DRAGONS chairman David Buttress has endorsed Cardiff Blues’ call for the Welsh Government to provide financial help in professional rugby’s “fight for survival”.

The Arms Park region issued a statement on Thursday evening after it had been announced that the Scottish rugby was to receive financial aid in the form of grants totalling £15million as well as £5m of loans.

Support has also been given to the sport in England and Ireland but no such arrangements are in place in Wales.

“We reiterate our calls for the Welsh Government to provide clear guidance and financial support to professional rugby in Wales,” wrote Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland. “This is now a fight for survival.

“Following Thursday’s announcement that the Scottish Government have provided financial aid to sport in Scotland, including £20million to rugby, Wales is now the only part of the United Kingdom not to benefit from similar support.

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“As it stands, rugby in England will also receive £135million, including £59million to the Premiership clubs, and the Irish Rugby Union have already received £16million.

“This equates to £4-5million of Government support to each professional club in Britain and Ireland, with the exception of Wales who have received nothing.

“It is absolutely essential that professional rugby receives similar levels of support from our Government.

“Without this support the future for our entire national game, which contributes so much to the economy and general society, is bleak.”

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Holland’s call for assistance was backed by Dragons chairman Buttress.

“Well said Cardiff Blues, 100 per cent right and fully supported by your friends at the Dragons,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Welsh Rugby Union negotiated loans for £20m that will be repaid over five years by the regions with the Dragons getting £4.5m, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys £5m each and the Scarlets £5.5m.

On Monday the five organisations joined other large sporting organisations to urge the Welsh government to allow fans to return to grounds.

"Sport is a fundamental part of life in Wales," the letter said. "It puts our nation on the global stage and provides communities across Wales with a sense of belonging and identity.

"We form part of an industry that employs thousands of people across the country, our contribution to the Welsh economy, employment and well-being is significant, but this is now at risk.

"We urge the Welsh Government to reconsider its approach to the socially distanced return of fans to our sports grounds."

The Dragons have started the season with fixtures behind closed doors and will miss out on a bumper Boxing Day crowd when they face the Blues at Rodney Parade.

The financial hit of the loss of crowds will be felt in 2021/22 as season ticket holders are receiving pro rata credit for fixtures they are not able to attend.

That is unlike Newport County AFC, who were able to offer live streaming on iFollow as part of their package.

Buttress had been closing in on a deal with the WRU to take the Dragons back into private ownership before the coronavirus pandemic.

The talks were paused but the entrepreneur from Cwmbran remains keen on an agreement.