Dragons worth backing says Chris Brown

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

CHIEF executive Chris Brown believes it is a "massive leap of logic" to presume Newport Gwent Dragons are vulnerable if one of the four regions is downgraded to development status.

The struggles of the regional game have led to speculation about tinkering with the way that the Dragons, Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets are funded by the Welsh Rugby Union.

An idea mooted by WRU chief executive Roger Lewis and former Scarlets boss Stuart Gallacher is reducing the money given to one of the quartet.

That leads most to set their sights on the Rodney Parade region, as they have traditionally finished bottom of the four in the Celtic League.

The use of differential funding is something that Brown believes must be on the agenda of the Professional Rugby Game Board, a body set up to run the sport in Wales and one that he is a member of.

But the chief executive believes the Dragons are well placed to avoid being the victims of any such moves given their solid financial footing.

"It has never been defined what a development region is but the implication is that it would be funded less than the others and that it would be developing players for the others," said Brown.

"The massive leap of logic is that if you had to choose a region (for development) then it would be the one that is placed fourth, which is the Dragons.

"That massive leap of faith is something that I find very, very frustrating.

"If you wanted to put money into a region then you want a good investment and would do financial due diligence on it.

"If you do financial due diligence on the Dragons then you find a sustainable business, a sustainable business model, a strategy in terms of the business, a strategy in terms of the rugby and a business that, together with Newport Rugby, owns its ground.

"You find a very stable corner of east Wales in which to base something special.

"So if there was to be less funding to any particular region then a massive leap of logic in the wrong direction is that it’s necessarily going to be the Dragons.

"The WRU are right to do their financial due diligence and see where their money is going.

"You have got to find a reason to invest in a region. If you find something that is not good in terms of financial sustainability then frankly, regardless of where they finish in the league, it’s not a good place to put your money."

Football is a growing force in Wales with Swansea City heading to Wembley for a cup final and enjoying their second season in the Premier League where they are likely to be joined by Cardiff City.

Brown believes that gives even greater reason to strengthen the rugby stronghold of Gwent.

"I am bound to say with my Dragons and Newport hat on that this region is a good place to put money," he said.

"We have the four regions spread across the country and Premier League football is going strong in Swansea and hopefully will be in Cardiff next season.

"Having a very strong rugby base slightly further east in Newport makes an awful lot of sense to me."

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:39am Fri 25 Jan 13

newport2012 says...

Although granted this is a little one sided from a Dragons perspective. The points drawn out make perfect sense. Other regions have been quite happy to continue to spend money they did not have on players/new stadiums and seek frequent bailouts from the WRU!!
Although granted this is a little one sided from a Dragons perspective. The points drawn out make perfect sense. Other regions have been quite happy to continue to spend money they did not have on players/new stadiums and seek frequent bailouts from the WRU!! newport2012
  • Score: 0

9:04am Fri 25 Jan 13

Oddjob says...

Well, he would say that wouldn't he! Who the hell he thinks is going to put money into Gwent I don't know. The RaboDirect Pro12 is a pathetic league, NGD are unable to compete in the Amlin never mind the heineken cup, the team is made up of youngsters and other clubs cast offs and are governed by a body that seem to enjoy confrontion and keeping the regions on a very firm and close leash.
Well, he would say that wouldn't he! Who the hell he thinks is going to put money into Gwent I don't know. The RaboDirect Pro12 is a pathetic league, NGD are unable to compete in the Amlin never mind the heineken cup, the team is made up of youngsters and other clubs cast offs and are governed by a body that seem to enjoy confrontion and keeping the regions on a very firm and close leash. Oddjob
  • Score: 0

10:59am Fri 25 Jan 13

silurix says...

the guy has made some perfectly valid points. If the Dragons have succeeded in one thing it's being able to run a commercial enterprise responsibly i.e. without piling up debts that have little chance of being repaid. They have had less success building a successful rugby club. There's the dilemna they face - how much can they risk financially to increase the chances of success? There aren't many rugby clubs out there actually making a profit - and none in Wales. If they knew that buying success would increase crowds to a level that would enable them to sustain that success ( say 10-12,000 ) then they might be tempted to invest more. Its easy to say that more money should be spent when its not your cash at risk. My own feeling is that it would be virtually impossible for any Welsh region to get regular 10,000+ crowds without somebody ( benefactors? WRU? ) being prepared to write off huge amounts of money. Its not going to happen , is it? If you can't get success, the next best strategy is survival. That way you keep alive the possibility of future success in more favourable times. Not much fun though.
the guy has made some perfectly valid points. If the Dragons have succeeded in one thing it's being able to run a commercial enterprise responsibly i.e. without piling up debts that have little chance of being repaid. They have had less success building a successful rugby club. There's the dilemna they face - how much can they risk financially to increase the chances of success? There aren't many rugby clubs out there actually making a profit - and none in Wales. If they knew that buying success would increase crowds to a level that would enable them to sustain that success ( say 10-12,000 ) then they might be tempted to invest more. Its easy to say that more money should be spent when its not your cash at risk. My own feeling is that it would be virtually impossible for any Welsh region to get regular 10,000+ crowds without somebody ( benefactors? WRU? ) being prepared to write off huge amounts of money. Its not going to happen , is it? If you can't get success, the next best strategy is survival. That way you keep alive the possibility of future success in more favourable times. Not much fun though. silurix
  • Score: 0

11:32am Fri 25 Jan 13

blackandamber says...

I've said it before and I will say it again the rugby people of Gwent don't support the Dragons or regional rugby and I don't blame them. Would it be possible for Chris Brown to say how many season ticket holders there are who come from outside the np18, np19 and np20 post code areas. The other side of this is that I personally know of six lifelong Newport RFC supporters that have not set foot in Rodney Parade since this dogs breakfast of so called regional rugby was dreamed up.
I've said it before and I will say it again the rugby people of Gwent don't support the Dragons or regional rugby and I don't blame them. Would it be possible for Chris Brown to say how many season ticket holders there are who come from outside the np18, np19 and np20 post code areas. The other side of this is that I personally know of six lifelong Newport RFC supporters that have not set foot in Rodney Parade since this dogs breakfast of so called regional rugby was dreamed up. blackandamber
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Fri 25 Jan 13

let em swing says...

blackandamber wrote:
I've said it before and I will say it again the rugby people of Gwent don't support the Dragons or regional rugby and I don't blame them. Would it be possible for Chris Brown to say how many season ticket holders there are who come from outside the np18, np19 and np20 post code areas. The other side of this is that I personally know of six lifelong Newport RFC supporters that have not set foot in Rodney Parade since this dogs breakfast of so called regional rugby was dreamed up.
They would support a succesfull heineken cup involved team, all thats needed is investment and backers with a lot of money, the areas ripe for it.
[quote][p][bold]blackandamber[/bold] wrote: I've said it before and I will say it again the rugby people of Gwent don't support the Dragons or regional rugby and I don't blame them. Would it be possible for Chris Brown to say how many season ticket holders there are who come from outside the np18, np19 and np20 post code areas. The other side of this is that I personally know of six lifelong Newport RFC supporters that have not set foot in Rodney Parade since this dogs breakfast of so called regional rugby was dreamed up.[/p][/quote]They would support a succesfull heineken cup involved team, all thats needed is investment and backers with a lot of money, the areas ripe for it. let em swing
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Owain Vaughan says...

I most certainly would not. As a citizen of Newport I had a NRFC season ticket prior to 2003, but the first time I set foot in Rodney Parade since was on my Newport County season ticket.

This "regional" mess is doomed to fail. No matter how successful they may be they cannot generate the fanatical support of a proper Newport team.
I most certainly would not. As a citizen of Newport I had a NRFC season ticket prior to 2003, but the first time I set foot in Rodney Parade since was on my Newport County season ticket. This "regional" mess is doomed to fail. No matter how successful they may be they cannot generate the fanatical support of a proper Newport team. Owain Vaughan
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Fri 25 Jan 13

ebbwdragon says...

blackandamber wrote:
I've said it before and I will say it again the rugby people of Gwent don't support the Dragons or regional rugby and I don't blame them. Would it be possible for Chris Brown to say how many season ticket holders there are who come from outside the np18, np19 and np20 post code areas. The other side of this is that I personally know of six lifelong Newport RFC supporters that have not set foot in Rodney Parade since this dogs breakfast of so called regional rugby was dreamed up.
Probably six of the people who signed the petition to put Newport in the name, them and 6000 missing others.

Mike
[quote][p][bold]blackandamber[/bold] wrote: I've said it before and I will say it again the rugby people of Gwent don't support the Dragons or regional rugby and I don't blame them. Would it be possible for Chris Brown to say how many season ticket holders there are who come from outside the np18, np19 and np20 post code areas. The other side of this is that I personally know of six lifelong Newport RFC supporters that have not set foot in Rodney Parade since this dogs breakfast of so called regional rugby was dreamed up.[/p][/quote]Probably six of the people who signed the petition to put Newport in the name, them and 6000 missing others. Mike ebbwdragon
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Fri 25 Jan 13

let em swing says...

Owain Vaughan wrote:
I most certainly would not. As a citizen of Newport I had a NRFC season ticket prior to 2003, but the first time I set foot in Rodney Parade since was on my Newport County season ticket.

This "regional" mess is doomed to fail. No matter how successful they may be they cannot generate the fanatical support of a proper Newport team.
Well stay away, your part of the problem not the solution, the cut off their nose to spite their face brigade are an example of the problems this region has, get into the new millenium you dinosaur, theres far more chance of a decent standard of rugby here, now,as a region, than you would have had as a club.
[quote][p][bold]Owain Vaughan[/bold] wrote: I most certainly would not. As a citizen of Newport I had a NRFC season ticket prior to 2003, but the first time I set foot in Rodney Parade since was on my Newport County season ticket. This "regional" mess is doomed to fail. No matter how successful they may be they cannot generate the fanatical support of a proper Newport team.[/p][/quote]Well stay away, your part of the problem not the solution, the cut off their nose to spite their face brigade are an example of the problems this region has, get into the new millenium you dinosaur, theres far more chance of a decent standard of rugby here, now,as a region, than you would have had as a club. let em swing
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Fri 25 Jan 13

poolerboy says...

Regardless of what the team is called, and I personally think it shold be Monmouthshire, the bigoted views of the NRFC people is probably one of the reasons more Gwent Valley supporters refuse to attend the matches.
Regardless of what the team is called, and I personally think it shold be Monmouthshire, the bigoted views of the NRFC people is probably one of the reasons more Gwent Valley supporters refuse to attend the matches. poolerboy
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Fri 25 Jan 13

kalwales@hotmail.com says...

poolerboy wrote:
Regardless of what the team is called, and I personally think it shold be Monmouthshire, the bigoted views of the NRFC people is probably one of the reasons more Gwent Valley supporters refuse to attend the matches.
I Like this, should put a few noses out of place :-)
[quote][p][bold]poolerboy[/bold] wrote: Regardless of what the team is called, and I personally think it shold be Monmouthshire, the bigoted views of the NRFC people is probably one of the reasons more Gwent Valley supporters refuse to attend the matches.[/p][/quote]I Like this, should put a few noses out of place :-) kalwales@hotmail.com
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Fri 25 Jan 13

blackandamber says...

Well stay away, your part of the problem not the solution, the cut off their nose to spite their face brigade are an example of the problems this region has, get into the new millenium you dinosaur, theres far more chance of a decent standard of rugby here, now,as a region, than you would have had as a club.
I'd just like to reply. I am not a dinosaur although I must admit I don,t have that many summers left I am a lifelong Newport supporter you must have guessed and yes suprisingly I am a season ticket holder with the Dragons. We have had ten long suffering years of this cunning plan of the WRU and it plainly is not working. If my guardian angel ever bestowed fabulous wealth on me, would I invest my money in the Dragons the answer would be no.
Well stay away, your part of the problem not the solution, the cut off their nose to spite their face brigade are an example of the problems this region has, get into the new millenium you dinosaur, theres far more chance of a decent standard of rugby here, now,as a region, than you would have had as a club. I'd just like to reply. I am not a dinosaur although I must admit I don,t have that many summers left I am a lifelong Newport supporter you must have guessed and yes suprisingly I am a season ticket holder with the Dragons. We have had ten long suffering years of this cunning plan of the WRU and it plainly is not working. If my guardian angel ever bestowed fabulous wealth on me, would I invest my money in the Dragons the answer would be no. blackandamber
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

poolerboy wrote:
Regardless of what the team is called, and I personally think it shold be Monmouthshire, the bigoted views of the NRFC people is probably one of the reasons more Gwent Valley supporters refuse to attend the matches.
Monmouthshire only covers one part of the former county of Gwent. Monmouthshire starts at Magor and goes to Chepstow and north to Monmouth. There are three other areas within the Dragons region and changing the name to Monmouthshire would be more self defeating than the current title. As for the Newport element in the name, that's been a long running argument and I think it should not be part of the regions name, but that's my view. The region covers all three premiership clubs none of which are in Monmouthshire and other clubs in lower levels such as Ebbw Vale, Newbridge and Pontypool. I always call them Gwent Dragons the original name of the region until the WRU took over the Ebbw Vale share anyway. You would be surprised how many people from Cross Keys and Bedwas do actually support the Dragons some of them season ticket holders.
[quote][p][bold]poolerboy[/bold] wrote: Regardless of what the team is called, and I personally think it shold be Monmouthshire, the bigoted views of the NRFC people is probably one of the reasons more Gwent Valley supporters refuse to attend the matches.[/p][/quote]Monmouthshire only covers one part of the former county of Gwent. Monmouthshire starts at Magor and goes to Chepstow and north to Monmouth. There are three other areas within the Dragons region and changing the name to Monmouthshire would be more self defeating than the current title. As for the Newport element in the name, that's been a long running argument and I think it should not be part of the regions name, but that's my view. The region covers all three premiership clubs none of which are in Monmouthshire and other clubs in lower levels such as Ebbw Vale, Newbridge and Pontypool. I always call them Gwent Dragons the original name of the region until the WRU took over the Ebbw Vale share anyway. You would be surprised how many people from Cross Keys and Bedwas do actually support the Dragons some of them season ticket holders. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

9:24pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Euwan Usami says...

silurix wrote:
the guy has made some perfectly valid points. If the Dragons have succeeded in one thing it's being able to run a commercial enterprise responsibly i.e. without piling up debts that have little chance of being repaid. They have had less success building a successful rugby club. There's the dilemna they face - how much can they risk financially to increase the chances of success? There aren't many rugby clubs out there actually making a profit - and none in Wales. If they knew that buying success would increase crowds to a level that would enable them to sustain that success ( say 10-12,000 ) then they might be tempted to invest more. Its easy to say that more money should be spent when its not your cash at risk. My own feeling is that it would be virtually impossible for any Welsh region to get regular 10,000+ crowds without somebody ( benefactors? WRU? ) being prepared to write off huge amounts of money. Its not going to happen , is it? If you can't get success, the next best strategy is survival. That way you keep alive the possibility of future success in more favourable times. Not much fun though.
Very true. I have thought the same thing; the investment needed to secure regular 10k plus attendance would exceed the revenue that would generate. This is why we rely on benefactors in Wales of course. I think grim times are ahead though without significant investment. Many are watching closely following the promises made by RP and deals like Mathew Rees going to the Blues have made people start to wonder how committed they really are to investment. Walking a bit of a tight rope with fans loyalties at breaking point this season. I can see a big drop in attendance for next season if there aren't any names on dotted lines very soon. t
[quote][p][bold]silurix[/bold] wrote: the guy has made some perfectly valid points. If the Dragons have succeeded in one thing it's being able to run a commercial enterprise responsibly i.e. without piling up debts that have little chance of being repaid. They have had less success building a successful rugby club. There's the dilemna they face - how much can they risk financially to increase the chances of success? There aren't many rugby clubs out there actually making a profit - and none in Wales. If they knew that buying success would increase crowds to a level that would enable them to sustain that success ( say 10-12,000 ) then they might be tempted to invest more. Its easy to say that more money should be spent when its not your cash at risk. My own feeling is that it would be virtually impossible for any Welsh region to get regular 10,000+ crowds without somebody ( benefactors? WRU? ) being prepared to write off huge amounts of money. Its not going to happen , is it? If you can't get success, the next best strategy is survival. That way you keep alive the possibility of future success in more favourable times. Not much fun though.[/p][/quote]Very true. I have thought the same thing; the investment needed to secure regular 10k plus attendance would exceed the revenue that would generate. This is why we rely on benefactors in Wales of course. I think grim times are ahead though without significant investment. Many are watching closely following the promises made by RP and deals like Mathew Rees going to the Blues have made people start to wonder how committed they really are to investment. Walking a bit of a tight rope with fans loyalties at breaking point this season. I can see a big drop in attendance for next season if there aren't any names on dotted lines very soon. t Euwan Usami
  • Score: 0

3:23pm Thu 31 Jan 13

DaiFrank says...

Robert Shillabeer wrote:
poolerboy wrote:
Regardless of what the team is called, and I personally think it shold be Monmouthshire, the bigoted views of the NRFC people is probably one of the reasons more Gwent Valley supporters refuse to attend the matches.
Monmouthshire only covers one part of the former county of Gwent. Monmouthshire starts at Magor and goes to Chepstow and north to Monmouth. There are three other areas within the Dragons region and changing the name to Monmouthshire would be more self defeating than the current title. As for the Newport element in the name, that's been a long running argument and I think it should not be part of the regions name, but that's my view. The region covers all three premiership clubs none of which are in Monmouthshire and other clubs in lower levels such as Ebbw Vale, Newbridge and Pontypool. I always call them Gwent Dragons the original name of the region until the WRU took over the Ebbw Vale share anyway. You would be surprised how many people from Cross Keys and Bedwas do actually support the Dragons some of them season ticket holders.
The name continues to be an issue. One poster on here flatly refusing to call the team 'Newport Gwent Dragons' preferring 'Gwent Dragons', etc, etc. With the prospect of more money available with a determined aim to be more successful, the management would be wise to think carefully about the 'brand' as they call it. The reason the name continues to be an issue is mainly due to the failure of the team to achieve anything. I suspect it would not be an issue if they had done the opposite. Of course there's always the 'principle'!
[quote][p][bold]Robert Shillabeer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]poolerboy[/bold] wrote: Regardless of what the team is called, and I personally think it shold be Monmouthshire, the bigoted views of the NRFC people is probably one of the reasons more Gwent Valley supporters refuse to attend the matches.[/p][/quote]Monmouthshire only covers one part of the former county of Gwent. Monmouthshire starts at Magor and goes to Chepstow and north to Monmouth. There are three other areas within the Dragons region and changing the name to Monmouthshire would be more self defeating than the current title. As for the Newport element in the name, that's been a long running argument and I think it should not be part of the regions name, but that's my view. The region covers all three premiership clubs none of which are in Monmouthshire and other clubs in lower levels such as Ebbw Vale, Newbridge and Pontypool. I always call them Gwent Dragons the original name of the region until the WRU took over the Ebbw Vale share anyway. You would be surprised how many people from Cross Keys and Bedwas do actually support the Dragons some of them season ticket holders.[/p][/quote]The name continues to be an issue. One poster on here flatly refusing to call the team 'Newport Gwent Dragons' preferring 'Gwent Dragons', etc, etc. With the prospect of more money available with a determined aim to be more successful, the management would be wise to think carefully about the 'brand' as they call it. The reason the name continues to be an issue is mainly due to the failure of the team to achieve anything. I suspect it would not be an issue if they had done the opposite. Of course there's always the 'principle'! DaiFrank
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree