This is what’s going on at the Ospreys as chairman set to step aside amid big changes and ‘unfounded’ rumours about finances


The Ospreys have revealed details of the changes they hope will carry the region forward for the next decade.

And the former league champions have indicated they are financially secure despite recent rumours, with major shareholders pumping in extra funds.

Fresh blood is also set to be introduced at board level and a new chairman is poised to be installed, with the long-serving Roger Blyth ready to step aside.

All of which is set to happen as Welsh professional rugby readies itself for a fresh start via so-called Project Reset, the programme aimed at implementing a new settlement for the top end of the game this side of the Severn Bridge.

You can read full details of what Project Reset is all about here.

At the Ospreys the internal revamp will focus on several areas…

THE TOP

Roger Blyth (right) with Gerald Gabb at an Honorary Fellowship dinner at Swansea University

At 68, Roger Blyth is set to move aside as chairman.

It isn’t a forced change.

Blyth has been in top roles at the Ospreys since their inception in 2003, holding down the chairmanship for the past five years, having previously been joint chief executive and managing director.

He feels it is time for a change and the Ospreys approached the Welsh Rugby Union for suggestions on individuals capable of filling the role.

Among those being considered is David Jones, who, with his brother Glyn, founded the hugely successful Princes Gate Spring Water company, selling the majority share to Nestle recently.

The change is likely to be imminent.

Blyth said: “We approached the union for suggestions on this and they were very helpful.

“Change happens in every organisation and I am not getting younger. We are looking to set in place a structure with individuals who can take us forward for the next five to 10 years.

“I was 52 when regional rugby came into being. I had time on my side.

“But we are looking to change as part of a general restructuring.

“We are at an advanced stage of discussions.

“The people we have been talking to are all outstanding.

“On the personal front, I will fill any role that people see fit for me to fill. We don’t have egos at the Ospreys. All of us are in it for the good of the region and the good of Welsh rugby. I am not walking away.”

FRESH BLOOD

A number of new faces are being spoken to with the aim of strengthening the Ospreys off the pitch.

“We need a new structure to take the business forward,” said Blyth.

“There are some excellent individuals who are keen to get involved and we are keen to have them on board.

“It is part of revising our governance structure and strengthening us as a region.

“There are wide ranging discussions currently ongoing across multiple fronts, with a number of different individuals and organisations, identifying ways that we can make our structure more suited to the changing landscape. This will lead to us identifying expertise that can assist us with our long-terms aims of putting Ospreys Rugby back at the forefront of the game.

“This excites everybody involved.”

The Ospreys are revamping their governance

FINANCE

Rumours have been circulating for weeks that the Ospreys are in a perilous financial situation, but Blyth played down such talk.

A recent development has seen majority shareholders pump significant sums into the business.

“The speculation is wide of the mark,” said Blyth.

“Last season was challenging for a number of reasons, but our majority shareholders have ensured we are financially secure.”

Read More

Welsh rugby news

AND FINALLY…

Blyth believes Project Reset will prove a major plus for Welsh rugby.

“The Rugby Services Agreement that we have had in place for the professional game in recent years needed to be replaced, and we are knee deep in discussions with the Welsh Rugby Union and our fellow regions to come up with a new settlement,” said Blyth.

“All of us want it to work for Welsh rugby generally.

“There is a realisation that the professional game is the key financial driver in our sport and if it flourishes then so can the community game, the women’s game, age-grade rugby and everything else.

“It is not about “greedy regions wanting more money” as some might suggest.

“It is about setting up something that works and is sustainable and will benefit everyone.

“There are some boulders in the road that we still have to clear, but that happens in every negotiation.

“It is a massive watershed for the professional game in Wales.

“Everything is being pooled into one big pot. The pro game will be stronger and so will all the other areas.

“As an organisation, we are aware of the challenges that lie ahead but we also look at it as a real opportunity to reshape our governance structure to ensure we are in the best position to take full advantage of any new agreement between the union and regions.

“It’s the nature of professional sport that at times of change there is rumour and speculation but we have to embrace this opportunity to ensure we are in the best shape to move forward confidently as a business.

“As we progress some of these projects we will keep supporters updated ahead of what promises to be an exciting season on and off the field.”



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