Chris Brown: Dragons will be a threat

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons chief executive Chris Brown is confident that an increase of their playing budget will help the region be more competitive on the pitch – but has stressed they won’t put the business at risk in a short-term bid to chase results.

The Rodney Parade region are deep in negotiations with a number of experienced players in key positions and plan to announce some signings next month.

That comes after the budget given to the coaching staff to build their squad was increased, albeit only by £300,000, to £3million. That figure is still £500,000 beneath the Welsh regions’ self-imposed salary cap and £1.5million short of the limit in England.

Brown exclusively stated in yesterday’s Argus that he believes the Dragons are in a strong position to avoid being victims of any change to the way the regions are funded by the Welsh Rugby Union, saying that their sustainable business made them an attractive investment.

Nonetheless, the region is languishing one from bottom of the RaboDirect Pro12 and has won just five of their 21 games this season. Marrying the desire for better on-field results with fiscal responsibility is vital for the chief executive.

“We have increased the rugby budget and are very actively looking to recruit several key players in key positions,” said Brown.

“The intention is to use them to anchor the team with a view to being mid-table within two years,” added Brown.

“We looked very carefully at different ways of getting from where we are to a competitive position.

“We looked at bringing in five or six with a view to getting there very quickly but the difficulty we had with that was that if we spend too much on the first team there is nothing coming up behind it.

“It's very important that we've got the first team, the second team and a whole raft going through the Premiership and the academy behind it.

“Our player budget will be £3million, the first team will cost around £2million and the rest will be spent on what is behind that.

“Obviously if you had an unlimited budget you’d have a raft of experience AND a raft of developing players, but we don’t.

“We actually think we have been reasonably competitive this season. Let’s be blunt, we’ve lost most of our games but have gone very close recently.

“We’ve played well and the squad is motivated and playing to the best of their ability. We are looking to do better next year by underpinning them with some experience.”

The Dragons, with the Bisley Stand conference facilities key to their business plan, are on target to break even this season while sponsorship revenue has increased from around £400,000 to £600,000. The aim is to increase that figure to £800,000 next term.

“We are determined to build a team alongside a sustainable business and it's just not acceptable to try and spend too much or to borrow to take the playing side to a different place,” said Brown.

“In order to be more competitive we need to have experience, we need to have developing Welsh players and we need to have foreign players making an effective contribution to what we are doing.”

Comments (16)

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11:23am Sat 26 Jan 13

Euwan Usami says...

Sounds positive taken as a whole. There appears to be some direction and a safe hand at the tiller ref the financial side in Chris Brown but it's a real balancing act in the modern game. Fans want a successful side and another poor season on the pitch will push many away. Be very interesting to see how many "Top" names you can sign for 300k. Watch this space guys.
Sounds positive taken as a whole. There appears to be some direction and a safe hand at the tiller ref the financial side in Chris Brown but it's a real balancing act in the modern game. Fans want a successful side and another poor season on the pitch will push many away. Be very interesting to see how many "Top" names you can sign for 300k. Watch this space guys. Euwan Usami

12:00pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Goldy_Lookin_Clart says...

Totally true, unless them in the boardroom dunt splash da cash, I wunt be signing up for my place on da terrace next season. Clock is ticking boyz in da diectors lounge. We need top $ signings!!!!
Totally true, unless them in the boardroom dunt splash da cash, I wunt be signing up for my place on da terrace next season. Clock is ticking boyz in da diectors lounge. We need top $ signings!!!! Goldy_Lookin_Clart

12:10pm Sat 26 Jan 13

let em swing says...

Attracting decent talent or sponsors from this position is going to be difficult, the club should be touting for investment from all areas.
Attracting decent talent or sponsors from this position is going to be difficult, the club should be touting for investment from all areas. let em swing

12:36pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Mr Bump. says...

More utter drivel coming out of RP.
More utter drivel coming out of RP. Mr Bump.

2:43pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

Mr Bump. wrote:
More utter drivel coming out of RP.
The first three postings agree that there are some who believe the way forward is at last looking good from a commercial aspect. Imagine the picture if anyone in authority at the Dragons reported there was no hope and the business is doomed to fail, that would sell season tickets, I don't think! In truth the business is now the healthiest of all four Welsh regions as the business appears to be on a very solid footing. There are no indications of who they are likely to sign up for next year yet and £3 million quid is a large amount of money and if we had a European playing squad of say 35 players at £85000 a year the cost would be £3.1m not far from next years budget. at £85k and the current tax system that would mean about £50k take home pay or just under £1k per week, anyone out there getting more than that??
[quote][p][bold]Mr Bump.[/bold] wrote: More utter drivel coming out of RP.[/p][/quote]The first three postings agree that there are some who believe the way forward is at last looking good from a commercial aspect. Imagine the picture if anyone in authority at the Dragons reported there was no hope and the business is doomed to fail, that would sell season tickets, I don't think! In truth the business is now the healthiest of all four Welsh regions as the business appears to be on a very solid footing. There are no indications of who they are likely to sign up for next year yet and £3 million quid is a large amount of money and if we had a European playing squad of say 35 players at £85000 a year the cost would be £3.1m not far from next years budget. at £85k and the current tax system that would mean about £50k take home pay or just under £1k per week, anyone out there getting more than that?? Robert Shillabeer

5:52pm Sat 26 Jan 13

arvinda strop says...

Robert Shillabeer wrote:
Mr Bump. wrote:
More utter drivel coming out of RP.
The first three postings agree that there are some who believe the way forward is at last looking good from a commercial aspect. Imagine the picture if anyone in authority at the Dragons reported there was no hope and the business is doomed to fail, that would sell season tickets, I don't think! In truth the business is now the healthiest of all four Welsh regions as the business appears to be on a very solid footing. There are no indications of who they are likely to sign up for next year yet and £3 million quid is a large amount of money and if we had a European playing squad of say 35 players at £85000 a year the cost would be £3.1m not far from next years budget. at £85k and the current tax system that would mean about £50k take home pay or just under £1k per week, anyone out there getting more than that??
straws and grasping springs to mind
imaging cardiff and swansea afc joining up do you think the crowd would be the combined attendance of the two ie.44,000 or would the fans walk away answers on a postage stamp please. you called newports ground you missed out the i to make it rip.
the smell of the coffee is all around the valeys.
[quote][p][bold]Robert Shillabeer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr Bump.[/bold] wrote: More utter drivel coming out of RP.[/p][/quote]The first three postings agree that there are some who believe the way forward is at last looking good from a commercial aspect. Imagine the picture if anyone in authority at the Dragons reported there was no hope and the business is doomed to fail, that would sell season tickets, I don't think! In truth the business is now the healthiest of all four Welsh regions as the business appears to be on a very solid footing. There are no indications of who they are likely to sign up for next year yet and £3 million quid is a large amount of money and if we had a European playing squad of say 35 players at £85000 a year the cost would be £3.1m not far from next years budget. at £85k and the current tax system that would mean about £50k take home pay or just under £1k per week, anyone out there getting more than that??[/p][/quote]straws and grasping springs to mind imaging cardiff and swansea afc joining up do you think the crowd would be the combined attendance of the two ie.44,000 or would the fans walk away answers on a postage stamp please. you called newports ground you missed out the i to make it rip. the smell of the coffee is all around the valeys. arvinda strop

1:29pm Sun 27 Jan 13

SWBorderer says...

I don't think the size of the budget is that important, more what you do with it.

We have spent sufficient money over the past few seasons to give us a competitive squad in the domestic league, but how much of that money has been wasted on players who were never up to the required standard to start with. Who in their right mind spends money on a player who, at the time of signing, is in jail, then takes a full season to get anywhere near fit.

Three or four quality players in crucial positions is all that is required, we have enough young talent to fill the rest of the team but they need competent, experienced players to bring out the best in them.

All this depends on the people in charge making the right decisions, and I don't believe Darren even knows what he's looking for.
I don't think the size of the budget is that important, more what you do with it. We have spent sufficient money over the past few seasons to give us a competitive squad in the domestic league, but how much of that money has been wasted on players who were never up to the required standard to start with. Who in their right mind spends money on a player who, at the time of signing, is in jail, then takes a full season to get anywhere near fit. Three or four quality players in crucial positions is all that is required, we have enough young talent to fill the rest of the team but they need competent, experienced players to bring out the best in them. All this depends on the people in charge making the right decisions, and I don't believe Darren even knows what he's looking for. SWBorderer

4:30pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Meldrew@NewportMon says...

“The intention is to use them to anchor the team with a view to being mid-table within two years,” added Brown.


Sounds like an ambitious plan to me!!!!!!
“The intention is to use them to anchor the team with a view to being mid-table within two years,” added Brown. Sounds like an ambitious plan to me!!!!!! Meldrew@NewportMon

7:07pm Sun 27 Jan 13

arvinda strop says...

for gods sake put the name issue to bed and before anyone gets the heavy armour out i am or would class myself a region supporter after six years people are still asking why other club supporters why they do not back the regional side when a good number of newport supporters boycot the dragons ??????.
we have what we voted for plain and simple.
me i watch newport at home and watch all the big 5 regional games on the box from my armchair like a good many others do, like it or lump it we voted for it now we have to live with it and before the usual few start lambasting me try convinsing me otherwise and the other 7000 names on the petition but have never warmed a seat
for gods sake put the name issue to bed and before anyone gets the heavy armour out i am or would class myself a region supporter after six years people are still asking why other club supporters why they do not back the regional side when a good number of newport supporters boycot the dragons ??????. we have what we voted for plain and simple. me i watch newport at home and watch all the big 5 regional games on the box from my armchair like a good many others do, like it or lump it we voted for it now we have to live with it and before the usual few start lambasting me try convinsing me otherwise and the other 7000 names on the petition but have never warmed a seat arvinda strop

7:07pm Sun 27 Jan 13

arvinda strop says...

for gods sake put the name issue to bed and before anyone gets the heavy armour out i am or would class myself a region supporter after six years people are still asking why other club supporters why they do not back the regional side when a good number of newport supporters boycot the dragons ??????.
we have what we voted for plain and simple.
me i watch newport at home and watch all the big 5 regional games on the box from my armchair like a good many others do, like it or lump it we voted for it now we have to live with it and before the usual few start lambasting me try convinsing me otherwise and the other 7000 names on the petition but have never warmed a seat
for gods sake put the name issue to bed and before anyone gets the heavy armour out i am or would class myself a region supporter after six years people are still asking why other club supporters why they do not back the regional side when a good number of newport supporters boycot the dragons ??????. we have what we voted for plain and simple. me i watch newport at home and watch all the big 5 regional games on the box from my armchair like a good many others do, like it or lump it we voted for it now we have to live with it and before the usual few start lambasting me try convinsing me otherwise and the other 7000 names on the petition but have never warmed a seat arvinda strop

7:10pm Sun 27 Jan 13

arvinda strop says...

so emotive i said it twice ;-)
so emotive i said it twice ;-) arvinda strop

8:40pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Euwan Usami says...

arvinda strop wrote:
so emotive i said it twice ;-)
Don't worry. I think your the only one who understands what you said anyway. ;)
[quote][p][bold]arvinda strop[/bold] wrote: so emotive i said it twice ;-)[/p][/quote]Don't worry. I think your the only one who understands what you said anyway. ;) Euwan Usami

4:17pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Valley-Dragon says...

Good to hear even a little bit of positive news from the Dragons management. However, we hear very little about marketing the game beyond the core 4-5k.

I'm gradually drifting away from attending, I feel less inclined to spend my money supporting the dragons anymore. There is a new, younger generation of rugby fan in gwent who would barely remember the days of newport/ebbw vale 'merger' yet there is seemingly nothing being done to harness any further support.Why would a top class player want to join us if the club is not moving forward?

The best part of being a dragons fan is the dave parade crowd. An old school welsh crowd. It would be superb if the board could start thinking about the fans and really push new ways of getting people through the turnstiles - whether they are from brynglas or brynmawr.
Good to hear even a little bit of positive news from the Dragons management. However, we hear very little about marketing the game beyond the core 4-5k. I'm gradually drifting away from attending, I feel less inclined to spend my money supporting the dragons anymore. There is a new, younger generation of rugby fan in gwent who would barely remember the days of newport/ebbw vale 'merger' yet there is seemingly nothing being done to harness any further support.Why would a top class player want to join us if the club is not moving forward? The best part of being a dragons fan is the dave parade crowd. An old school welsh crowd. It would be superb if the board could start thinking about the fans and really push new ways of getting people through the turnstiles - whether they are from brynglas or brynmawr. Valley-Dragon

6:09pm Mon 28 Jan 13

blackandamber says...

Why don.t we change the name to the Owls because they only come out to play at night.
Why don.t we change the name to the Owls because they only come out to play at night. blackandamber

2:37pm Tue 29 Jan 13

kalwales@hotmail.com says...

Thanks Chris, i feel reassured now :-)
Thanks Chris, i feel reassured now :-) kalwales@hotmail.com

3:13pm Thu 31 Jan 13

DaiFrank says...

kalwales@hotmail.com wrote:
Thanks Chris, i feel reassured now :-)
Your sense of the absurd is hilarious! Chris Brown is absolutely correct on every point. A few weeks back I explained to a friend of mine in Newport that despite the Newport Gwent Dragons being an utter failure on the pitch, they nevertheless are in other ways in the best position on which to build a successful team. Newport RFC own RP, the financial situation is far superior to the other three regions and as Chris Brown said it is a 'sustainable' business. To be honest if the WRU reduce to three Newport and Cardiff should stay in place and the Ospreys and Scarlets joined at the hip. Despite being more successful on the field, the Osprey's finances aren't in good shape and Llanelli's is far worse. They just aren't viable business models. And aiming towards mid-table is about slow building, whilst maintaining a hold on finances, and that is a form or ambition. It's called a 'long term strategy'. They are making the right noises.
[quote][p][bold]kalwales@hotmail.com[/bold] wrote: Thanks Chris, i feel reassured now :-)[/p][/quote]Your sense of the absurd is hilarious! Chris Brown is absolutely correct on every point. A few weeks back I explained to a friend of mine in Newport that despite the Newport Gwent Dragons being an utter failure on the pitch, they nevertheless are in other ways in the best position on which to build a successful team. Newport RFC own RP, the financial situation is far superior to the other three regions and as Chris Brown said it is a 'sustainable' business. To be honest if the WRU reduce to three Newport and Cardiff should stay in place and the Ospreys and Scarlets joined at the hip. Despite being more successful on the field, the Osprey's finances aren't in good shape and Llanelli's is far worse. They just aren't viable business models. And aiming towards mid-table is about slow building, whilst maintaining a hold on finances, and that is a form or ambition. It's called a 'long term strategy'. They are making the right noises. DaiFrank

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