STATEMENT FROM MIKE CUDDY

Over 180 supporters attended a meeting which took place tonight (Tuesday 27th November 2018) at Neath Rugby Clubhouse to have an update on developments relating to the Winding Up Court case against Neath Rugby Limited.

The sole Director of Neath Rugby Limited, Mike Cuddy, had been invited to be in attendance to address players and supporters but was unable to do so. Instead, Mike Cuddy asked that the following personal statement be read out at the meeting –

“During pre-season we unfortunately recruited significant, expensive and subsequently underperforming players, the majority of who did not understand our values and did not have our club at heart. In spite of player bonuses being paid, poor on-field performances continued with resulting match losses. This made us both the most expensive and by some distance the worst performing side in the league.

It became evident to me that we would have both been relegated and would make a financial loss of over £250,000, which was unacceptable. Over the past 3 years, I have already personally funded Neath Rugby to the sum of over £500k, having re-financed the club since taking over from the previous management. I could not allow this to continue so had to delay wages and other payments, whilst conducting a full review of the business side of the club. It is understandable that a number of players opted to leave during this period.

During this time spurious financial claims have been made against the club, unfortunately linked to my previous business. One of these claims has resulted in club bank accounts being frozen, meaning we could not pay wages and other financial commitments. I am attempting to unfreeze the bank account and will then to continue to fund, at a much lower level, a core of loyal contracted and permit players in order to fulfil this season’s fixtures. I am also seeking to negotiate and settle valid claims against the club.

Whilst we will do everything within our powers to stave off relegation we face a significant battle given our current position in the league. It is my intention to rebuild Neath Rugby, in its present company structure, from a lower division and for it to be once again successful.

I have been involved in Neath Rugby for over 25 years, during which I have spent over £1 million of my own money supporting this club. I continue to love it and its “real” supporters, in spite of continued personal and hurtful comments on social media from a minority of individuals.

My health remains extremely frail, and I am seeking external investment and volunteer assistance in terms of managing the club. I have communicated my willingness to sell up to 25% of the club to supporters, but representatives have advised me that there is no appetite for this. My poor health means I cannot meet a large group of supporters personally, but I will meet a small group as soon as I am fit and able to do so.

I would like to sincerely thank supporters, local rugby clubs and our commercial partners for their continued passionate support. Your commitment to our club is even more vital at this time.”