The Football Association Of Wales Sticks The Knife Into Barry Town United & AFC Llanelli

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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9 Responses

  1. Dylan Llewelyn Jones says:

    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.

  2. Ed says:

    Isn’t the, ‘we’re a big club, we shouldn’t have to start at the bottom’ argument the same one used by Rangers last season? I’m not sure i understand why Barry and Llanelli shouldn’t have to start life at the bottom of the pyramid?

  3. Dylan Llewelyn Jones says:

    Rangers have started at the bottom of the pyramid. Llanelli and Barry have been refused that and told the equivalent of Rangers starting in the Junior Leagues around Glasgow

  4. Webmaster says:

    I am flattered by your assumption that welsh-premier.com is the official website of the Welsh Premier League but it is, in truth, totally unofficial.
    Hence I am free to publish criticism of the FAW and anyone else for that matter in this scandalous affair involving Barry Town and Llanelli.

  5. Ian says:

    Really well run website, and I blame myself for that. Have updated accordingly.

  6. Ed says:

    The Glasgow junior leagues aren’t the bottom of the pyramid in scotland tho are they, the 3rd Division is, there being no promotion/relegation (yet) between the highland league and the east of scotland league and the SFL. For the record, i’d have had not problem with Rangers being placed in the junior leagues.

    Barry and Llanelli are new clubs, and regardless of their predecessors successes should be treated as such.

  7. Christopher Evans says:

    Same players. Same fans. Same manager. Same ground. Same ethics. Same town. Different club? Pull the other one. Barry have been shafted on a technicality – their owner shafted them first, of course. But everyone knew for years the kind of man he was. Not least the FAW, who decreed they couldn’t actually do anything until he was out of the picture.

    The owner leaves the picture. And what do the FAW Councillors do? Stab Barry in the back. After apparently assuring them and anyone who would listen that their status in Division 3 of the Welsh League was stonewall. A huge stitch-up by men with vendettas, masquerading as protecting the game when really they were only protecting themselves and their seat at the sandwich table.

    I don’t see how anyone can see this decision as positive for football in Wales. Football which, under the auspices of the FAW, is dying on its backside – lower crowds just one of a multitude of problems. Barry took 200 fans to a Welsh Cup Semi-Final three hours away in April. Now in June, they aren’t welcome? How does that help anyone? In terms of gates, in terms of visibility, in terms of public engagement?

    The FAW Council is evidently an archaic structure, in need of urgent overhaul. Until this happens, and Barry receive reinstatement, I’d suggest the Welsh Assembly looks deep into the manager in which football is mis-managed in our country. The decision is the polar opposite to the way forward outlined in the FAW’s own Strategic Plan, which governmental figures had a big hand in. Not to mention that the FAW Council went AGAINST the mandate of their own Domestic Committee – with people voting one way in the first meeting changing sides in the second, almost certainly coerced to reject a proposal that saw Barry grouped with Llanelli – two vastly different cases (each with their own merits).

    In a nutshell – it is plain to see that dark forces have manuevuered Barry into this position – giving false assurances, leaking false information and declaring false actions, until they found themselves behind closed doors to effectively sign the death warrant.

    Who suffers? Supporters who’ve been attending since before the Second World War. Kids who have been enjoying their first taste of football watching their home town town. Youth players whose stems of upwards growth have been pulled out and spat on by men who don’t even live in their county.

    And then you have the individuals…. each face, male and female, young and old, no doubt astounded that firstly people could be so short-sighted, secondly so cruel and thirdly so apparently unaccountable for their actions.

    100 years of Barry Town football. An entity, a community, that in evolving forms survived wars, depressions, recessions, and had even survived a decade of tyranny as one destructive man’s plaything to FINALLY find itself in the hands of its people.

    Players, supporters, wifes and girlfriends, sponsors, advertisers, the local council… all finally on the same side, all set to take the club forward, together, united.

    And then this.

    This is the right decision?

    Have a think about it.

    The community company running Barry Town football for the last two seasons at a Welsh League level are still there. And yet now they can’t do this going forward – despite money being taken from them to do it for the aforementioned two years straight?

    On every conceivable level, this absolutely stinks.

    Barry Town United. The club with no debts and a bright future, that the FAW Councillors thought it was better to kill off that consider public opinion and utilise common sense. It’s not only the club that has been treated with disdain. Nor is it merely the community. It’s the entire game. And these men are supposed to being doing what’s best for it.

    This story has legs. The bigger the injustice, the greater the passion to fight it, and knowing the people at Barry, I know this passion is flowing through every vein at this moment.

    This is not a parks club, this is not a “recreational” club, this is a club of cultural value to the whole of Wales, representing the biggest town in Wales and that would have been set to bring through young players for decades to come.

    Stable and democratically-run, the BTSC company was about to take the Vale of Glamorgan youth academy under its wing.

    How are we meant to develop players for the national side and grow as a nation if postitive bodies like this are effectively shut out in the cold?

    There’s some good further reading on the topic here – http://jennerparkjournal.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/faw-council-plunges-barry-into-the-football-abyss/ – which reflects the widespread condemnation.

  8. SW19 Womble says:

    Un-fucking-believable.

    I would have hoped things had changed in the past 10-12 years, but obviously running a football league takes a special blend of malfeasance, treachery and high-handedness.

    The LOW makes the Ryman League look professional.

    I can think of no lower insult.

  1. June 16, 2013

    [...] 200% – “The Football Association of Wales sticks the knife into Barry Town United” [...]

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