Scarlets And Ospreys Finally Agree . . . The Merger ‘Aint Happening

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Run for it!

Graham Thomas

Graham is a well known sports writer in Wales. He shares with the Eye stories on his other blog at http://www.dai-sport.com
Run for it!

The Scarlets have finally agreed with the Ospreys. . . the merger is off.

The two regions have now issued statements in the last 24 hours in complete accord that all merger discussions have been taken off the table and it’s as you were in Welsh rugby.

Following the Ospreys’ statement yesterday accusing the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) of “catastrophic mismanagement” the Scarlets have now had their say on discussions between the regions during so-called Project Reset.

They have backed up the claims made by PRB yesterday that outline terms for a merger were agreed and signed off on March 1.

They have also claimed the Ospreys approached them twice over a merger – and in between times flirted with Cardiff Blues – before changing their mind yesterday.

“The merger is off the table,” they state before claiming they remain committed to the best interests of the Scarlets and the game in Wales.

The Scarlets statement reads:

“Some facts and timeline …

Firstly, we can confirm the statement issued by the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) on Tuesday afternoon as accurate, as are the comments made by Wales’ national coach that the proposed merger was driven by the regions, in consultation with the PRB.

In late December, the Scarlets received a high-level approach from the Ospreys to explore the option of a merger as they had come to the conclusion that their position as tenants at the Liberty Stadium was proving to be challenging.

This was discussed at the two-day strategy meeting of PRB on January 8th and 9th. The loss of a region would have put Welsh rugby in breach of its commitment to having four regions playing in the major competitions. As a result, the option of a team playing out of North Wales was raised.

By the time of the next PRB meeting on February 5, discussions had broken down between the Scarlets and Ospreys and we were told that the Ospreys and another region were in talks over a possible merger, again with North Wales being the option to maintain four teams.

Subsequently, those discussions also broke down and we were approached again last week by the Ospreys to reconsider a merger.

Heads of terms were agreed and signed by the Ospreys and Scarlets on March 1 on terms we believe our supporters would be happy with. This was to be proposed at a meeting of the PRB on Tuesday afternoon, but we were told at the start of that meeting that the Ospreys had changed their mind.

The merger is off the table.

In recent years, the Scarlets have been building steadily to regain our place as one of Europe’s leading sides. We have a superb stadium, great staff, loyal and passionate supporters and a team to be proud of. We know that the problems regarding Welsh rugby have not gone away but we remain committed to the best interests of the Scarlets and the game in Wales.”

The post Scarlets And Ospreys Finally Agree . . . The Merger ‘Aint Happening appeared first on Dai Sport.

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Graham is a well known sports writer in Wales. He shares with the Eye stories on his other blog at http://www.dai-sport.com