Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Lovering decision leaves Welsh league in confusion

Barry Town owner Stuart Lovering’s decision to withdraw his team from the Welsh League could wreak havoc in the chase for promotion to the Welsh Premier League.

After installing himself as secretary earlier this season, Lovering decided to withdraw Barry from the division just four days before the end of the season, meaning should they not complete their fixtures then their record would have to be expunged and the promotion race could be decided by the permutations.

A statement from the FAW on Wednesday said: “The Welsh Football League have received correspondence from Stuart Lovering, the owner of Barry Town Association Football Club Limited, withdrawing the football club from the league.

“The Welsh Football League Management Committee will be meeting on Monday and will discuss the ongoing situation at Barry Town.

“The FAW has sympathy with the supporters of the proud club who want to see their team playing football and continuing the long history and tradition associated with Jenner Park. The Association is in correspondence with all involved in the matter.”

Current leaders West End would be least affected as they would only lose two points having drawn twice with Barry this year. Taffs Well and Haverfordwest, second and third respectively, would both lose six points, while Cambrian & Clydach in fourth would lose three points.

That would leave West End five points clear on 55 points with two games remaining, while Cambrian & Clydach would be in second on 50 points, also with two fixtures to play. Taffs Well would drop to third on 49 points, and Haverfordwest would sit fourth with 47. Both sides have just one fixture left to play.

Barry’s scheduled fixture against Ton Pentre on Tuesday was cancelled as the dispute between Lovering and the Barry Town Supporters’ Committee, who finance and run the Dragons, rumbles on.

David Cole, of the Supporters’ Committee amd vice-chairman of the League, stated they were doing all they could to save the situation. He said: “We have been in contact with the FAW and the league to try and finish the season.

“We want them to delay the decision to expunge our record so that we can play Ton Pentre away on Saturday and the postponed game. It’s in the hands of the FAW and the Welsh League. We have been lobbying all their officers but time is running out.

“We have received worldwide support on Twitter. But what’s the point of receiving all this support if we don’t achieve our goal of staying in the Welsh League?

“We need the FAW to recognise Barry Town Supporters’ Committee as a club in its own right, and then need the league and the other clubs to accept us as a replacement to Barry Town.

“We are hopeful of achieving this and hopeful the support will turn in to votes. We will never give up!”

The community has been behind the club for some time as they battle to wrestle control of the club away from Lovering, with Vale MP Alun Cairns a long-time supporter of their cause. He posted on Twitter: “Doing all possible to see how we get Barry Town FC through to season’s end following [secretary’s] withdrawal. Calling on [the FAW and Welsh league] to help.”

But as Mr Cole says it is now in the hands of the governing bodies of Welsh football to decide whether all the lobbying has been for nothing.


Post a Comment