On the eve of the New Year, Neath Rugby supporters have again called on Mr Mike Cuddy to show that he cares about the club and to allow new investors and a team of volunteers to immediately start the process of rebuilding the club on and off the field.
2018 has been the worst year in living memory for Neath Rugby supporters because of what supporters have described as the chaotic management of the club by Mr Cuddy.
There was, fleetingly, a bright spot for Neath supporters on Boxing Day when 17 guest players from 13 different clubs joined Neath’s remaining loyal players to run Aberavon very close for much of the game, before eventually conceding a converted try in the 88th minute to make the final score a flattering 36-17 to the home team.
The motivating – some would say magical – effect of the black jersey and white Maltese Cross was evident for every one of the hundreds of vocal Neath supporters to see at the Talbot Athletic Ground.
Mr Cuddy has told Neath supporters – “I want to hand it (ie the club) on to people who are fitter and healthier and able to run the club as it deserves to be run .. with my health not being good, I would be putting my life at risk if I continued to battle this because my progress has stalled under the stress of the situation.”
Despite his serious ill-health and his family’s understandable concerns, Mr Cuddy – as sole Director of Neath Rugby Limited (NRL) – is believed to be refusing to leave the club until he sells it to an undisclosed buyer.
Neath supporters are calling upon Mr Cuddy, along with the two registered shareholders of Neath Rugby Limited – Mrs Simone Cuddy and Mr Paul Newman – to leave the club NOW, to prevent further huge damage being done.
In the meantime, Mr Cuddy is continuing to operate NRL on an insolvent basis. Numerous creditors have not been paid by Mr Cuddy. NRL has debts of over £100,000.
Players have not been paid by Mr Cuddy for 3 months, despite numerous promises being made to them over the last 6 weeks that they would be paid.
The playing squad has needed to be funded on a voluntary basis for the games vs Bridgend and Aberavon because Mr Cuddy has continually refused to pay his players.
Mr Cuddy has not met the team for many weeks and has refused a request to meet players and supporters alike to explain his immediate plans for the club.
A WRU disciplinary hearing is scheduled for early January as a result of Mr Cuddy’s decisions to postpone recent matches against Bedwas and RGC.
A decision needs to be made by Mr Cuddy within the next 24 hours about whether he will have a team to play against Pontypool away in the WRU National Cup on Saturday 5th January. This looks highly unlikely at the moment because of the WRU’s rules about the limited number of permit players who are allowed to play in its premier Cup competition.
Home games are scheduled against Cross Keys (12th January) and Swansea (19th). These matches are both currently at risk as Mr Cuddy has failed to respond positively to local authority concerns about his revised safety arrangements when Neath played Llanelli at The Gnoll over 3 weeks ago.
School, college and Neath & District games are continuing to be cancelled because of inaction on the part of Mr Cuddy.
A second Winding Up Order court hearing is scheduled to take place late in January.
These are all examples of the chaotic and – in the eyes of Neath Rugby supporters – totally unacceptable ways in which Mr Cuddy is currently mismanaging Neath Rugby Limited and damaging the reputation of Neath Rugby.
Indeed, to Neath supporters, Mr Cuddy appears to have abandoned the club. He has not been seen and does not appear to have done anything to assist with the running of the club for a number of weeks.
Statement On Behalf of Neath Rugby Supporters