NEWPORT Gwent Dragons chief executive Stuart Davies believes a Welsh Rugby Union takeover would lead to a bright future at Rodney Parade – but has pledged to fight for the region's professional future if the governing body's proposed deal for the historic ground is rejected.
The Dragons board have reached a heads of terms agreement with the WRU over a proposed deal that would see them pay £3.75million, with £900,000 of that wiping out an existing loan to the governing body, to take the reins of the professional side and ownership of the nine-acre Rodney Parade site.
The deal needs the approval of 75 per cent of Newport RFC shareholders at a meeting on the evening of Tuesday, May 9.
Dragons directors have warned that rejection of the proposal will lead to the region going into administration and the necessity to sell the famous venue to pay off debts.
If that happens then Davies says he will urge the WRU, who are committed to having four regional sides until at least 2020, to keep professional rugby alive in Gwent by looking at alternative venues.
"At the start of this process was a desire to make the Dragons more successful and competitive," said the chief executive.
"A Union-based model brings a fresh start, new governance, newly-constituted board, new vision, new energy, new networks and perhaps new finance on top of what the Union will inject. That fills me with hope and excitement.
"I think retaining the exciting (playing) talent we've got and then layering on a bit of stardust and more depth, it can be transformational and that excites me."
"As far as the rugby side of things has been concerned, they have been professional and tried to get on with their jobs business as usual. There have been no mutterings," he continued.
"Looking ahead to the consequences, a yes vote they should be excited by. A no vote probably means the immediate calling in of administrators as far as the Dragons side of the business is concerned and the domino effect of that.
"Then it's a question of what happens next and that largely sits with the Union, who are committed to four professional teams in Wales.
"Our hope would be that that still means a professional entity in Gwent. I haven't discussed the detail of that, what it would look like or where that would be, but I would certainly be championing that even if the venue of Rodney Parade is lost in the event of a no vote."
The Dragons visited three grounds after being forced to move their final game of the season against Cardiff Blues because of a Rodney Parade fixture clash with Newport County's League Two finale with Notts County. They carried out site visits at Ebbw Vale and Cross Keys but plumped for Caerphilly.
Davies will be holding an open meeting with supporters ahead of the EGM on Monday at 7pm in the Bisley Suite at Rodney Parade to discuss any queries.