PONTYPOOL RFC’s appeal against relegation hangs in the balance after the Welsh Rugby Union rejected an offer of £115,000 from the club as a contribution towards their legal costs.
In a dramatic week, the club amassed the staggering figure of pledges, but the union last night rejected the offer, asking for £145,000.
Last week, the club were ordered by the High Court in London to pledge to cover any “reasonable costs” incurred by the union as a result of the club’s legal challenge to theWRUdecision to relegate them from the Premiership.
Pontypool, a founder member of the WRU, is challenging the union’s decision, which was based on factors such as stadium facilities, and playing record over the past six seasons, as part of a move to cut the Premiership from 14 teams to 12.
At the time, the Premiership clubs agreed unanimously that the new system would be of benefit to Welsh rugby.
Pontypool had initially believed around £75,000 would be enough to see the case go ahead, but after the WRU rejected their offer, it is now likely the decision will be back in the hands of the court as to whether or not their offer is sufficient.
Club director Dai Watt said: “My personal opinion is that whatever we had offered them, it would not have been enough, so I am not surprised.
“My impression is that the rejection of £115,000 emphasises that the WRU are trying to price us out of the appeal, rather than allow justice to be served.
“To raise pledges and donations to the total £115,000 in seven days is an incredible achievement for a small club whose total annual running costs for everything are £200,000.
“It just proves how much everyone believes in the club and its appeal.”
The WRU did