Rugby Union: Welsh union's row out in the open

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THE former treasurer of the Welsh Rugby Union yesterday went public on the reasons for his resignation last month and so provoked a war of words which is likely to be taken to a special meeting of the union's 212 member clubs and affiliated bodies.

An emergency meeting of the WRU executive will be held next week. Although the general committee has turned down a request by clubs for a special meeting on a technicality, it has indicated that the meeting will be called once a correct submission is made.

The chasm between Glanmor Griffiths, a former banker who had been an honorary appointee, and Denis Evans, the union's paid secretary, became clear when Griffiths circulated a letter to WRU clubs and committee men, though not to Evans himself.

In it, Griffiths alleges specific instances of impropriety by Evans as well as abusive and aggressive behaviour - allegations that were rejected when considered by the WRU committee. Griffiths said: 'It was the impossibility of the performance of my independent duties because of obstructiveness and intolerable nature of relationships with the secretary rather than free choice which prompted me to take the steps I did.'

With Griffiths's letter being studied by lawyers, last night the WRU president, Graham Tregidon, issued a statement deploring the ex-treasurer's 'vicious vendetta'. Tregidon added: 'Mr Griffiths's self-portrayal as champion of the clubs is both inaccurate and insulting . . . Many of his former colleagues possess more obvious rugby credentials and would surely not have reacted in such a fit of pique.'