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London Welsh, Where To Now


By Dragons Den
November 2 2016

Following a tense and fraught week in Southwest London, whats the furture for London Welsh

Following a tense week for London Welsh, with the threat of a winding up order hanging over them, it appears that they live to fight another day, but what of the future.

With a week of contradictory information in the press and around the club, many are left wondering what the hell is going on.

Whilst the threat of liquidation has been removed if only temporarily, it appears clear that the long promised investment, by a "Californian investment company" lead by Welsh businessman, Trevor Owen-Shaw is now off.

Together with this and the subsequent resignation of Chairman, Bleddyn Phillips, many are wondering where the future of London Welsh lies.

Despite assurances from the club that they feel confident that they can settle their debts to HMRC, within the adjourned period leading upto December 12th, the question still remains how they can meet their ongoing financial commitments to both HMRC, other creditors along with the continued demands required for the day to day running of the club.

The withdrawl from the club of long term benefactor, Kelvin Bryon, for personal reasons leaves, the club in a financial blackhole, with he himself even further out of pocket after supporting the club financially over the past season, under promise of reimbursement from the expected investment.

Despite all their off the field woes, on the pitch the team have been performing exceptionally well with recent wins over Doncaster Knights, in the league and Rotherham Titans and Munster A in the British and Irish Cup and one thing that has become clear and a testament to the inner strength of the club is that the supporters are clearly right behind the coaching and playing staff and will continue to support the team as they continue to do the only thing they can and concentrate on winning games on the pitch.

In his resignation statement Bleddyn Phillips, inferred that their may be other opportunities to persue, but what they may be and in what capacity the club may operate in the future is open to speculation.

One thing for sure though is that everyone at Dragons Den has their fingers crossed for a sucessful outcome and will continue to support this great club through thick and thin.

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London Welsh, Where To Now
The Dragons' Den (IP Logged)
02/11/2016 09:39
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:12:04:16:10:09 by chappers.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
peterh64 (IP Logged)
02/11/2016 13:15
nice to see DD back and yes where to now?

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
Blackheath Welsh (IP Logged)
02/11/2016 13:19
Richmond on Saturday?

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
trickybroon (IP Logged)
02/11/2016 13:32
Good to see DD back. Very sorry to see 'Uncle' Bled go and nice to see some heartfelt comments from former and current players on what he has given to the club. I do hope we get the opportunity to give him the 'retirement' he deserves. I got the feeling from reading his resignation statement that there might be pressure from within the rugby authorities to oust him as he did shove a pointed stick very much up the Twickers old boys agenda?

Difficult times for the club but together the team with our support will get through this and continue to uphold the great traditions and history of our club.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
8+7 (IP Logged)
02/11/2016 14:00
I completely agree we need to stick together as supporters and get behind the team, coaches and management to continue our successes of the season.

But we also need to plan for the light that has gone out at the end of the tunnel. It seems we have insurmountable debts and no benefactors or largesse in sight that will help us overcome them.

Paying Peter in the short term to rob Paul is no vision.

This is the reality of life in the Championship v's that in the APL and the RFU of all people aren't going to wave a partisan wand in our direction.

That's no help I know as it's stating the obvious but it may give food for thought.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
Blackheath Welsh (IP Logged)
02/11/2016 15:28
It's started! New management! Updated statement, Bleddyn and Kelvin are back!

LW Statement

London Welsh has moved swiftly to replace Bleddyn Phillips as its Chairman, and is pleased to announce the restructuring of its Board of Directors. The Club wishes to express its gratitude to Bleddyn for five years of selfless support and commitment.

Gareth Hawkins will lead the new Board as Chairman. Gareth works for a family office and is responsible for creating a 100 million portfolio of renewable energy assets. He steps across from the Amateur side of London Welsh where he has been involved for 10 years and is Head Coach of the Under 15s Youth team. He aims to integrate professional and amateur elements of the game, facilitate a complete player pathway within the community and lead the search for new investment.

Nick Thurlow and Dan Langford will be joining Steve Lewis, Stephen Cole and Bleddyn Phillips on the Club's Board of Directors, together with Kelvin Byron who has re-joined the Board on an interim basis.

Dan is the Group Marketing and Communications Director at Acorn Recruitment and Nick Thurlow spent 12 years with major international banks in London, New York and Africa before setting up a California-based film production company.

The Board's mission is to address London Welsh's financial issues and target trading as a resilient and sustainable business.

London Welsh has achieved great success over the last five years, primarily through the very significant generosity of Kelvin Byron. We would also like to express our appreciation to the Club's members and supporters for their loyalty.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:11:02:16:28:27 by Blackheath Welsh.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
peterh64 (IP Logged)
02/11/2016 15:50
Brave men joining as directors, must know they can pay off the debts I suppose

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
jonses (IP Logged)
02/11/2016 18:29
I'm really diappointed with this development and yes VERY concerned.

I'm sorry to see bleddyn go too but I don't know what exactly the references are to him going. Is that joining the pro 12 I wander once and only once we have a club able to stay out of court???
Is that what he was alluding too??

Need to sort this ASAP but not a fire sale and get stuffed by someone else..

We're not on eBay.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
Blackheath Welsh (IP Logged)
02/11/2016 18:42
Quote:
jonses
I'm really diappointed with this development and yes VERY concerned.
I'm sorry to see bleddyn go too but I don't know what exactly the references are to him going. Is that joining the pro 12 I wander once and only once we have a club able to stay out of court???
Is that what he was alluding too??

Need to sort this ASAP but not a fire sale and get stuffed by someone else..

We're not on eBay.

Nick Thurlow and Dan Langford will be joining Steve Lewis, Stephen Cole and Bleddyn Phillips on the Club's Board of Directors, together with Kelvin Byron who has re-joined the Board on an interim basis.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
gwynwilliams (IP Logged)
03/11/2016 02:02
Its lovely to see us back up and running on DD. Bleddyn not being front and centre is OK, we all need 5 mins rest from time to time and his dragon's heart I am sure is still burning as strong as ever as it does with Kelvin. How lucky we are to have men of that character in our ranks and if we all put in 25% of their effort we would still be the best rugby club in the world.

Both men Rugby people and London Welsh forever, both are lined up with men from the past who we had lunch with last sat at our club, amazing people from a generation before who committed themselves both on and off the field and made a difference.

Seems to me there is one simple concern in my life.

40d and counting down to our next visit to the high court, therefore no time to be messing around with social media and general chit chat.

So what are my choices


1. Support the team and those who are going to look for an answer to a sustainable London Welsh
2. Contribute Something that will make a difference
3. Provide that supportive glance, a positive handshake or that nod of encouragement to the on and off field team that will navigate us thought Nov.

They are all OK and they all help.

I think its OK to provide constructive criticism, better to provide real help. As the chairman of non professional rugby at our club I know I have benefited from many peoples sage advice and we certainly have been able to improve with a few individuals providing really help.

The Question I asked myself on Monday. "Can I contribute something to the new team". my self response was "I'm not sure but I want to as it will only help".

Therefore I am happy to put my name to this post and offer help. If I get no response from the guys trying to find an answer my assumption is they are busy and I will try again and again and again until my count down clock tells me 0d left. Even if I don't get a response I'm going to look for work as any good No.11 would do in the modern game.

When I see our office staff or those running the ship I am going to ask them. "Can I help?", "what do you want me todo?", "can I get you a pint or a coffee or dance on Richmond station in my shorts to raise money".

When I see our players I am going to tell them they are the finest set of young professionals we have had at our club and I will mean it from the bottom of my heart.

What I'm not going to do is tell staff, volunteer board members or players they are doing something wrong and I'm am certainly not going to question their actions under the name "AngryFromKew". If I want to question then I will do so face to face, via telephone or personal email, if I've offered nothing to help them I'm not expecting them to reply as they need to focus on things that will make a difference.

I am Gwyn Williams gwyn.williams@btinternet.com, I want to see the new guys succeed, I want to see our elite team and staff with a future and everyone involved with out club to be proud of itself.

These chaps are all willing to commit themselves and so am I.

Remember we are going to our neighbours on Sat. Their club have been to hell and back (Well actually Herts and Middlesex Phase 1 and back). Richmond know what its like to explode but when they did they stuck together and fought their way back to be one of the finest rugby clubs both on and off the field in RFU or even rugby history.


Make your choice, its your club.

Sat Nov 5th

1st XV vs Richmond at RAC 3pm
Dragons vs Twickenham 3rds 14:30 ODP
Occies vs Chiswick 4th 14:30 ODP

Full recording of Wales vs Australia 5:00pm ODP when we all are back together putting money back into our own club


Gwyn Williams
gwyn.williams@btinternet.com
07968 752 456



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2016:11:03:08:42:23 by gwynwilliams.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
Blackheath Welsh (IP Logged)
03/11/2016 11:19
I would like to echo Gwyn words above and stand ready to help/assist/support the new management of the Club in its bid to ensure the Club survives.

Many thanks to Bleddyn in all he has done for the Club and I'm happy that he is remaining on the Board and welcome back Kelvin.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
woodywelsh (IP Logged)
03/11/2016 17:45
Well said Gwyn. We all need to support the enhanced management team, the staff and players. I will do what I can.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
chappers (IP Logged)
03/11/2016 20:05
great post Gwyn and ditto to that

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
dantheref (IP Logged)
04/11/2016 12:18
Excellent post Gwyn.I am 100% in agreement.

Anybody who has committed time and effort into a sports club or similar know, plenty of people will criticise and moan, but ask them to do something and they are faster than Usain Bolt running in the opposite direction.

Upwards and onwards COMYW

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
RPB (IP Logged)
04/11/2016 17:06
I agree as well with Gwyn 100%.

But as far as Bledwyn is concerned many of us sat at that meeting a few weeks back and he told everyone that this mystery investor had signed an SPA and funds would be coming in tranches.

I thought it odd that of the board he was the sole representative at the table. He was confident that the funds would come. We can only deduce that this is not the case and therefore the investor is in default of the SPA and we would assume incurring penalties for that?

He is a lawyer I understand and should, you would hope have protected the business (LW) from such an occurrence, if he hasn't, then he is right to step down ... but why still a Board member ?

In any other business it would have been desk clearing time.

Let's hope the new board can sort out this mess.

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
peterh64 (IP Logged)
05/11/2016 11:38
Quote:
dantheref
Excellent post Gwyn.I am 100% in agreement.
Anybody who has committed time and effort into a sports club or similar know, plenty of people will criticise and moan, but ask them to do something and they are faster than Usain Bolt running in the opposite direction.

Upwards and onwards COMYW

is this the same dantheref who writes things like this?

"dantheref (IP Logged)
30 January, 2016 18:05
I know I am sounding like a broken record and have done since October, but will you now believe me when I say Rowland you need to do the honourable thing and resign.

Nine tries conceded against an ordinary Bedford side is hopefully the final humiliation for a coach who prides himself on his defence tactics.

For whatever reason his time at LW has not worked out the way we all hoped and now is the time to go.

If that is not the case then the board need to act NOW!"

the hypocrisy is breathtaking

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
dantheref (IP Logged)
05/11/2016 19:43
In reply to Peter64 I HAVE GOT actively involved within LW and other sports organisations in the past so you can call me a hypocrite but I have put my head above the parapet and contributed beyond sitting making comments on Dragons Den!

I bet you are pretty quick over 100 metres LOL

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
Newest Sir Benfro (IP Logged)
09/11/2016 20:42
Jersey also now in financial problems but have a very useful property asset to sell and lease back ...but can only be a short term fix

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
exiled gog (IP Logged)
09/11/2016 22:39
As a spasmodic contributor to Dragons Den I see the challenges London Welsh have to overcome in the form of a Venn diagram. The bit in in the middle is the 'survival of the club', survival is probuarly too harsh a word, let's say the way forward.

There are three circles to make the Venn diagram work. Firstly where we play? Some of you might say why? Old Deer Park in a fantastic location but does act as as drag for income generation. A mixture of ODP been Crown Land and the vocal opposition of our neighbours means ODP can not generate suffcient income, the Recreation Ground at Bath shows what is possible and I believe that there is suffcient space at ODP for at least one large fixed stand, where the existing stand is together with a similar sized temporary stand on the club house side with smaller temporary stands at the Pogoda end and Bowls Club end, perhaps 8,000 seats in total. So we now we may have the capacity to play in the Premier League.
So if we could play in the Premier League how do we survive? London and the South East has a population of perhaps 12m people,it should be possible to find 30 good quality players with if possible Welsh connections. Where are these players? So the club needs to look wide and far - OK as far as Brighton in the South Cambridge to the North Reading in the West and Kent to the East, a decent package of expenses should encourage Welsh qualified players to join us, as a club we must naturer Welsh qualified players to choose us as the club of choice for Welsh players.
And now the final circle and to be honest the most difficult circle. Income. Many clubs, LW included have relied on benifactors, in times of plenty all well and good but when that money is no longer forthcoming life becomes difficult. An increase in gate money will help, together with an increase in players paid expeses which could reduce overheads but serious thought should be given to whether the club should join the Welsh Premiership or the Pro Twelve, my preferred choice, to benifit from income from the WRFU.

So there you my Venn diagram, the ground, running costs and income ( improving capacity at ODP will increase income)

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
chappers (IP Logged)
09/11/2016 23:06
couple of flaws there, if we chose the premiership as our direction then we would have to find English qualified players and not Welsh unless we could manage without the EQP money from the RFU and in the Championship that currently means no funding from the RFU.

If we chose the Pro12 and threw our hat in with the WRU I'm not sure there would be any money forthcoming from that direction unless our involvement meant a direct increase in revenue for the WRU

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
peterh64 (IP Logged)
10/11/2016 10:48
well I presume we would get a share of the Pro 12 tv money

 
Re: London Welsh, Where To Now
peterh64 (IP Logged)
11/11/2016 10:29
Nigel Melville is suggesting a loan scheme with academy players but without ringfencing so I can't see how that would be any good
a club gets promoted and all the academy players then leave the club and all the ties are cut
seems to me it would be better to have Prem A teams in the league like they are suggesting in football

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