Originally published in the Cardiff Rugby programme 4 March 2023.
It was good to receive a newsletter from Richard Holland in the past week. Communication between the Cardiff Rugby board and the supporters is always constructive and something we have always encouraged. We also thank Richard for acknowledging CF10 in his newsletter.
The content of the newsletter was sobering. Many supporters will be feeling disheartened by the current state of the game in Wales. We maintain that this situation was perfectly avoidable and the product of over a decade of mismanagement from the top of the WRU. As ever, our first thoughts are always with the players and other employees whose livelihoods are being threatened by the incompetence of others.
But Richard is correct to allude to the fact that there is also an opportunity here. With the many failings of the WRU writ large and an EGM with major governance changes on the table, much needed change and a brighter future could be around the corner. It is sorely needed.
As supporters, we are motivated by love of the club but also love of the sport. Far too often Welsh rugby in recent years has delivered turmoil and the sort of energy sapping political battles that should be kept firmly in the front pages of newspapers rather than dominating the back pages.
Welsh rugby, like all sports, is built on romance. We want to walk onto the terraces and celebrate heroes and victories against the odds. We want Welsh rugby to put smiles on our faces. Professional sport is ultimately entertainment and the distraction afforded by the constant strife of the past 10 years is a huge turnoff for many. It's what young people might call a buzz kill. Our game is trapped in a vicious circle of apathy and those who have led us here will not be treated well by the sport historians of the future.
Lets remember that two days not so very long ago at Cardiff rugby club did briefly restore some joy and romanticism. The matches when "misfit° Cardiff teams had to be quickly formed to take on the best teams in Europe. Noone can say they didn't feel proud of this club on those days. And noone can say they didn't leave those matches with a smile on their face. If those matches are a glimpse of the near future and we're forced to play a season or more with the odds stacked heavily against us, so be it. We'll be on the terraces anyway.
A rugby club is ultimately more than funding agreements, heads of terms and budgets. It's about people. The people on the pitch, the people in the office and the people in the stands. This is a club filled with good people. It has been since Bill Phillips, Raoul Foa and others ran onto Cardiff Arms Park in October 1876 for Cardiff rugby club's first practice session. And it's good people from Peter Thomas on down to the boy being taken onto the terrace for the first time that will see Cardiff rugby through this latest drama.