Response to Pontypool RFC fighting fund appeal ‘fantastic’

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

THE response to Pontypool RFC’s appeal for cash to fund their legal fight was described as ‘fantastic’ by a club director.

Dai Watt, said last night: “while pledges were still being totted up, the initial response had been fantastic. “ The club is taking pledges by phone, email and letter and he said: "by 10.30 am yesterday (Friday) we had seen approximately £4,000 in pledges and that was within hours of launching the appeal. "

The rugby club is appealing for funds to help keep their fight to stay in Wales’ top flight alive.

The WRU initially estimated their costs in court at £250,000 but in a statement yesterday (Friday), Pontypool felt £75,000 was a reasonable offer based on the clubs own legal costs so far.

Pontypool is challenging the union’s decision to relegate the club, as part of a reshuffle of Welsh rugby’s divisional structure.

But that challenge won’t be heard unless the club can raise sufficient funds by Thursday (June 21).

Mr Watt, said last night: "We are disappointed the WRU left us with no choice but to take legal action. We did everything we could to try and avoid either party having to incur legal costs but given the fact the WRU refused to allow the case to go to arbitration this is the only option for appeal we have.

"We need to have an appeal mechanism that people can realistically afford. At the moment no one can stand up to the WRU in the future. "It is not about just Pontypool now, it could be Neath, Pontypridd or Newport next time, no one in Wales can afford this."

If you would like to make a pledge you can contact Dai Watt on 07801876310 or email dave.watt@alcatel-lucent.com.


Politicians tell of 'concern' over threat to Pontypool RFC

POLITICIANS spoke yesterday of their "deep concern," as one of Wales’s most famous rugby clubs were asked to find £250,000 or face relegation.

Lynne Neagle, AM for Torfaen, and Paul Murphy, the Labour MP for the area, told the Argus of their concerns after Pontyppool RFC were ordered by the High Court in London to pledge to cover the Welsh Rugby Union’s (WRU) costs in their upcoming legal challenge.

In a joint statement Mrs Neagle and Mr Murphy, said: "Paul and I are deeply concerned about this development - we believe Pontypool RFC have a strong case and deserve their day in court.

"We are disappointed at the stance adopted by the WRU and hope that the club and its supporters can raise enough funds to continue their legal fight."

Comments (2)

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11:21am Sat 16 Jun 12

On the inside says...

Just pledged a tenner. I am not a pooler fan in any sense but no club should be denied a hearing by on finances alone. Perhaps they have a case, perhaps they don't, that is not the point. If their case had no merit their own lawyers would be telling them to pack it in. They deserve a hearing. If you agree with helping the strong stand up to the weak, visit their website and pledge a few quid now.
Just pledged a tenner. I am not a pooler fan in any sense but no club should be denied a hearing by on finances alone. Perhaps they have a case, perhaps they don't, that is not the point. If their case had no merit their own lawyers would be telling them to pack it in. They deserve a hearing. If you agree with helping the strong stand up to the weak, visit their website and pledge a few quid now. On the inside
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Sat 16 Jun 12

CM1 says...

Thank you on the inside. To an extent this is no longer about the case but at he same time, all about the case. Clearly the WRU are not confident in the strength go their case, as Mr Lewis is having to resort to 'bully boy' tactics, in an attempt to ensure that this does not reach the courts. This is about an organisation attempting to impose it's will upon the law, by using its greater financial muscle. If you believe that this is the rule of a dictatorship, in a far off country, think again! I urge anyone who believes in justice to please give just a little and make a statement that the law cannot be bought by the highest bidder.
Thank you on the inside. To an extent this is no longer about the case but at he same time, all about the case. Clearly the WRU are not confident in the strength go their case, as Mr Lewis is having to resort to 'bully boy' tactics, in an attempt to ensure that this does not reach the courts. This is about an organisation attempting to impose it's will upon the law, by using its greater financial muscle. If you believe that this is the rule of a dictatorship, in a far off country, think again! I urge anyone who believes in justice to please give just a little and make a statement that the law cannot be bought by the highest bidder. CM1
  • Score: 0

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