Cardiff Blues have moved to appoint a replacement for outgoing chairman Peter Thomas as Alun Jones of Hugh James Solicitors will officially replace him next summer.
Current chairman and the man who has principally invested in both Cardiff RFC and Cardiff Blues since rugby became professional, Peter Thomas, will step down from his role running the business after more than 20 years but remain on the board as a director and be made Life President of the club.
He has invested over £15million of his own money in that time, but will write off all owed debts and step aside as part of Project Reset giving the company a fresh start in this new era of working with the Welsh Rugby Union going forward.
It was expected that current director Martyn Ryan would take over from Thomas as chairman, but instead it will be Managing Partner at Hugh James Solictors, Alun Jones, who will come in at the helm of the board of directors.
The 48-year-old has been working at the firm since 1992, starting as a solicitor and working through the roles of Head of Online Services, Head of Corporate and Banking, and Head of Asset Management until becoming a Managing Partner in 2011.
During that time Hugh James have become Wales’s largest law firm, moving into new premises on Central Square while the London Office has also moved to new premises as the business continues to grow.
A former Glantaf pupil, Jones lists rugby as an interest of his on the company website and has a Welsh Schoolboys cap while Hugh James act as the legal advisors for the Welsh Rugby Union on a range of matters, with Jones’ colleague Gareth Williams having held the role as WRU Secretary until earlier this year.
He now comes on board at the Cardiff Blues at a crucial time, with Project Reset demanding changes in governance at the four regions, including the appointment of non-executive directors, in return for financial incentives.
Speaking to the Cardiff Blues official website, Jones said, ““I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to play a part in the next chapter of the Cardiff Blues story. I have a tough act to follow in Peter but I know I have his full support and that of the board, who have done so much to establish the Cardiff Blues region in the professional era.
“I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and to meeting the supporters and sponsors, players and staff at both Cardiff Blues and the region’s clubs.
“This is a hugely exciting time for Cardiff Blues and the clubs within the region as we push forward with our objectives of being at the forefront of European rugby, developing more international and representative players across all age-grades, abilities and genders and promoting a strong community game.”