Don't panic! Dragons move to allay fears over debt

South Wales Argus: GREAT FACILITY: But the Bisley Stand at Rodney Parade led to a large debt for the Dragons GREAT FACILITY: But the Bisley Stand at Rodney Parade led to a large debt for the Dragons

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons chief executive Chris Brown has moved to reassure fans the region is not in danger of going under.

It emerged yesterday that auditors have expressed concerns over whether the region can continue as a going concern.

In the year ending May, 2011, auditors Arthur Gait and Company report that Dragons Rugby Ltd had debts of £2.4 million and incurred a net loss of £272,141.

The auditor said there was “the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

But Brown told the Argus: “When you look at those accounts another year has gone by and it [the Dragons going out of business] didn’t happen. New directors were brought in, a new chief executive, myself, was brought in.”

Brown, who has signed a new six-month contract from June, said that when he joined the company in March he had thought its financial state “was difficult”, but could be resolved.

The company is still not breaking even, however, and he said there will be losses for the year up to May, 2012.

“We have a business plan that takes us into the black in the year to come,” he said.

He added that the business had under performed in sponsorship and advertising and that the main solution was to boost income, including selling more season tickets. “At this point in the year, Dragons season ticket sales are up 80 per cent, and by a large percentage for Newport as well, so there’s optimism in terms of where we think we’re going to be next season,” he said.

He said Newport County coming to Rodney Parade could contribute a ten or 15 per cent increase in income, with extra use of the business lounge in the Bisley Stand.

He said the Dragons were focusing on the commercial aspect of games “match by match”.

He said: “If we play Munster we look to have an Irish theme to it. We look to appeal to people who would want to come and watch a big brand like Munster.”

He suggested that marketing for matches may have been poor in the past. “I don’t believe there was the analysis done match by match in terms of how to attract people.

“Then after the match in terms of a bit of a wash up to see actually what’s gone on,” he said.

He said Rodney Parade was holding around two weddings a month, and that the ground was looking to attract conferences and parties in the Bisley Stand, and even music events in Rodney Hall.

He said almost all of the debt within the club’s three businesses – Newport RFC Ltd, Rodney Parade Ltd and Dragons Rugby Ltd – concerned the building of the Bisley stand.

“All the debts are dealt with in so far as they are being paid back and will be paid back over the next 20 years,” he said.

He added that he didn’t think simplifying the structure of the outfit – with Newport RFC acting as a parent company to Rodney Parade Ltd and Dragons Rugby Ltd – would help. The structure is “not that complicated,” he said.

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:54am Tue 10 Jul 12

high x boy says...

well said Colin
well said Colin high x boy

11:17am Tue 10 Jul 12

Jdavies1960 says...

Hopefully we'll see some good Rugby this year as well
Hopefully we'll see some good Rugby this year as well Jdavies1960

3:09pm Tue 10 Jul 12

Oddjob says...

Jdavies1960 wrote:
Hopefully we'll see some good Rugby this year as well
Don't hold your breath.
[quote][p][bold]Jdavies1960[/bold] wrote: Hopefully we'll see some good Rugby this year as well[/p][/quote]Don't hold your breath. Oddjob

4:43pm Tue 10 Jul 12

corpardguy says...

Taking all into concideration the NGD are probably in one of the better financial positions of the Rabo- pro.. Its why we haven't got a team of foriegn based current internationals or had a competative front five last year!
These things are fluid and cash flow will be king (as always) but IF we do have problems, the WRU had better "stump up" the way they did for the Scarlets or there will be quite a scrum outside WRU HQ!
We have a good ground with decent facilities for spectators (need better food and drink suppliers) and seem to be getting the training grounds sorted. Also some good young signings to blend with some experienced heads in both backs and forwards. i am looking forward to a good competetive season..... as long as we dont have ten away matches first on the fixture list!!!!
Taking all into concideration the NGD are probably in one of the better financial positions of the Rabo- pro.. Its why we haven't got a team of foriegn based current internationals or had a competative front five last year! These things are fluid and cash flow will be king (as always) but IF we do have problems, the WRU had better "stump up" the way they did for the Scarlets or there will be quite a scrum outside WRU HQ! We have a good ground with decent facilities for spectators (need better food and drink suppliers) and seem to be getting the training grounds sorted. Also some good young signings to blend with some experienced heads in both backs and forwards. i am looking forward to a good competetive season..... as long as we dont have ten away matches first on the fixture list!!!! corpardguy

5:49pm Tue 10 Jul 12

Mr Stuart Parry says...

I wonder what dragons use as surety against a debt of £2.4 million? What do they own apart from the name Newport Gwent Dragons? What have they ever won or ever likely to win? Do they fear losing fans to successful sides like Cross Keys? All these question and more will be answered in the coming season but the outcome totally ignored by the W.R.U....... Not likely!
I wonder what dragons use as surety against a debt of £2.4 million? What do they own apart from the name Newport Gwent Dragons? What have they ever won or ever likely to win? Do they fear losing fans to successful sides like Cross Keys? All these question and more will be answered in the coming season but the outcome totally ignored by the W.R.U....... Not likely! Mr Stuart Parry

6:07pm Tue 10 Jul 12

Robert Shillabeer says...

The Dragons won't lose supporters to Cross Key, Bedwas or even Pontypool or Ebbw Vales as they play on different days usually so that argument falls flat straight away. The real question is how do the Dragons get the extra support from Cross Keys and Bedwas or even from Pontypool or Ebbw Vale, that has been worked on for a few ears now and I think the availability of joint season tickets across the Region will be a very good avenue to build the regular support along with some very good performances this year. As for the number of away fixtures at the start of last season, that was to cover any possible delay in the new stand so won't be a problem this year.
The Dragons won't lose supporters to Cross Key, Bedwas or even Pontypool or Ebbw Vales as they play on different days usually so that argument falls flat straight away. The real question is how do the Dragons get the extra support from Cross Keys and Bedwas or even from Pontypool or Ebbw Vale, that has been worked on for a few ears now and I think the availability of joint season tickets across the Region will be a very good avenue to build the regular support along with some very good performances this year. As for the number of away fixtures at the start of last season, that was to cover any possible delay in the new stand so won't be a problem this year. Robert Shillabeer

6:16pm Tue 10 Jul 12

corpardguy says...

I think the "across the board" season tickets are a great idea it will also help highlight the gap between the different 'leagues' and maybe help some people realise the need for top class rugby in Gwent/Monmouthshire/ East Wales whatever you want to call the "region". Without it Wales will be a poorer place, and a long, long way down the world rugby pecking order.
I think the "across the board" season tickets are a great idea it will also help highlight the gap between the different 'leagues' and maybe help some people realise the need for top class rugby in Gwent/Monmouthshire/ East Wales whatever you want to call the "region". Without it Wales will be a poorer place, and a long, long way down the world rugby pecking order. corpardguy

8:35pm Tue 10 Jul 12

Robert Shillabeer says...

One problem stand in the wat though compared guy, there s no rail service into Newport which makes it hard to get into Newport other than by road and that stops supporters having a pint or two at Rodney Parade, thus reducing income for the club. A start however is a must with joint season ticketing with all top tier and second tier rugby clubs.
One problem stand in the wat though compared guy, there s no rail service into Newport which makes it hard to get into Newport other than by road and that stops supporters having a pint or two at Rodney Parade, thus reducing income for the club. A start however is a must with joint season ticketing with all top tier and second tier rugby clubs. Robert Shillabeer

9:40pm Tue 10 Jul 12

corpardguy says...

Robert S, sounds like a business opportunity for NGD to me. A good Bus service twenty quid a ticket with a free burger (and a can?) on the bus, Or school Kids buses with suitable supervision. (maybe even a past 'hero' to keep the peace)
Robert S, sounds like a business opportunity for NGD to me. A good Bus service twenty quid a ticket with a free burger (and a can?) on the bus, Or school Kids buses with suitable supervision. (maybe even a past 'hero' to keep the peace) corpardguy

5:44pm Wed 11 Jul 12

stevey says...

Rob S. there are about 5 fans in total going to Xkeys and Bedwas so forget that, Pooler and Ebbw fans are just that so forget that too. Why not make a proper region that represents the whole area and call it "a region" and move the lesser games around the aforesaid "region" accumulating more support as you go, and rebrand the name so people think of it as a"region"not the name of one particular town or city, have proper links with ALL the clubs in the "region" both rugby and social. Will this work? I dunno. Is it working now? ................no.
Rob S. there are about 5 fans in total going to Xkeys and Bedwas so forget that, Pooler and Ebbw fans are just that so forget that too. Why not make a proper region that represents the whole area and call it "a region" and move the lesser games around the aforesaid "region" accumulating more support as you go, and rebrand the name so people think of it as a"region"not the name of one particular town or city, have proper links with ALL the clubs in the "region" both rugby and social. Will this work? I dunno. Is it working now? ................no. stevey

1:17pm Thu 12 Jul 12

welshwarrior says...

I've held business meetings in the new stand and my employer is holding more there as the service is very good for a reasonable price. We'd recommend them as a venue.

No the Dragons don't always win but that just proves the fans aren't glory hunters. My father, brother and I are all season ticket holders who want to support the team and have an afternoon/evening out. I wouldn't say I was a massive Dragons fan just enjoy live rugby.

There is far too much politics in regional rugby. Just go and enjoy the games. I plan on enjoying some Newport County games at Rodney Parade too next season.

What needs to happen is the commercialisation of the regions/clubs to make money and operate properly. Old fashion clubs will fail badly on the professional stage.
I've held business meetings in the new stand and my employer is holding more there as the service is very good for a reasonable price. We'd recommend them as a venue. No the Dragons don't always win but that just proves the fans aren't glory hunters. My father, brother and I are all season ticket holders who want to support the team and have an afternoon/evening out. I wouldn't say I was a massive Dragons fan just enjoy live rugby. There is far too much politics in regional rugby. Just go and enjoy the games. I plan on enjoying some Newport County games at Rodney Parade too next season. What needs to happen is the commercialisation of the regions/clubs to make money and operate properly. Old fashion clubs will fail badly on the professional stage. welshwarrior

4:53pm Thu 12 Jul 12

scally0603 says...

stevey wrote:
Rob S. there are about 5 fans in total going to Xkeys and Bedwas so forget that, Pooler and Ebbw fans are just that so forget that too. Why not make a proper region that represents the whole area and call it "a region" and move the lesser games around the aforesaid "region" accumulating more support as you go, and rebrand the name so people think of it as a"region"not the name of one particular town or city, have proper links with ALL the clubs in the "region" both rugby and social. Will this work? I dunno. Is it working now? ................no.
spot on totally agree with you, as long as its got Newport in the name they wont get the support they could get.
[quote][p][bold]stevey[/bold] wrote: Rob S. there are about 5 fans in total going to Xkeys and Bedwas so forget that, Pooler and Ebbw fans are just that so forget that too. Why not make a proper region that represents the whole area and call it "a region" and move the lesser games around the aforesaid "region" accumulating more support as you go, and rebrand the name so people think of it as a"region"not the name of one particular town or city, have proper links with ALL the clubs in the "region" both rugby and social. Will this work? I dunno. Is it working now? ................no.[/p][/quote]spot on totally agree with you, as long as its got Newport in the name they wont get the support they could get. scally0603

5:52pm Thu 12 Jul 12

Mr Stuart Parry says...

Ah! the assumption that Newport RFC supporters also blindly follow Wales most unloved "development" region. Rodney Parade, the ground that lay fallow on various weekends during the rugby season while the club needlessly lost money all due to the wonderful WRU fixture list. Still think the WRU want either Newport Gwent Dragons or Newport RFC or any of the Gwent Premiership sides for that matter? Llanelli, Neath, or any side west of Gwent get into financial difficulties, the WRU fall over themselves to help them. Let someone even mention winding up Newport Gwent Dragons, Newport RFC, Cross Keys etc and the bank of WRU will close for certain, after all look what they just did to Pontypool RFC?
Ah! the assumption that Newport RFC supporters also blindly follow Wales most unloved "development" region. Rodney Parade, the ground that lay fallow on various weekends during the rugby season while the club needlessly lost money all due to the wonderful WRU fixture list. Still think the WRU want either Newport Gwent Dragons or Newport RFC or any of the Gwent Premiership sides for that matter? Llanelli, Neath, or any side west of Gwent get into financial difficulties, the WRU fall over themselves to help them. Let someone even mention winding up Newport Gwent Dragons, Newport RFC, Cross Keys etc and the bank of WRU will close for certain, after all look what they just did to Pontypool RFC? Mr Stuart Parry

7:21pm Thu 12 Jul 12

Regionalist says...

scally0603 wrote:
stevey wrote: Rob S. there are about 5 fans in total going to Xkeys and Bedwas so forget that, Pooler and Ebbw fans are just that so forget that too. Why not make a proper region that represents the whole area and call it "a region" and move the lesser games around the aforesaid "region" accumulating more support as you go, and rebrand the name so people think of it as a"region"not the name of one particular town or city, have proper links with ALL the clubs in the "region" both rugby and social. Will this work? I dunno. Is it working now? ................no.
spot on totally agree with you, as long as its got Newport in the name they wont get the support they could get.
Any club in the region can stroll down to Westgate Street to WRU headquarters and take up their 50% ownership and responsibility any time they like...until then they can't complain...
[quote][p][bold]scally0603[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stevey[/bold] wrote: Rob S. there are about 5 fans in total going to Xkeys and Bedwas so forget that, Pooler and Ebbw fans are just that so forget that too. Why not make a proper region that represents the whole area and call it "a region" and move the lesser games around the aforesaid "region" accumulating more support as you go, and rebrand the name so people think of it as a"region"not the name of one particular town or city, have proper links with ALL the clubs in the "region" both rugby and social. Will this work? I dunno. Is it working now? ................no.[/p][/quote]spot on totally agree with you, as long as its got Newport in the name they wont get the support they could get.[/p][/quote]Any club in the region can stroll down to Westgate Street to WRU headquarters and take up their 50% ownership and responsibility any time they like...until then they can't complain... Regionalist

7:28pm Sat 14 Jul 12

dalesman1666 says...

Under normal circumstances the debt would be managable but these are not ordinary times. The whole of the uk is in recession and wales, gwent in particular is feeling the brunt of it. Things that used to be taken for granted like season tickets for sport are now non essential when working out a household budget. To get bums on seats ticket prices have to be kept low. with jobs being lost daily many familes are feeling the pinch. LLanwern now on shorter hours with reduced wages this will have a knock on effect to ngd. International tickets will work out more expensive than a weekend away. For many people sport will fall down the list of priorities. A sensible long term plan is better than a quick fix. For many families every penny counts. Thats the reallity.
Under normal circumstances the debt would be managable but these are not ordinary times. The whole of the uk is in recession and wales, gwent in particular is feeling the brunt of it. Things that used to be taken for granted like season tickets for sport are now non essential when working out a household budget. To get bums on seats ticket prices have to be kept low. with jobs being lost daily many familes are feeling the pinch. LLanwern now on shorter hours with reduced wages this will have a knock on effect to ngd. International tickets will work out more expensive than a weekend away. For many people sport will fall down the list of priorities. A sensible long term plan is better than a quick fix. For many families every penny counts. Thats the reallity. dalesman1666

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
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