Peter Thomas steps down as Cardiff Blues chairman

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After 23 years as chairman of Cardiff RFC and Cardiff Blues, Peter Thomas will step down from the position next year as a new era gets underway in the board room at the Cardiff Arms Park.

As the man at the helm of the club for so long, Thomas has invested around £15m worth of his own money in the business, taking us through rugby union turning professional in 1995 and then the advent of regional rugby in Wales back in 2003.

In the statement announcing that he would step down as chairman it was confirmed that he would write off his debts in their entirety, but would stay involved with Cardiff Rugby as a director, major shareholder and be honoured with the role of Life President.

Peter Thomas
Peter Thomas will be Cardiff Blues Life President

After coming through the ranks of Cardiff RFC as a player in the 1960s, Peter played for Cardiff Youth, Cardiff Athletic and made eleven appearances for the first team, before departing rugby after a spell with Ebbw Vale to join the family business.

When Alec Evans took over as head coach in 1993, Peter was asked to assist on the business side of the club, as professionalism loomed and the Blue and Blacks attempted to bounce back from some disappointing seasons.

Within three years Cardiff were in the inaugural Heineken Cup Final in 1996, sparking an love affair with European action that saw us win the Challenge Cup Final in 2010 and 2018, still the only Welsh team to win a European trophy.

Cardiff Blues Challenge Cup 2018
Cardiff Blues lifted the 2017/18 European Challenge Cup trophy in Bilbao

As regional rugby dawned in Wales, Thomas was at the forefront of ensuring the famous Cardiff name continued to be seen at the top level of rugby union, with a reported £1m paid for Cardiff Rugby to standalone, along with Llanelli.

In the last few years the financial picture has changed dramatically in the world of professional rugby, particularly in the Northern hemisphere, but Peter has continued to put money into the club through some bleak times, and Bilbao was his crowning moment after a superb season.

He will stay as chairman for the next year, while a replacement and three non-executive directors are sought, before taking up his new positions next summer.

Cardiff Rugby will forever be indebted to Peter Thomas for his commitment down the years, and as he steps down amid impending governance changes at the Arms Park, there seems to be hope that he has left in a position to prosper in the short, medium and long term.

One comment

  1. Great news not because PT is stepping down – he probably needs a rest ! – but because of the debt write off. However I always thought part of the problem was the fact that the CAC ownership percentage could not be diluted. Has there been some other change of which we aren’t yet aware ?

    Like

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