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Neath RFC

Thursday 6th December 2018

A large group of Neath Rugby Supporters who attended a Court hearing in Cardiff today (Thursday) were devastated when the Judge refused to uphold a Winding Up Order against Neath Rugby Limited, the sole remaining Director of which being Mr Mike Cuddy. The Winding Up Order had been lodged by Jardine Norton, a Cardiff-based Finance Company, in respect of an unpaid debt of £31,734. The Judge’s decision referred to procedural deficiencies which leave open the option of Jardine Norton, HMRC and others lodging a further Winding Up Order in the near future.

Neath Rugby supporters have been protesting about the lack of leadership and mismanagement on the part of Mike Cuddy over a period of several years, leading to poor results on the field and widespread disharmony off the field.

Despite promises to the contrary by Mike Cuddy, it is known that players, coaches and other persons have not been paid since 1st October. This has led to the exit of over half of the playing squad. In addition to the Jardine Norton debt, it is understood that Neath Rugby has further unpaid debts of at least £100,000.

Supporters fully understand the financial difficulties which the Cuddy Group has experienced since Summer 2018. This is not an issue for Neath supporters. What supporters are very annoyed about is Mike Cuddy’s refusal to allow a new group of investors to re-launch Neath Rugby with a focus on engaging players, supporters, sponsors and the people of Neath in an inclusive manner which values the contribution made by everyone associated with Neath Rugby.

Neath Rugby is now in a very precarious situation. Mike Cuddy has said that he is bringing in new volunteer assistance in terms of managing the club, along with new investors, but nothing has yet been done. The current group of volunteers running the club on a day to day basis can see no evidence that Mike Cuddy has the funding or commitment to deliver on the promises he made as recently as 27th November 2018, including rebuilding the club on and off the field and settling the many financial claims against the club.

It is going to be very difficult for fixtures to be fulfilled during December, and beyond, starting with Llanelli (home) and RGC (home), then Aberavon (away) on Boxing Day.

Supporters are hugely supportive of the players, coaches and medical team who have remained loyal to Neath Rugby and fully understand that, at some stage, the current difficulties at the club may force them to move on to other clubs. This will not detract from the admiration which supporters have for all concerned.

Supporters and sponsors are asked to remain unified and committed to saving our iconic club. The amount of support received from all over the world in recent weeks has been remarkable, indeed humbling. Our club was founded in 1871 and we all have a responsibility to make sure that the club exists for generations to come.

The volunteers who run the club day to day can no longer fulfil their current roles but are committed to ensuring that the club will be re-launched as soon as Neath Rugby Limited and Mike Cuddy are no longer involved with Neath Rugby. A small number of new investors have expressed an interest in supporting Neath Rugby as soon as Mike Cuddy has left the club.

No single person will ever be bigger than Neath Rugby and this will, without doubt, be proven to be the case by Neath Rugby supporters and the people of Neath alike.

Graham Jones
On Behalf of Neath Rugby Voluntary Operational Team