Welsh rugby bosses are in talks to pump more money into the professional game to help the four regions next year.

The Professional Rugby Board, which includes representatives from the Welsh Rugby Union and its four professional teams, recognizes that regions struggling financially urgently need more money. Current discussions in the PRB revolve around the mechanism that can be implemented to resolve short-term financing gaps in relation to projected business revenues. Get the latest rugby news straight to your inbox for free with our daily newsletter.

One short-term solution that has been mooted is a loan mechanism that would see each region take out a £500,000 interest-free loan from the WRU, leaving their playing budget in the region of £5 million. But the regions are unhappy at the prospect of taking out more loans as they are already repaying the Welsh Government around £20 million combined at an interest rate of 8.25%.

This means that, along with other loans, they will have to pay around £2 million a year in business interest alone and a further £1 million in capital repayments. In total, their borrowing costs will be around £2 million, with additional capital payments of around £1 million, making them payable at £3 million per annum.

They also believe that the loan discussed at PRB level will only smooth out the Welsh Government’s loan payments. During the pandemic, the WRU and four professional clubs made their facilities available to the NHS for a fee.

They could have charged him a trading fee and made a substantial profit, but they chose not to, deciding it was morally wrong to make a profit during a national emergency. The loan they received from the Welsh Government was a direct result of the pandemic, but the Sened charges a commercial rate.

Playing budgets will be reduced from £5.2m to £4.5m next season, although there will be room for two top players above the salary cap if possible. But clubs are struggling to reach those levels after several years of major funding cuts and have to bear the burden of continuing to pay high wages to players whose national team contracts have not yet expired.

New CEO Abby Tierney will start on January 8th and will develop a strategy to move the game forward before the summer. Given the current state of professional football in Wales, it is difficult to see how the four regions will be able to cope with their debts.

As a result, there will inevitably be more players leaving the Welsh game for England and France next season. WalesOnline has been told that the regions already have around 20 players signed for next season, while a further 10 to 15 are in negotiations.

Tomos Williams has signed for Gloucester, while Rhys Carré will return to his former club Saracens, WalesOnline can exclusively report. Dragons duo Aaron Wainwright and Rio Dyer are being heavily courted by some of England’s biggest clubs, but WalesOnline understands they are close to reaching a deal that will see the Wales players remain at Rodney Parade .