future. The last couple of years I have been a season ticket holder, not easy as I'm on a pension and watching the Blues is one of the things I look forward to. We seem to be back to square one yet again. I have now joined the trust as a final hope that this team is worth supporting. The supporters seem to be bottom of the pile once more. Hopefully the can make a difference and put this club back at the top of Welsh rugby. I really hope this is not the end.

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