OPEN LETTER TO MR MIKE CUDDY, DIRECTOR OF NEATH RUGBY LIMITED

It would be an understatement to say that 2018 has been a disastrous year for you and for Neath Rugby.

You have spoken recently about your significant ill-health issues and your inability to continue to run the club.

The Judge at your Winding Up court hearing earlier this month said that Neath Rugby Limited is insolvent. Another Winding Up hearing is likely to take place next month.

Your position as sole Director of Neath Rugby Limited, trading whilst apparently insolvent, places you in a precarious personal financial situation, which must be of concern to your family and friends.

Most players, the coaching and management team and all volunteers have – with heavy hearts – left the club because you have made it impossible for them to stay.

You have said that you hope to sell Neath Rugby Limited within weeks. There is no evidence available, though, that anybody wishes to buy the club with a six figure debt.

Unfortunately, the way in which you appear to have abandoned the club in recent weeks means that it may not survive the next few weeks.

The players who have remained loyal to Neath are being battered beyond belief as they try to keep a team on the field. You have not even met them as a team to say thank you.

It looks as if 90{2b3e04ec0b6eb92b9cdf5819b8d96bd58008016c6476931d41c44421e1531fdb} of the “Neath” playing squad to play Aberavon on Boxing Day will be players on permit, which is an unprecedented and devastating situation. Supporters cannot believe that this is really what you want to happen, but it has happened.

There were over 100 Neath supporters at Bridgend last Saturday, which is amazing support for a team which has lost so many games under your ownership. Some supporters were in tears; every supporter was distraught when they saw what you have done to a once great club.

Pat Horgan, Paul Jones, Andy “House” Howells and Idris Hanmer have all been brought in by our magnificent captain Aaron Bramwell to help him keep the team going for as long as possible, along with the retention of our medical team without whom the team could not play.

You have been promising to pay the players for the last 6 weeks; you have broken your promises time and time again right up until today.

The playing squad has needed to be funded by volunteers for the games vs Bridgend and Aberavon because you have not done so. The players want to know if you are going to fund the team until you sell the club. It would be good if you meet the team to tell them.

During the last 6 weeks or so, because of your chaotic mismanagement, the club has lost the opportunity to install new showers and boilers at The Gnoll, the launch of a Welsh All Blacks lottery has been postponed, outside catering facilities at The Gnoll have gone, you are in breach of safety regulations at The Gnoll, you have breached WRU A Licence regulations, you have not made any arrangements for changing rooms or the stadium to be cleaned and you have even taken away the van which was used to transport playing kit and equipment to away games.

The younger rugby players of the town of Neath are also suffering because your failure to put in place a new team of volunteers, as promised, means that a number of school, college and Neath & District games have already needed to be cancelled, with those planned for the New Year also at risk. Neath Rugby is proud to host 30+ junior rugby matches every year and it is tragic for local youngsters that you are denying them the opportunity to play on The Gnoll.

These are not the actions of someone who cares about Neath Rugby.

You will have seen the petition signed by former Neath players – now 70+ in number – who believe that the club should be handed over to a new group so that the club can be run properly. Similar views have been expressed by all Neath supporters, by Neath Port Talbot Council and by the Assembly Member for Neath.

This letter is to ask you once again Mr Cuddy to please wind up Neath Rugby Limited straightaway and to allow a new group of people to relaunch Neath Rugby as a club of which the town of Neath can be proud.

Every day which passes with the club in your ownership places 147 years of history at risk.

A group of supporters and new investors are waiting to be given an opportunity to start rebuilding Neath Rugby on and off the field.

Please, please show that you care about Neath Rugby and let them start the rebuilding process now. This would be the best possible Christmas present for Neath Rugby players and for the town of Neath.

If you decide that you cannot grant this request, please will you explain to supporters, former players and everyone else who loves Neath Rugby why you are not prepared to allow others to start rebuilding our iconic club. Today.

On Behalf of Neath Rugby Supporters