The term of the previous Participation Agreement with the Welsh Rugby Union came to an end on Monday 30th June 2014.
Sadly, the Regions regret to confirm that despite an indescribably tortuous process of endless telephone calls and meetings since January 6th, the control, commercial and financial conditions that are being demanded of them under drafts of the proposed new Service Agreement would be completely unacceptable for any responsible independent business to enter into and expose itself to.
The Regions are most grateful for the time and consideration of Wales' National Head Coach, who has worked hard to reach a constructive and positive balance on the core Rugby elements of the agreement.
The public statements of the WRU Chairman referring to the need for urgency are welcomed, together with the positive position of individual WRU Board members following the Regions' presentation to the Board during May 2014.
Unfortunately, these comments in the public domain do not reflect the actual process that the Regions continue to experience, with every apparent step forward eventually being replaced by two steps back.
The Regions have consistently made every possible effort to reach a positive and progressive agreement that truly works in the interests of both parties, to ensure a sustainable and competitive professional game in Wales at both regional and international level. They remain totally committed to the hope of reaching that solution.
However, after many months of working hard to try to progress a new agreement, it is with heavy hearts that the Boards of all four Regions must now urgently consider the stark practical consequences of operating within a business model that does not include any form of agreement with the WRU outside IRB regulations and no WRU support or involvement in the development of Professional Regional Rugby.
Season Ticket holders at Cardiff Blues are reminded that they gain FREE entry to the British & Irish Cup pool fixtures this season - starting with Saturday's home fixture against Nottingham Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 2.30pm).
Teenage Cancer Trust will be collecting for valuable funds at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday afternoon ahead of our British & Irish Cup fixture with Nottingham Rugby (kick-off 2.30pm). Ahead of the game, we take a closer look at the charity and discover how they are making a difference...
Cardiff Blues suffered a first defeat of the season in the European Rugby Challenge Cup as a second half burst of tries from Harlequins saw the English side claim victory at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.