By Ian Golden, Date: 9/12/13
Wales Rugby League, the sport’s National Governing Body, have agreed to take over the running of South Wales Scorpions for the 2014 season after their founder and inaugural chairman Phil Davies decided to step down.
Davies founded the club in late 2009 following the old Celtic Crusaders’ decision to move north and has been at the helm of the only professional rugby league club in South Wales for four seasons in Championship One. Davies is unfortunately unable to continue with the running of the club due to work and personal commitments however will remain supportive of the sport in Wales for which he has a great passion.
Chris Thair, Chief Operating Officer of Wales Rugby League, said: “We have known for some time of Phil’s wish to step down and following Friday’s WRL Board meeting it was unanimously agreed that the NGB would run the club in 2014. The RFL have been notified of our intentions and whilst we recognise there are still a number of formalities to go through before we are officially running a club in Championship One, with the season beginning in March it is in everyone’s interest that this happens.
“The WRL Board wish to thank Phil Davies for his time, energy and investment into the sport in Wales and he leaves a legacy of having given many young welsh players their first opportunity as a semi-professional rugby league player.
“During his tenure in charge many players who played for the Scorpions have progressed onto getting fulltime contracts at other clubs such as Rhodri Lloyd and Gil Dudson at Wigan Warriors and Lloyd White at Widnes Vikings.
“Wales Rugby League now wish to continue with this legacy of providing opportunities for young Welsh players and this certainly has a good strategic fit to our new performance plans. We now wish to engage with as many people as possible who can support this new venture and should anyone feel they have something to offer then we would be delighted to hear from them.”
Outgoing owner Phil Davies said: “It’s been an exciting and enjoyable four years at the helm with South Wales Scorpions, but due to my increasing work and personal commitments, I’m unable to commit to the amount of time required to run the club.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the Scorpions for the hard work they’ve put in during that time including Rob Buckley our financial director, Ian Golden who has run the office and done all the media over the last four years, plus of course Andy Birchall, Gareth Laugharne and everyone else involved in the Scorpions Supporters Club. I’d also like to remember our late director John Brennan who helped me form the club and was instrumental in its running over the first three years.
“It’s been exciting seeing Scorpions players develop and go on to play Super League and in the World Cup. In this year’s Wales squad we had seven former Scorpions players and that’s something to be proud of. Thank you to all the players who have turned out for us over the last four years and of course to all the fans and sponsors for all of their support.
“In addition I’d like to thank Chris Thair, Brian Juliff and everyone at Wales Rugby League for agreeing to take on South Wales Scorpions. It makes a lot of sense to have it run by the governing body as it will link into their Academies that are already doing so well. I’d like to wish everyone all the best for the future and I look forward to watching as many games as I can, but as a fan and I haven’t ruled out coming back one day as a sponsor!”