WELSH Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips says the appointment of a Dragons chairman will allow him to stop treading a tightrope with the other three regions.

Last week the governing body, who took control of the Dragons and bought Rodney Parade in the summer, appointed 40-year-old entrepreneur David Buttress as non-executive chairman of the region.

The former Just Eat chief executive will now appoint a board of directors that will be five or six strong and feature a WRU representative.

That means that Phillips will be able to have a hands-off approach with the Dragons and concentrate fully on his job at Principality Stadium.

“I’ve been walking a tightrope really because I committed to try and help here to put things back on an even keel, which I feel that we’ve done to some extent,” he said.

“But what I couldn’t afford to do was anything preferential here that would disadvantage the other regions, so it’s quite nice for me because in Stuart [Davies, chief executive] and David I know things are in good hands, which allows me to become more independent again.

“I was that anyway, it’s just that the optics are always difficult when we are associated with the things going on here. I will definitely be stepping back and allowing these guys to get on with it.”

Buttress, currently a member of joint venture capital firm 83North, has made a financial investment to become a minority stakeholder of the Dragons but Phillips insists that won’t lead to the region splashing the cash.

“I definitely wasn’t looking for a benefactor because that is a boom and bust cycle,” said Phillips.

“We have spent a lot of time talking in the last few months and we are trying to build something here that works whether we are around or not.

“Yes, David is investing but I am not sat here saying ‘year after year can you write a cheque?’, in fact it is the opposite.

“We have to back ourselves to make this sustainable. Splashing the cash on marquee players is not going to be what we do.

“Bernard [Jackman, head coach] has a sensible budget that over time allows us to invest to improve. We are not here with some wow signings just to impress everybody, quite the opposite.”

The Dragons, Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Ospreys have a rugby services agreement that runs with the WRU through to 2020.

Phillips insists he isn’t concerned by that date – “I don’t really look at the RSA, I’ve never read it actually” - and is merely focused on trying to help the quartet and the WRU improve through cooperation.

“There are really only three main revenue streams,” said Phillips. “What the region generates itself through attendances and sponsorship, [money] from the WRU and then [money from] competitions.

“We’ve made some progress on competitions and can make more, while the WRU is putting more into the regions this year than last year and our ambition would be to keep putting more in.

“But we also need the four regions to be making sure they are making the most of their opportunity as well – it’s a partnership.

“We are totally in that place now with all four regions. We are interdependent and we are all going to move forward together. If we do that then we believe we can make ourselves competitive as a collective.”

“We’ve got a very simple vision, which is five successful, sustainable, interdependent organisations,” he continued.

“One can’t exist without the other so we talk all the time, we are looking to be better all the time, we disagree all the time, but you don’t hear too much noise any more about that.

“We want the regions to try and kill each other when they play each other but beyond that we need each other to be successful.”