Rugby Union: WRU bails out troubled clubs

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The Independent Online
Wales' financially stricken senior clubs have been warned that there can be no repeat of the big-spending philosophy which has plunged the game into financial crisis.

The Welsh Rugby Union yesterday began bailing out several leading clubs, including Swansea, Llanelli and Bridgend, with six-figure loans as part of a pounds 1.2m rescue package.

The WRU treasurer, Glanmor Griffiths, also delivered a stern warning intended to damp down the transfer market and huge wage bills responsible for the present desperate position.

Griffiths said: "We will expect that all future expenditure is matched by income." Additionally, the WRU intends carrying out monthly audits of clubs' books, and could block future signings if it is not satisfied with the financial resources available.

Bridgend and their First Division rivals, Treorchy, yesterday became the latest clubs to cancel contracts and release players. Bridgend let six leave, including the former Wales winger Gwilym Wilkins, while Treorchy decided they could no longer afford the scrum-half Kevin Ellis, having already parted company with his fellow rugby league recruit Rowland Phillips.

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