Walkinshaw pleads for patience
April 28, 2009
Dean Ryan's future at Gloucester remains in doubt © Getty Images
Gloucester owner Tom Walkinshaw has spoken out following another disappointing season for the Cherry and Whites, pleading for patience from fans who have grown disillusioned with the continued underachievement of the side.
Gloucester's coach Dean Ryan promised a clearout of playing staff after his side were thrashed 50-12 by Cardiff Blues in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final at Twickenham, a loss that was followed by two successive Premiership defeats at the hands of Worcester and Wasps. Gloucester slipped from the top of the Premiership to fifth place over the closing weeks of the season, and Ryan put forward his belief that the players were not good enough at the highest level of competition.
Walkinshaw has called for time in order to fully evaluate their position before making any decisions on Ryan's future or the future of his players. Given the amount of money spent in recent seasons Walkinshaw will have tough decisions to make in terms of personnel and recruitment policy. Winger Iain Balshaw and centre Olly Barkley have already left Kingsholm, heading to Biarritz and Bath respectively.
"I respect the fans and always have done. I respect their views and they should know I am with them," he told The Citizen. "If it wasn't for the fans turning up I could do nothing. This is a joint thing between them and me.
"They expect me to fix and run things to their satisfaction and I ask them to trust me. Give us a month to analyse it and come up with the correct solution. We don't want to find out that next season we still have the same problems."
In the second part of our Aviva Premiership preview, we assess London Welsh, Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks, Saracens and Wasps' prospects