Time for a culture change

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As a supporter of a sports team you accept that there are going to be ups and downs on-the-field, and that as much as you’d like the good times to last forever, the bad times make those good times all the sweeter.

What ultimately matters at the end of the day is being able to be proud of the club you support, and increasingly it has been difficult for me to say that as a Cardiff Rugby supporter.

Now there’s a whole host of good work being done at the Arms Park, particularly when it comes to the professional development pathway and the Community Foundation.

The pathway has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with attempts to greatly improve the link-up between Dewar Shield Schools teams, A license college sides, University teams, regional age grade sides and ultimately into the Rags who have been a shining light when it comes to the success they’ve had results-wise and developing players, as well as representing the club generally.

Meanwhile the Community Foundation seems absolutely tireless in it’s work ethic, delivering 72 events over the summer holidays just gone and engaging 38,000 people in the process, including kids camps, inclusivity work and major days out.

Unfortunately that is continually being undermined by the approach of first team squad members both on and off the pitch.

Recent poor results have been accompanied by performances that make many on the terraces question the attitude and effort being put in to compete for this great club, as blowout defeats have been all too common on the road, and there are worrying signs that they are on the way to being repeated at home.

Then off the field we have had the Cory Hill situation followed by supporters feeling disrespected as the playing squad held a fancy dress social at the Arms Park following back-to-back heavy defeats at the hands of Scarlets, and now today’s news regarding a situation at The Grange pub on Saturday night.

Full details of what occurred there will come out in the next few days no doubt, but it is clear that the actions of some have let the club down, and have done so openly in the local community. It has also opened the door on a number of other accusations being made as a culture of ego-driven poor behaviour begins to unravel. That is simply unacceptable.

Hopefully the club will take the opportunity to make a long overdue statement to the playing squad around what is and isn’t expected of them as professional rugby players and as representatives of nearly 150 years of Blue and Blacks history, with some suitably severe punishments being handed down for guilty parties, and that a line can be drawn in the sand on this period.

If that doesn’t happen though then the management risk allowing the players to cause irreparable damage to the reputation built over that time.

Cardiff Rugby Football Club demands better than this.

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