Pontypool RFC told of their disappointment at today’s High Court decision which will see them relegated from the Welsh Premiership.

"In a statement, the club said: “It is clearly a disappointing decision for Pontypool RFC and its supporters but in a number of areas of the case the club’s arguments were upheld by the judge and credence given to the club’s views.

“Pontypool RFC now has the unenviable task of trying to prepare for the new season lumbered with a huge financial burden. In addition to the huge legal costs, relegation means the club’s central funding will be cut by almost 95 per cent.

“The directors would like to publicly thank everyone who contributed to the club’s legal fund in such short notice. To raise in excess of £80,000 during the first week of asking is phenomenal, and shows the passion for and the high regard with which so many people hold this great club. In an age of austerity and with the sport as a whole struggling financially, this was a monumental effort.

“Regional and club rugby in Wales is fighting a losing battle for people’s attendance and sponsorship, so closing the door on such a well-supported, financially sound, historic club that met the criteria for participation in the Premiership when it appears others did not and within the original time-scales set out by the WRU is baffling.

“We hope the changes to the Premiership will vastly improve the playing standards as per the WRU’s wishes. We all want a high-quality and financially viable semi-professional game in Wales. "In the meantime, Pontypool RFC is currently considering its position in the light of the judgment including the possibility of an appeal.

"It also remains possible that in view of the judge’s interpretation of the criteria that Pontypool RFC could still find itself in the Premiership if the WRU’s ongoing investigations show that certain other clubs did not and could not satisfy the criteria.”