[icWales] CARDIFF chairman Peter Thomas insists he has NOT agreed to join forces with Pontypridd.
WRU chief executive David Moffett last night said Thomas had indicated he was prepared to enter into negotiations with Ponty about a 50-50 partnership.
That would leave Llanelli as the one club holding out against a four-team regional structure involving joint Cardiff-Ponty, Newport-Ebbw Vale, Bridgend-Neath and Llanelli-Swansea teams.
But Thomas has today knocked down Moffett's claims.
He says the Blue & Blacks want to see five professional sides in Wales next season, rather than four.
And he maintains that forming a new entity in partnership with Ponty is impossible because of the terms of Cardiff's lease on the Arms Park.
"I can understand where David Moffett is coming from and I do have sympathy with the guy," he said.
"He has put forward a formula for four regions. He has asked the clubs to come up with an alternative and they have failed to agree.
"But our position at Cardiff is clear and it hasn't changed. We want a five-team regional structure.
"We had a board meeting yesterday and we were unanimous on that.
"We have not agreed to a four-team scenario.
"And we have not agreed to a 50-50 partnership with Ponty. We have never considered such a partnership.
"Moreover, Ponty have made it clear they have no appetite for a merger with us.
"We also have our landlords, the Athletic Club, to respect.
"They say that whatever team plays at the Arms Park has to be called Cardiff and play in blue and black.
"Our hands are tied on that score."
Moffett yesterday unveiled a revised regional plan, replacinghis original idea of franchises with partnerships.
This is acceptable to Ponty and Swansea, who had been threatening legal action over the franchise proposal as they feared it would result in Cardiff and Llanelli standing alone in their regions.
The partnership plan also received the unanimous backing of the general committee and is due to go before an EGM of the Union's 239 member clubs on February 23, with a straight 51 per cent majority vote required.
Moffett claimed last night that Llanelli were the only club against the new scheme and then turned up the heat on the Scarlets by claiming they owed the Union £2.3m.
"Rugby in Wales is bigger than one club and bigger than one person," he said.
"I am very hopeful that Llanelli will come on board."
On the subject of Cardiff, he said: "Peter Thomas has said that while he would like to see five teams he accepts that, on the basis of finance and player availability, four teams is the way to go and that he is prepared to enter into discussions with Ponty on a genuine 50-50 basis."
But it's clear from Thomas' comments today that the Blue & Blacks are far from fully on board.
SWALEC Cup Final
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Atgyfodiad yn yr ail hanner yn cipio Cwpan SWALEC i Bontypridd yn erbyn Castell Nedd. Ar y maes cenedlaethol, pwy oedd arwr y dydd i Ponty? A second half revival clinches the SWALEC Cup for Pontypridd against Neath. At the national stadium who was the hero of the day for Ponty?