In Focus with Marcus Stead Episode 3: Geraint Powell

Principality Stadium May 3, 2016.jpg
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff

In this edition, Marcus Stead talks to Geraint Powell, one of Wales’s leading rugby union bloggers and writers, perhaps best known for his work on the Dai Sport website.

Geraint has a wide range of life experiences, having lived in South Africa and in various parts of England, and he has a good understanding of the problems facing rugby union at all levels.

In this wide-ranging discussion, Marcus and Geraint assess the problems facing the structure of club and regional rugby union in both Wales and England, which they trace back to mistakes that were made in the years before the game went professional in 1995. They lament key missed opportunities to restructure the game for the better in the early years of professionalism.

The ongoing pandemic has made the need to address the problems all the more urgent, with regional rugby in Wales and club rugby in England at crisis point, which has increased the likelihood of the Six Nations ending up on pay TV, as a means of bringing new money into the sport.

There is no ‘quick fix’ to the problems, but in Wales, rugby matches are attended by an ageing demographic, and TV viewing figures for the PRO14 are appallingly low. In England, the club game has been living beyond its means for a long time, and is now reaching crisis point.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

The Aftermath

Geraint Powell 1The podcast was recorded on the afternoon of Wednesday 1 July. On the Tuesday evening, Geraint retweeted a comment from actor and activist Laurence Fox, which attracted little comment, but several hours after the podcast was recorded, it attracted the attention of Ben Jeffreys, CEO of Pontypool RFC. Jeffreys then published a tweet making it clear that Geraint was no longer welcome at their matches, despite having supported the club through thick and thin since childhood.

Geraint Powell 2In his social media posts, Geraint has rightly pointed out that the Black Lives Matter UK movement has Marxist and anarchist objectives, including the ‘dismantling’ of capitalism and the ‘defunding’ of the police, and it has also expressed anti-Semitic sentiment.

Jeffreys received some support from the ‘woke mob’ on Twitter, but his actions were widely condemned in the ‘comments’ section of the Wales Online article, suggesting that out there in the ‘real world’, a very large number of people agree with Geraint’s stance and consider Jeffreys’s actions absurd.

Ben Jeffreys 1
A sample of the comments below the Wales Online article

Talk Podcasts prides itself on providing our listeners with a wide range of views and perspectives. We condemn racism and anti-Semitism and support the Kick It Out campaign against racism in football.

We also applaud the efforts of Geraint and our friend Jonny Gould, who in recent days have gone to great lengths to expose the toxic agenda of Black Lives Matter UK.

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