Welsh Rugby Union called upon for Welsh Government inquiry as sponsors threaten to pull out

Welsh Rugby Union

Following the allegations against the Welsh Rugby Union of sexist, misogynistic and toxic culture within, there must now be an independent enquiry into the governing body and that call must be answered by their highest peers….

Welsh Rugby Union faces dark truth unveiling…

Charlotte Wathan, a former WRU Manager was told by a male colleague that he wanted to “rape” her as the room stood there laughing. Speaking to the BBC Wathan said;

“Take me back to the hotel, tie me to the bed and rape me. I remember feeling sick, like a punch to the stomach. I remember standing in shock thinking, ‘did I just hear that?’

“And everyone’s laughing, and there was a senior member of staff there. I left the room and I burst into tears. I thought ‘crikey, is this what it’s come to?'”

Another unnamed former employee, who is a mother of one had left a manual for her husband in case she committed suicide, such was the extreme toxicity of the job.

The comment was eventually investigated by an external lawyer after Ms Wathan raised it with the WRU as part of a wider grievance, but the BBC has discovered a number of key witnesses, who she said could corroborate her allegations, were not spoken to as part of that investigation.

The man who allegedly made the comment also was not spoken to as part of the grievance. He still works at the Welsh Rugby Union.

The naivety of some male counterparts at the WRU led to some questioning the business acumen of outgoing board member Amanda Blanc. She has since been named Sunday Times business person of the year and is in the Financial Times’ Top25 most influential women worldwide.

Sponsors applying pressure

Principality, who hold the stadium naming rights, have called for “immediate and decisive” action to remove any individual who displays such behaviour.

Admiral have also made a stand, as have the Joint Supporters Group of the four professional clubs, who have sent another public letter to the union. This includes the call for a Welsh Government inquiry.

Select Committee inquiry is required!

The only way that the WRU can move forward with any inch of credibility is to allow the Welsh Government and Sport Wales to conduct a Select Committee into their day-to-day business and publish and open report into their findings. 

The inquiry must be fully independent and have the ability to look at every aspect of the WRU’s business. Full transparency is the only recuperation tool remaining for Steve Phillips and the rest of the board, who are now under pressure to resign.

We’ve seen how well these committee’s work through the Worcester/Wasps inquiry done by the government. Similar invasive questions and investigative work will unveil the dark, inner nasties that may, or may not remain.

The government have currently called the matter “deeply concerning” but insists the matter should be dealt with internally.

One thing is for sure, Steve Phillips’ reign as CEO has now overseen the slow-choking of the professional clubs via financial insecurity. This has seen the likes of Will Rowlands already move with a risk of up to 15 more players looking to go according to reports.

These allegations are just the latest stumbling block for the former Financial Chief and could well be the ones that see him get the chop. If not Phillips, someone at the Welsh Rugby Union needs to realise heads have to roll following repeated issues across the game so many love.


“Main photo credit”

Welsh Rugby Union
The Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Credit Getty Images