Buttress steps up as Davies departs

David Buttress will become executive chairman of the Dragons with immediate effect after Stuart Davies has left the Welsh rugby region by mutual agreement.

Katie Vizard | 15/12/2017

Buttress was appointed as Dragons chairman in September and has since announced three co-directors to form the Board which will take the region into a new era at Rodney Parade.

Davies leaves the Dragons after almost three years at the helm, in which he has guided the region through a major transition period, and does so with the gratitude of the Board for his dedication during his tenure.

The new executive chairman will make a high level commercial appointment in 2018 as he restructures the business and administration team at Rodney Parade.

Buttress is a highly experienced businessman - the former Just Eat Chief Executive and co-founder is from Cwmbran in Gwent; he is an entrepreneur and business graduate who was, earlier this year, recognised as one of the UK’s 500 most influential people by Debretts. 

“I have been hugely excited by what I have seen at the Dragons since taking over as chairman and I’m looking forward to rolling my sleeves up further and getting even more involved in the business,” said Buttress, who has also invested financially in the Dragons.

“These are really exciting times for the Dragons and I’d like to go on record to thank Stuart personally for his role in getting us to where we are today. He should be extremely proud of the contribution he has made to the Dragons.

“Our immediate next step is to grow a comprehensive and cohesive Board strategy to build a strong commercial sports team in the region. One that is both sustainable and makes all of the people of Gwent proud.

“We want the Dragons to be one of the most attractive destinations for top players and coaches. We will also work hard on developing top local talent from clubs throughout the Gwent region. This is the cornerstone of our on field strategy.

“I’m fully aware of the strength of feeling and the power and influence of rugby throughout the area, we know we have a huge challenge ahead to create a competitive modern Dragons which is truly representative of this region and which supports the clubs of Gwent. 

“This is a challenge both I and the whole team relish.  I know all the commercial team, players and coaches at the Dragons are fully behind what we are starting to do.

“We are working hard on making immediate and long term plans. These plans include redeveloping Rodney Parade to improve our operational revenues, engaging with a wider supporter base and building new commercial partnerships.  There is a great deal to do and I know we can build something special over the next five years.”

Former Wales No 8 Stuart Davies was appointed as chief executive of the Dragons in February 2015 and he recently worked alongside WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips to guide the region through a membership vote which allowed the WRU to assume operational control and ownership of Rodney Parade and start a new era for the Dragons.

“Stuart worked through a significant period of uncertainty for the Dragons and should be credited with guiding the region to the secure footing it finds itself in today,” said Phillips. 

“A new regime has brought change at the top, but this should not negate the progress and positive achievements Stuart has brought about during his tenure.”

Former Swansea captain and BBC Wales broadcaster Davies was capped 17 times by Wales and previously worked for Swansea Council and as executive director of Property Development and Management at the Gwalia Housing Association.

“I will always be very proud of the historic and transformational change that I brought about for the region and of leading the business successfully through such a difficult period,” said Davies. 

“As a result, the Dragons now have a wonderful opportunity and are well positioned to push on and enjoy exciting times in the years ahead.

“It has been an incredibly challenging few years, during which professional rugby was preserved in Gwent and rugby retained at an historic venue that continues to be home for Newport RFC also.

“Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving at this time, I wish the team and the staff the very best of luck and would like to thank all those who supported me during my time at Rodney Parade.

“This is a great region, full of passionate rugby people who are deserving of a team of which they can be proud.  My hope is that in my time here, I have helped make that possible.”

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