Former WRU chief David Moffett to stand for election

Former Welsh Rugby Union chief David Moffett says he intends to stand for election to the governing body.

The WRU and the regions are embroiled in a bitter war over funding, the exodus of Welsh players and an Anglo-Welsh league.

Moffett, who has been WRU and Regional Rugby Wales chief executive, says both sides' actions are a "disgrace".

"I believe that I've got a compelling argument to make otherwise I wouldn't do this," Moffett told BBC Radio Wales.

The next full WRU elections take place in August 2014.

WRU ELECTION FACTS

  • Next elections take place in August 2014
  • Board members are elected for three-year terms
  • There are places for three national board members and 14 district board members
  • One of the national board members oversees WRU finances
  • Other board members are elected by the nine districts that represent the WRU's 320 member clubs
  • WRU board members elect the governing body's chairman

Moffett was WRU boss before leaving that role in December, 2005 and was succeeded by current group chief executive Roger Lewis in October 2006.

During Moffett's tenure, Welsh rugby's elite tier was controversially reduced from nine to five teams for the launch of regional rugby in 2003.

A year later one of those teams, Celtic Warriors - a merger of Bridgend and Pontypridd rugby clubs - closed down amid more controversy.

That left Ospreys, Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues as the nation's leading teams.

Having criticised Lewis's stewardship of the WRU, Moffett returned to Wales as chief executive of the regions' umbrella body Regional Rugby Wales in October 2008 amid the regions' row with the WRU over the release of players for Wales international training sessions.

That row ended with the union winning a High Court ruling, forcing the regions to release players for training ahead of the opening 2008 Autumn Test against South Africa.

They [WRU] sent them [32 member clubs] a letter with about 62 bullet points and they got one point of view. There was no balance to the document that they got and I think that that is a disgraceful way to treat your shareholders,

David Moffett Ex-WRU & RRW chief executive

Moffett left in May, 2009 and was succeeded by former Scarlets chief Stuart Gallacher.

Moffett says he now intends to return to Wales and bid for a seat on the WRU board and wants its 320 member clubs involved in an Extraordinary General Meeting to help end the dispute between governing body and regions.

If that meeting ended with a vote of no confidence being passed in the current WRU, its elected members, including chairman David Pickering, would be forced out.

That would give new candidates the the chance to oversee employee Lewis's work.

But anyone seeking election can only do so via two main means in elections that take place every three years.

To become a director representing of one of nine WRU districts for a three-year term, Moffett would need the backing of two clubs in a local area and be successful in that election.

To become one of three national directors for a three-year term, he would need the nomination of two clubs and be successful in the election.

To become chairman, Moffett would first need to win an election to the board and then be nominated from among its members and successfully win that vote.

BBC Wales' Gareth Lewis on WRU elections

"It's a very long and tortuous process [to get on the WRU]. David Moffett is a smart cookie, don't get me wrong.

"He may have silent people ready to step in and nominate him and second him and push his cause as he'd need to do.

"It would be a very long process though to get on that board. To become chairman, which he states as well, would be even more difficult."

New Zealand-based Moffett is scheduled to return to Wales on Wednesday, 15 January.

He added: "I actually don't believe that the WRU or the regions are working in the best interests of the game when they behave like they're currently behaving.

"I think it is a disgrace. It shows no leadership and there has got to be a better way.

"And I believe that with my track record in Wales as the chief executive officer that I can offer them a better solution."

He is confident of winning enough support among WRU clubs to take a seat on its board.

And he criticised the WRU's recent letter to its member clubs in which the governing body put its side of case over its dispute with the regions.

"There was no balance to the document... and I think that that is a disgraceful way to treat your shareholders, which the WRU clubs are.

"And that needs to change and it needs to change dramatically."

He also believes there is not "a hope in hell" that the regions will agree to the WRU's subsequent fresh participation agreement.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, BBC Wales has been told a meeting took place on Monday night between Roger Lewis and a senior representative of Regional Rugby Wales.