Friday, May 25, 2012

Blues may find House of Pain too painful

Wales Online today reports that the WRU are considering spending £10million to buy the freehold of Cardiff Arms Park and redevelop the site.
 Cardiff Arms Park redevelopment to be considered by WRU

If a deal can be struck to acquire the freehold interest, (for a reported sum of £10million) any profits from commercial developments would be ploughed back into developing.” rugby at the site.
This potentially could see a major refurbishment of the exiting Arms Park and even the building of 15,000 capacity stadium. The WRU would then lease the ground to the Blues, but also look to use the ground to stage other matches, including under-21 internationals.
It would look to mirror Parc y Scarlets in terms of its facilities in catering for pre-match hospitality and entertainment, as well being used for non rugby events such as concerts

This would be the same WRU who couldn’t afford to help maintain a Valleys regional side, but it seems can keep providing for the favoured few.

This follows on the heels of a report yesterday which stated that “Cardiff Blues plan to play matches at Sardis Road in bid to embrace region”

“CARDIFF BLUES are ready to take matches to Pontypridd’s Sardis Road ground as they look to take top-level rugby back to the valleys

The move comes as new chief executive Richard Holland and coach Phil Davies argue it is crucial the Cardiff-based region build up a stronger fan base outside the Welsh capital.”

The “Cardiff based region” have surely left it a bit late to start looking to build support outside the capital.  Have any of them been up this way lately?
A couple of months ago I was at a charity event in the Rhondda which included an auction.  People were extremely generous and large amounts of money changed hands for all manner of items.  Except one.  A Cardiff Blues shirt signed by all of the team.  Not a single bid came forward, despite the auctioneer trying to start it off at £1.    
It is indicative of the strength of feeling that exists not just against the Blues but at the whole manner in which regional rugby has been set up and run.

If the Blues are coming to Sardis then they had better bring a few busloads of fans with them I fear, as I can’t see Ponty supporters turning out for them
And what of the plans of Owen Smith MP to bring regional rugby back to Pontypridd and the Valleys?  It has been reported that Pontypridd RFC board are fully behind this, but yet it seems at the same time they have been making plans with the Blues. Am I the only who thinks this is a bit odd?

Don't think I'll be rushing out to buy a Cardiff shirt any time soon.


Nick Powell said...

But most grass roots rugby clubs in the valleys also think that a fifth region is a non starter

Karen Roberts said...

For once I agree with you. It is too late to go back now, and much as I appreciate the somewhat romantic ideal behind Owen Smith's plans I really don't think it will get anywhere. However, if you have been there and heard the chants of 'I will never be a blue' echoing around Sardis then you must also admit the chances of Ponty fans embracing the Cardiff set anytime soon are equally slim.

Nick Powell said...

How would i be there I'm always at my local club on a sat, like the last 30 yrs

its not thats its too late to turn back, its just not a viable option, if prople went to watch the region then they wouldn't watch the local side