Welsh dispute rumbles on as season looms
July 9, 2014
Newport Gwent Dragons' chief executive Gareth Davies has said the bitter and long-running dispute between the WRU and the Welsh regions needs to be resolved before the start of the new season.
The two parties have yet to come close to agreeing a replacement for the Participation Agreement which guarantees income levels as well as details such as the terms of the release of international players.
"I don't think we are particularly looking at deadlines at the moment," Davies told the BBC. "I think we are always getting nearer. Perhaps some of that is imposed by timescales. The season is upon us really - six-seven weeks away.
"I think the only thing we can say: is discussions are ongoing and we'd like to think we can come to a conclusion fairly soon. The deadline I suppose is the start of the season, although there are obviously financial pressures that will perhaps kick in way before that.
"Each region is looking at its own business plan, I suppose what you could call a survival plan now. It's no different to what we have been doing since last October when some of the European funding was stopped. We have been in this sort of survival mode for the last seven, eight, nine months.
"That will continue for a while yet. I hope it's not too long because I think I would be diverting my energy and time doing more constructive things."
All parties agree that it is in everyone's interests to find a solution before the start of the new season, but despite Davies' guarded optimism that seems to be no closer than it has been at any stage this year.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd