Welsh League football’s most challenging season ahead

In the 2013/14 season, a whopping 38 Premier League matches will be played in South Wales.

With football followers from Cardigan to Caldicot lured by the bright lights of England’s top flight, the coming campaign is poised to be the most challenging in the history of the Welsh League, in terms of attracting spectators, sponsorship and support.

With that in mind, we ask one question – wouldn’t the Welsh League benefit from including Barry and Llanelli and the raised profile each would bring to the competition?

Recent weeks suggest that some consider it fine to cut off your nose in order to spite your face.

But should the Welsh League really be making itself less attractive to the Welsh public, at a time when competition from its glamorous neighbours has never been greater?

Sat, Aug 17: Swansea City vs Manchester United

Sat, Aug 24: Cardiff City vs Manchester City

Sat, Aug 24: Cardiff City vs Everton

Sat, Sep 14: Swansea City vs Liverpool

Sat, Sep 21: Cardiff City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Sat, Sep 28: Swansea City vs Arsenal

Sat, Oct 5: Cardiff City vs Newcastle United

Sat, Oct 19: Swansea City vs Sunderland

Sat, Oct 26: Swansea City vs West Ham United

Sat, Nov 2: Cardiff City vs Swansea City

Sat, Nov 9: Swansea City vs Stoke City

Sat, Nov 23: Cardiff City vs Manchester United

Sat, Nov 30: Cardiff City vs Arsenal

Tue, Dec 3: Swansea City vs Newcastle United

Sat, Dec 7: Swansea City vs Hull City

Sat, Dec 14: Cardiff City vs West Bromwich Albion

Sat, Dec 21: Swansea City vs Everton

Thu, Dec 26: Cardiff City vs Southampton

Sat, Dec 28: Cardiff City vs Sunderland

Wed, Jan 1: Swansea City vs Manchester City

Sat, Jan 11: Cardiff City vs West Ham United

Sat, Jan 18: Swansea City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Tue, Jan 28: Swansea City vs Fulham

Sat, Feb 1: Cardiff City vs Norwich City

Sat, Feb 8: Swansea City vs Cardiff City

Tue, Feb 11: Cardiff City vs Aston Villa

Sat, Feb 22: Cardiff City vs Hull City

Sat, Mar 1: Swansea City vs Crystal Palace

Sat, Mar 8: Cardiff City vs Fulham

Sat, Mar 15: Swansea City vs West Bromwich Albion

Sat, Mar 22: Cardiff City vs Liverpool

Sat, Mar 29: Swansea City vs Norwich City

Sat, April 5: Cardiff City vs Crystal Palace

Sat, Apr 12: Swansea City vs Chelsea

Sat, Apr 19: Cardiff City vs Stoke City

Sat, Apr 26: Swansea City vs Aston Villa

Sat, May 3: Swansea City vs Southampton

Sun, May 11: Cardiff City vs Chelsea

 

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We’ll fight on against this ‘cultural vandalism’

This letter was originally printed in the Barry and District News on 20/06/13 – 

“Today (Thursday 20th June) was meant to be the day that the Barry Town SC launched its 2013/14 season plans. Pre-season trips to England, matches with Welsh Premier opposition and a home fixture against Cardiff City were all on the table, along with new links with establishments within the town. The Vale Football Academy was poised to be taken on by the BTSC, with the first team, harbouring Welsh Premier intentions, acting as a carrot for youth development in the area. The group’s matchday programme had just received significant sponsorship, while the Edgar’s Gift cancer charity was set to join the two Barry firms emblazoned on the team’s new shirts.

Now these initial plans appear in tatters – a group of men from outside the Vale of Glamorgan have decided  that, after 100 years, there is to be no more ‘Barry Town’ football at its natural level – affecting everything from the senior side down to the kids. In spite of the BTSC independently running the show for the past two seasons; winning Welsh Programme Awards, bringing in the biggest crowds in a decade and tackling Merthyr and Newport en route to a Welsh Cup Semi-Final appearance only two months ago, these men have chosen to demote this set-up to parks football.

The Barry set-up pitched to continue next season was, to a man, the same as which ended this one. The same players, manager, supporters and friends, in the same colours and at the same ground, all under the Barry name. What happened to this people in May was a travesty – one man’s signature allowed to pull them out of the league, against the will of all others. By all accounts, the same man has now left the country. How one man can wield such power and the system can sanction it is another matter – ordering office stationary often requires two signatures, and yet a 100-year old club can be swept aside with one?

Despite all this, the FAW made it clear that by following their procedures and protocol, the Barry Town community could continue on next season at a Welsh League level. After all, they did nothing wrong to vacate this position, and had paid fees and fines to the FAW as ‘Barry Town Supporters Committee’ for the past two seasons. Various FAW representatives were telling anyone that would listen that the very minimum position for Barry would be Welsh League Division Three.

However, the FAW Council last Thursday, voted AGAINST the motion of their own Domestic Committee – meaning certain people must have changed their stance when it came to the crunch. Was this their intention all along, in order to rid the Welsh League of a resurgent Barry side with strong community backing? At the moment, we can only speculate – in an appalling failure of transparency, there have been no reasons given at the time of writing.

It would not be unfair however to suggest that the predicament these men has placed our town’s representative team in appears expertly-orchestrated – with the decision putting Barry in a position where they cannot appeal directly as they are not recognised as a member club and coming at a time when no prospective FAW Councillors can be put up for election against the present incumbents.

The short-sightedness of the FAW Council is evident for all to see. We have a town of 50,000 here – denied football at a level it broke no rules to forsake. The BTSC has paid every bill on time and is in no financial trouble – a rarity in today’s game. The team they were set to put out next season would have been both competitive and viable. Volunteers were pledging support left and right. September marks 100 years of Jenner Park, and the Barry Town football family was gearing up to mark this historic landmark by continuing the lineage of competitive, high-level football started by people in this town a century ago.

Instead, the FAW Council have put a colossal roadblock in the way. What this suggests for the future of the game in Barry, and indeed Wales, when a historic, well-supported and forward-thinking set-up can be discarded at the drop of a hat, is anyone’s guess. All we can say as things stand is that by going against the will of our MP, AM, MEP, Vale of Glamorgan Council and a petition of thousands, these men have shown little but disdain for the sport they are surely supposed to be helping – and for the people of Wales’ biggest town.

It adds a whole other level of betrayal when one considers FAW Councillor Ken Tucker gladly accepted free tickets to the BTSC’s ‘100 Years of Barry Town Football’ event in November – and then was part of the group that voted to END the 100 years! Betrayal does not even begin to describe it.

Another nail in the coffin for the town of Barry? Nobody can blame the Vale of Glamorgan Council for this one. Their support for the team’s continuation has been vocal and considerable. Nor the supposed “apathy” of local people, whose online voice has rattled the Welsh football community in the week since the news. No – instead our town has had crippling decisions detrimental to its identity and future made by people without a care in the world for our opinions or indeed existence.

For followers of Barry Town football, standing among the young and the old at Jenner on a matchday is one of our town’s remaining pleasures. Some have been following Barry since before the Second World War – since before there was even a “Town” in the name. Others have a passion that could have carried us forward for the next 50 years. To deny all this is cultural vandalism at its most devastating. Where does the community go from here? We fight it – for our town, our club and our people; a number of whom have given literally years of their life to ensure continuation.

Follow us online at twitter.com/standupforbarry and #JusticeForBarry for all the latest. Join our fight and spread the word.  After all, it could be anyone’s club next – and anyone’s community gutted. Let the press know, the government know, the world know – let them know our town won’t accept another brutal slap in the face.

We’ve only just begun.

Stand Up For Barry Campaign

www.Twitter.com/StandUpForBarry

Former FAW Board Member rips into “self-preservation” structure

Dylan Llewelyn Jones:

“My initial response was surprise that people were surprised at the FAW decision. They really are a rule unto themselves.

During 2010-11, I spent 12 frustrating months as an External Independent Board Member at the FAW only to resign when it became clear that governance best practice had no role to play at the organisation – well at Councillor level at least.

The Board was made up for around a dozen Councillors and two external members – I was one whilst the other was a partner at the FAW’s solicitors. So much for external and independent!

The guy who replaced me is in fact the Chairman of the Welsh Football Trust – more or less a charitable offshoot of the FAW.

External and independent indeed!

The Board’s decisions had to go to Council to be passed and the external members did not see those agendas or minutes.

Basically, we had no meaningful input as the system is geared to getting people up to Life Member status.

They play a hugely political game to survive to that status – promising, cajoling and paying back favours – yet once they are voted into a position where no-one can get rid of them, they continue to have a vote on all FAW matters.

They simply don’t have to give a fuck, so most of them don’t.

A suggestion that the FAW instigate an independent governance review “won’t happen on my watch” were the stubborn words of the previous President, who’s joined an ever-increasing cabal of life councillors who wield power but are accountable to absolutely no-one.

They are part of the problem, but then you have those who yearn to reach this sense in infallibility who make calculated decisions that benefit some at the expense of the others.

President
Mr Trefor Lloyd-Hughes (1989)

Vice-Presidents
Mr David Griffiths (1992)
Mr David (Dai) Alun Jones (1994)

Honorary Treasurer
Mr K O’Connor (1998)

Life Vice-Presidents (and dates of tenure)
Mr T Forse (1966)
Mr J O Hughes (1973)
Mr T Evans MBE (1975)
Mr B Fear BEM (1977)
Mr D Shanklin (1978)
Mr P Rees (1982)
Mr Philip C Pritchard (1992)

Life Councillors
Mr I Williams (1987)
Mr R Waygood (1986)
Mr T V Harris (1988)
Mr C Whitley (1986)
Mr Ken Tucker (1989)

I resigned well over 18 months ago, but my name still appears on the website as a Board Member which in turn, is seen as a Standing Committee of the Council rather than the body tasked with running football in Wales.

It’s like wading through treacle wearing shoes made of lead, carrying two medicine balls and being blindfolded by people who are more concerned about what sandwiches were available for lunch, what freebies the kit men at the back of the offices might have for them and what was the level of insurance cover for the over 70′s on overseas visits.

Apologies for the rant – this issue just highlights why a body with almost as many councillors as staff is doomed to self-preservation.

And ultimately failure.”

Above and beyond – Barry petition support exceeds 1,200

On June 11, the Barry Town Supporters Committee printed off a petition containing 1,100 signatures, in favour of them fielding a Barry side at Welsh League Division One level again next season.

The original target had been 100 – the extra thousand demonstrating beyond any doubt the strength of public feeling on the matter.

In the hours since then, people across the Welsh football community and beyond have continued to pledge support in their droves.

Here are some of the further signatories, whose views deserve to be heard.

This list starts at signee 1,101. For the full petition, visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justice-for-barry-town-united/

1101
Name: Julie Herniman on Jun 11, 2013

1102
Name: Joshua Bray on Jun 11, 2013

1103
Name: Kim Iannucci on Jun 11, 2013

1104
Name: Bev Mackintosh on Jun 11, 2013

1105
Name: Catrin Howkins on Jun 11, 2013

1106
Name: Colin Whitear on Jun 11, 2013

1107
Name: Jørgen Tjærnås on Jun 11, 2013

108
Name: Will Burgess on Jun 11, 2013

1109
Name: Ian Sinclair on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Supported the Town for a number of years since the Southern League
era. It would be a sad time if Barry lost its team and history.

1110
Name: Lewis Union on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Backing this all the way!

1111
Name: Dale Raven on Jun 11, 2013

1112
Name: Ben on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Good luck, from a Pompey fan. It’s fans of clubs like our’s that keep football going. All the best to you. Play up Barry!

1113
Name: Kevin Maye on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: More power to the fans. They are the life blood of football.

1114
Name: Dan Nash on Jun 11, 2013

1115
Name: Marcus Annandale on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Barry town needs a football team and a presence in the Welsh league

1116
Name: Corinne Williams on Jun 11, 2013

1117
Name: Michael Hawcock on Jun 11, 2013

1118
Name: Claire O’ Sullivan on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: This is a disgrace and the faw should act NOW!!

1119
Name: Seb Reilly on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Had to sign this for 3 reasons. 1. No football fan should ever be put through this. 2. I’m a Pompey fan and have seen it all before. 3. My late father played for Barry and was a club close to his heart.

1120
Name: Canton Rangers FC on Jun 11, 2013

1121
Name: Hugh Gillespie on Jun 11, 2013

1122
Name: Dave Cooper on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Good luck to a famous Welsh club.

1123
Name: Scott Pride on Jun 11, 2013

1124
Name: Paul Jones on Jun 11, 2013

1125
Name: Tom Williams on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Hope you get what you deserve!!

1126
Name: Luke Evans on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Welsh football giants need justice at last

1127
Name: Marc Harry on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Please don’t punish supporters for the club having poor, selfish owners!

1128
Name: Oliver Kannenberg on Jun 11, 2013

1129
Name: Maria Coole on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: good luck with the cause. Justice and league football for Barry!

1130
Name: Lee Idzi on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: keep history in football without history there is no game!

1131
Name: David Hughes on Jun 11, 2013

1132
Name: Barry Tavener on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: supporting this all the way and being called Barry is another reason.

1133
Name: Joe Kennedy on Jun 11, 2013

1134
Name: Denise Heard on Jun 11, 2013

1135
Name: Matthew Jeffery on Jun 11, 2013

1136
Name: Guy Widdowson on Jun 11, 2013

1137
Name: Brendon Bone on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Barry Town fans at the hands of Lovering have seen their club decimated! give them their club back!

1138
Name: Robert Grapes on Jun 11, 2013

1139
Name: Elin Jenkins on Jun 11, 2013

1140
Name: Steven Hall on Jun 11, 2013

1141
Name: David Stroud on Jun 11, 2013

1142
Name: Matt Prosser on Jun 11, 2013

1143
Name: Amanda Davey on Jun 11, 2013

1144
Name: Kristian Johanson on Jun 11, 2013

1145
Name: Jens Blanck on Jun 11, 2013

1146
Name: Suzanne D’Auria on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: as the wife of an ex player I fully support this petition.

1147
Name: Barra O Brien on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Hopefully the football league will make the right decision on this, the club has been let down by the non enforcement of responsible ownership

1148
Name: Keith Pulham on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: need to keep these small clubs going for young players coming through and also the local community

1149
Name: Lee Barrow on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Barry Town should play in the Welsh League

1150
Name: Chris Chappell on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: The bizarre decision taken by Barry Town’s owner should not be allowed to damage the position of the senior football club in Barry, whatever name this entity plays under. It’s not as if this is a giant being parachuted into a big league like the Man City women’s team or Rangers being dropped into the English Championship – Barry were already playing in this league! Please see sense.

1151
Name: Raymond Solomon on Jun 11, 2013

1152
Name: Lee Serjent on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Good Luck, from a Portsmouth supporter

1153
Name: Michael Nettleton on Jun 11, 2013

1154
Name: Chris McGinty on Jun 11, 2013

1155
Name: Mark Hollis on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Come on FAW – justice needs to be done here – Division One for Barry

1156
Name: Stefeni Winslade on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: A Pompey fan right behind your bid

1157
Name: Neal Spencer on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: do the right thing

1158
Name: Jim Newman on Jun 11, 2013

1159
Name: SiO on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: What’s right is right – Football is by the people, for the people…. Don’t let rigid bureaucracy stand in the way of the right decision

1160
Name: Stephen Roberts on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Hope to see you next season in Division 1.

1161
Name: Mark Adams on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Power to the fans PUP

1162
Name: Martin Sloan on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Come on FAW, please see sense and allow Barry Town United AFC into Division 1. Don’t punish them for the actions of an unscrupulous and uncaring former owner. Power to the people of Barry.

1163
Name: Phillip Ellis on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: good luck

1164
Name: Tom Billing on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: this football club has to continue. great fans, management, players, ground and too much history to be spoilt by one

1165
Name: James Tite on Jun 11, 2013

1166
Name: Jamie Herbert on Jun 11, 2013

1167
Name: Arnold Herbert on Jun 11, 2013

1168
Name: Keith Williams on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: A club with such amazing history being treated they way they have is terrible

1169
Name: Richard Nash on Jun 11, 2013

1170
Name: Wyn Walters on Jun 11, 2013

1171
Name: Ross Withers on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Helping another club in need. As a Portsmouth fan, we know what it is like to be screwed over by owners! Football for the Fans please!!

1172
Name: Myles Case on Jun 11, 2013

1173
Name: Cheryl Ockerby on Jun 11, 2013

1174
Name: John Lawton on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: good luck

1175
Name: G.Ripley on Jun 11, 2013

1176
Name: Harry Driscoll on Jun 11, 2013

1177
Name: Vince Driscoll on Jun 11, 2013

1178
Name: Robbie Walters on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: do what’s right keep Barry in div 1

1179
Name: Mark Fletcher on Jun 11, 2013

1180
Name: DAVE HAWLEY on Jun 11, 2013

1181
Name: Brendan Cropley on Jun 11, 2013

1182
Name: Maria Cropley on Jun 11, 2013

1183
Name: Richard Eyley on Jun 11, 2013

1184
Name: Alison Palmer on Jun 11, 2013

1185
Name: Alan Sinclair on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Please do not let the actions of one avaricious owner deprive a whole town of its football club.

1186
Name: Arthur Salisbury on Jun 11, 2013

1187
Name: Dennis Wareing on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: Application of this ruling could seriously damage the club. I urge the F.A. to do the right thing & sanction the clubs wishes

1188
Name: Gwilym Parry on Jun 11, 2013
Comments: As a Welsh football journalist for news website Golwg 360 I firmly believe our top division will not thrive (particularly from a crowd numbers perspective) until we have the best clubs playing in it. The sooner the better Barry are back in the top flight and this will happen sooner if they are placed where they belong for next season, in the Welsh League Division 1.

1189
Name: Whiteeeeey on Jun 11, 2013

1190
Name: Paul Checkley on Jun 11, 2013

1191
Name: Elliot Hadley on Jun 11, 2013

1192
Name: Keith Davison on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: justice for barry

1193
Name: Graham Blunt on Jun 12, 2013

1194
Name: Dave Nicholls on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: Good luck Barry.

1195
Name: PompeyPanther on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: Fully behind BTU AFC in their righteous bid to re-enter the League. Terrible what so-called “owners” are allowed to get away with in football. Supporters Trust is the way forward. Do the right thing!!

1196
Name: Lee Galsworthy on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: I’m 100% behind this. Barry has been a long established name in Welsh football and it is a crime against football what has happened to them!

1197
Name: David Mutchell on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: absolute joke of a situation and shouldn’t be allowed

1198
Name: Gavin Hannaford on Jun 12, 2013

1199
Name: David Gabriel on Jun 12, 2013

1200
Name: Colin Pitcher on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: Good luck from a Pompey supporter.

1201
Name: Lee Evans on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: The decision to put this club in WLD1 will benefit not only the club but the WPL and FAW but will keep welsh football on a high – don’t ruin it FAW

1202
Name: Owen Rook on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: Barry Town United AFC deserves every chance to continue.

1203
Name: Steve Cope on Jun 12, 2013

1204
Name: Louis Ross on Jun 12, 2013

1205
Name: Josh Bradley on Jun 12, 2013

1206
Name: Kevin Rye on Jun 12, 2013

1207
Name: Nigel Sutton on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: Common sense MUST prevail

1208
Name: Reece Emmitt on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: Barry were removed from Div 1 by someone who simply should not have had the right to do that. If the FAW are to be arbiters of fair play, they need to restore Barry to where they belong

1209
Name: Richard King on Jun 12, 2013
Comments: This is essential for the integrity of Welsh Football.

Fan-run team seeks green light to play in the league it competed in last season

A fan-run football team with masses to offer seeks the green light to play in the league it competed in last season.

This team did enough to secure its place on sporting merit and has broken no rules to warrant its exclusion.

The committee that ran the team last season has fulfilled every financial obligation required of them to play at this level – and has everything in place to do the same next season.

A place in the league, vacated by one man’s unwanted and unnecessary withdrawal, currently stands vacant.

Moreover, a second appears similarly empty, after a merger of two other clubs.

As it stands, we have a viable, community-centred football team representing the biggest town in Wales, gnawing at the leash to continue at the same level in one of these spots.

The decision on whether this can happen now rests in the hands of the Football Association of Wales.

The FAW has the power to decree that the team is placed in Welsh League Division One.

Its own rulebook dictates this.

It happened in 1993, when the FAW slotted a Barry side into Welsh League Division One at its own behest.

Twenty years later, the public has spoken in remarkable numbers – with over 1,000 signatories in a matter of days asking them to do so again.

In even an unprecedented scenario, there is a precedent.

With it in mind, we humbly ask for justice – to continue the Barry footballing legacy at the level none of us ever gave up on.

Blighted for years by the misdeeds of a hostile saboteur, May’s withdrawal must be the last insult.

With the offending individual out of the league, the chance to restore justice is immediate.

The tireless and devoted volunteers who have worked so hard for the Barry name deserve vindication for their efforts.

The players, whose conduct has been a credit to Welsh football, deserve fairness for their loyalty, instead of further setbacks.

Putting them back into Welsh League Division One would send a strong message that sabotage will not be tolerated by the FAW.

It would also demonstrate that, in our country, principles of justice and fairness are still interwoven with the fabric of the sport.

The most grotesque wrong in 100 years of Barry football can be put right on Thursday.

We put our faith in the guardians of our game and hold our breath that it is.