Rugby Union: Evans dismissed by WRU: Welsh secretary's pounds 48,000-a-year contract is terminated on the grounds of grave misconduct

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The Independent Online
DENIS EVANS was last night dismissed from his pounds 48,000-a-year post as secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union. The general committee, after hearing the findings of a three-man internal disciplinary panel, decided to end Evans' contract on the grounds of grave misconduct.

'The sub-committee considered complaints which arose from matters of a financial nature, contained in a report made by the auditors to the Union,' Vernon Pugh, the chairman of the general committee, said. 'The finance committee had previously. . .recommended that Mr Evans be dismissed.'

Pugh said the complaints, which the general committee 'found to be justified, represent grave misconduct on the part of the secretary of a kind which entitles the general committee to terminate the secretary's employment without notice.

'That is now what they have decided to do. Mr Evans' employment is therefore terminated immediately.'

The 57-year-old Evans, capped once for Wales in the 1960s, took up his post as secretary on 2 January 1990, stepping into the role vacated by the resignation of David East in the wake of the controversial South African tour.

The WRU will now be seeking its fourth secretary in five years, having had only seven in 113 years prior to Evans' departure.

Evans was frequently at loggerheads with the amateur elected officials who sit on the all-powerful general committee. In particular he failed to see eye to eye with the treasurer, Glanmor Griffiths, who made a series of serious allegations against Evans in January after his resignation from the treasurer's post on 3 December 1992.

Griffiths questioned Evans' handling of financial affairs, claiming he had overstepped his authority on a number of issues.

Griffiths' complaints struck a chord with member clubs of the Union and resulted in the old general committee, which had backed many of Evans' plans, suffering the ignominy of a vote of no-confidence at a special general meeting in April.

With so many of his supporters gone from the scene, Evans was left walking a tightrope, and on 11 June he was given an indefinite period of paid leave of absence, along with the commercial executive, Jonathan Price.

Both men were to become the subject of external inquiry panels, but Evans battled against that proposition in the High Court and through an injunction forced the allegations against him to be dealt with by a three-man internal team lead by the Union president, Sir Tasker Watkins. The general committee will turn its attention to Price later this month.

Evans refused to comment last night, pending a full briefing from his solicitor on the reasons for his dismissal.

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