Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The establishment always fixes the rules.

In the 1996-97 season my local rugby club of Beddau won the WRU division one East and Bonymaen won the Division one west. However both clubs were denied promotion after failing to meet the Welsh Rugby Union's ground criteria for Premiership clubs.
But they argued the WRU changed the rules mid-season, denying them time to make the necessary improvements.
WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis said: "We fully recognised the emotional arguments for Beddau and Bonymaen because they have achieved so much on the field of play, but the rules of governance have to be obeyed.
"Beddau and Bonymaen are important clubs with proud histories and we applaud and honour them for that.
"The consequences of bending to the emotion of their arguments would not have been acceptable and, furthermore, would have damaged our image as a rugby nation."
In July 2006, the WRU informed all Division One clubs they had until June 2007 to "show substantial progress to achieving the required Premiership Entry Criteria and any extra time needed to complete all works before the 2007/08 season starts".
But in September last year, that deadline was brought forward to January 2007.
Beddau and Bonymaen argued at the AGM that gave them far too little time to complete improvements to their facilities and asked for the original deadline to be reinstated.
But only 33% of the 320 delegates at the Princess Royal Theatre in Sunday's EGM supported their motion, condemning both clubs to another season in Division One.
The clubs needed a 75% majority to defeat the WRU
Since then Beddau has spent a great deal of money improving their ground facilities and now meet the standards set by the WRU at least for now. Many supporters feel that was at the expense of the Team who have lost a great deal of their form and now face relegation to division 2.
Many Beddau people and I am sure in Bonymaen also feel that these Rules were introduced in order to keep out Clubs who are not what used to be thought elite e.g. Cardiff, Pontypridd, Neath et al.

I can’t help feeling that Plaid and SNP exclusion from the leader’s debates is of a similar fashion and indeed has been vindicated by the recent polls. The establishment has seen fit to change the rules or create new ones. It is surprising perhaps that Liberal Democrats are the beneficiaries of this but as they bask in their perhaps fleeting glory perhaps they can reflect that their recent rise is a result of great injustice.

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