Tag: Merthyr Town

Welsh Cup: Merthyr Town vs Barry Town

Old rivalries were renewed in the first round of the Welsh Cup as Merthyr Town met Barry Town, a fixture which has not graced any competition these two teams have competed in for a number of years. Merthyr have not competed in this competition for some time due to the FAW excluding teams that play in the English pyramid system. For 2011/12 though, the FAW extended an invitation to those clubs, but only Newport County, Wrexham and Merthyr Town accepted.A single train journey separates these two towns, the line that the train careers down was once a symbol of how both Merthyr and Barry thrived during the industrial revolution. Akin to the ultimate demise of the coal and iron industries though, both of these clubs have suffered hardships in recent years. Merthyr Tydfil FC was liquidated at the end of the 2009/10 season due to mounting debts; the club had attempted to meet its bills by hosting friendly matches against Cardiff City and Swansea City during the season. These fixtures did little to stave off their financial difficulties and saw them issued with a winding-up order from HMRC. The club reformed as Merthyr Town FC and found themselves three divisions below the Southern Football League Premier Division, where they had finished the 2009/10 season. As Penydarren Park was an asset of the club, they had to find a new...

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A Matter Of Trust: Some Supporter-Owned Highlights From 2011

It is the end, then, of another long, hard season, and perhaps now is an appropriate time to be looking at how those clubs that are owned and run by their supporters trusts this season managed to fair. As AFC Wimbledon paraded the trophy that confirmed their accession into the Football League nine years after their formation, the words of the FA’s committee, that a new club in the borough would be, “not in the wider interests of football”, have never sounded more hollow. Wimbledon, however, are just one of nineteen clubs in England, Scotland and Wales that are owned by supporters trusts, and they are not the only one of these to have had some degree of success this season. It is worth, then, taking a moment to reflect upon some of the other Supporters Trust-owned clubs that have had cause for celebration this season. Gretna FC 2008: Gretna FC were a prime example of how the sugar daddy model of football club ownership can fail. Funded by Brooks Mileson, the club rose swiftly through the ranks of Scottish football, played in the UEFA Cup and competed in the 2006 Scottish Cup final, where they only lost on penalties to Heart of Midlothian. However, promotion to the Scottish Premier League meant that the club had to abandon its home, Raydale Park, and play its home matches at Motherwell....

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Diagnosis: Merthyr

One of the perceived anomalies in European club football is the presence of the six Welsh clubs in the English league system. What a lot of people don’t realise, however, is that historically the Football League was the pinnacle of a system that encompassed both England and Wales, and that prior to the launch of the Football Conference in 1979, Welsh football clubs mainly competed in regional leagues that were the pinnacle of non-league football in England and Wales. Teams from North Wales mainly competed in the Northern Premier League, while the Welsh Football League catered for the teams from South Wales. Once the Conference was formed from teams from the Northern and Southern Leagues, the Welsh Football League became a feeder league for the Southern League. The main reasoning for this was down to logistics. With most of the clubs based in the north or south of the principality, as well as the road layouts favouring west-east travel, rather than north-south, playing English clubs nearer to their part of border was always more favourable than playing those at the other end of the Wales. It was only in 1991, that the Football Association of Wales got around to establishing their own national league. While the timing suggests that this was in response to the FA’s launch of the Premier League in England, the creation of the Welsh Premier...

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Chasing The Argonauts

In the name of “progress”, we continue to be reminded about the dangers of frachising in football, and we continue to be right to stay vigilant against attempts to parachute teams into the Football League or senior non-league football. The fundamental principle is that, subject to concerns over the health and safety of large crowds, newly-formed clubs should start at the bottom and work their way up. The history of the game is littered with such attempts. Idle dreams of fame and riches mixed with rampant egotism means that there will always be people seeking a quick route to the top of English football, from Chelsea being formed to make use of the then-vacant Stamford Bridge right through to the enforced relocation of Wimbledon FC. Ultimately, it is down to the authorities to ensure that this doesn’t happen and it is the responsibility of all football supporters to campaign against it, wherever the issue seems likely to raise its ugly head. Perhaps the strangest case of attempting to franchise, however, came in the late 1920s when a stalwart of the amateur game decided that it was about time that those confounded professionals needed to be taught a lesson and tried to get his club – which never even played a single match – voted into the Football League. His club was called Argonauts FC. RW (Dick) Stoley was a...

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