GLANTRAETH TO STAY IN THE WELSH ALLIANCE
4 months ago
By Ronald Bridges
Division One news
Glantraeth have decided not to accept promotion to the huws gray alliance
The club have issued the following statement:
In the past we have always accepted promotion from the Welsh Alliance and have enjoyed considerable success at the higher level, it was then a comparatively easy decision to make. However, it is now a whole new ballgame with the huge changes to the criteria for membership of the Huws Gray Alliance that have been introduced.
A 250 seater stand as required within two years is simply not possible on our privately owned ground, that is a fact, so accepting promotion would mean making a big commitment but with no long term future in the higher league as we would be relegated back to the Welsh Alliance no matter what our league position due to not meeting the ground criteria as specified by the FAW.
That would be an indignity in itself and hardly registers as progress. It would not give us the kind of stability we want so have decided we would be better served by continuing to operate and build as a Welsh Alliance club.
We have notified both leagues of our decision.
Glantraeth secretary Stan Strickland added:
We might be accused of lacking ambition but this is a dilemma that many clubs in the Welsh Alliance are going to have to face in future if they finish in a promotion position.
Our landowner Iolo Owen has generously allowed us to play on his land for over thirty years. He has allowed us to develop a tidy little ground that more than satisfies the kind of crowds we get and has in the past comfortably accommodated up to 500 for Welsh Cup ties against Rhyl for example but erecting a 250 seat stand that will rarely see more than twenty seated spectators is a step too far. There would verge on a seat for every person in the village!
The FAW have introduced these changes at Tier 2 level to bring the ground criteria closer to the Welsh Premier League and they are no doubt under pressure from UEFA but there is a real danger of a huge gap developing resulting in what will effectively be a two tier pyramid divorced from the rest.
We have spoken to many clubs in our league and those views are shared by most who are unable or unwilling to meet the revised ground criteria either because of the prohibitive cost to clubs even after allowing for grant funding or through taking the view that the requirements are well out of proportion to the size of their supporter base. The word 'ridiculous' has been used more than once!
Accepting promotion would mean being involved in a league knowing we will be forcibly relegated no matter how well we perform on the pitch because we are not able to meet the ground criteria. Why should we subject ourselves to that?
There is still much to look forward to in the Welsh Alliance. We still have hopes of one day winning the FAW Trophy, the Mawddach Cup (formerly the Barritt Cup) continues to evade us, there is still the Welsh Cup and there could be as many as 11 Anglesey clubs in the league next season making for strong local rivalry that always attracts good crowds.
We appreciate there will be disappointment after all we have achieved this season. Some of our players will be happy to continue in the Welsh Alliance while others are ambitious to play at a higher level. We respect that and accept that some might leave but I believe the decision we have made is the right one for the club.
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