Wasps defiant over Young appointment
June 30, 2011
Young's move to Wasps has caused furore in Cardiff © Getty Images
London Wasps have shrugged off the threat of legal action from Cardiff Blues in the wake of Dai Young's appointment as the Premiership side's new director of rugby.
Young resigned from the Blues before being unveiled at Adams Park earlier today having agreed a four-year contract but his former employers are demanding compensation for the loss of the 43-year-old who still had a year to run on his current contract.
"Our position is that we haven't done anything to entice Dai away from Cardiff," Wasps chief Chris Thomas told Press Association Sport. "It was his decision to resign and accept a position here. He wanted to come. We've talked to Cardiff about the situation and kept them informed, and they've taken their stance. We don't believe we've done anything improper as a club to entice Dai to us.
"We'll continue to talk to them but at the moment we're happy with our position. It's a difficult situation. It's different to a player where you have a player's registration. With a coach you're in no different type of employment contract to anyone else. To pay compensation in this situation....there's no precedent in employment law to say we have to do that. It's no different to anyone moving between different companies."
The Blues' chief executive Peter Thomas, however, holds a different view and pointed to the cases of Xavier Rush and Rob Howley, two players whose differing circumstances demanded compensation. "I have no problem with Dai going to Wasps," Thomas told the Western Mail. "I wish him well and it may well be a good move for him. I am not looking to stand in his way.
"Everybody wants him to be happy and do what he wants to do. But this is a question of legality. Dai has a contract of employment with the Cardiff Blues which still has a year to run on it. That contract safeguards both him and us. If Wasps want to take him out of that contract and employ him themselves they have to address the issue of compensation.
"If they go ahead and unveil him as their new director of rugby without addressing the compensation issue, then legal action will follow. We will take legal action against them and against Dai. Dai is still in contract with the Blues. He has just completed his month of June and been paid for that in full.
"Wasps have to address the matter and pay the Blues compensation. What makes them think they can just take away a director of rugby that has been a player and coach here for 14 years? I am bitterly disappointed for Dai that it has come to this.
"But I am a chairman of a company. I have 1,000 shareholders. If I don't see that this is properly addressed, then my shareholders will be saying 'Why did you allow it to happen?'. When Neil Jenkins came to Cardiff from Pontypridd in 1999, I paid full compensation. When Rob Howley went to Wasps in 2003, they paid us full compensation. When Xavier Rush didn't go to Ulster, I paid full compensation. Wasps should do the same over Dai."
When asked about the furore surrounding his move, Young claimed he has "no concerns" over the war of words between the two clubs."Everything's amicable at the moment," Young said. "Negotiations are negotiations, nothing will be settled overnight but I'm sure things will move in the right direction.
"To say Blues will pursue me legally sounds harsher than it really is. Everything is amicable and it's for the clubs to sort out. Everyone has got the attitude to get it resolved, the timescale isn't really important. I left on good terms. The relationship with the chairman is as strong as ever, he was second to none. The support I've had from here over the years I'd never forget and there's no way that relationship would be soured. At the end of the day this is a little bit of business that has got to be resolved and I'm sure it will be."
Wasps chief executive Thomas was bullish about the suggestion that the Blues may consider legal action over the issue of compensation and insisted "It's difficult to say where Cardiff have got this figure from. We don't believe there's any compensation payable in this situation. We don't believe we've done anything improper and it's their decision if they want to pursue that course."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup