Myth or Reality? from Issue 26 by Chairman Mao

It's time for teams, dreams and schemes.
This fanzine wasn't planned at all but after the great performances at Worcester and home against Forest Green, the Dial M For Merthyr crew had to put together another issue for the cognoscenti amongst you on the Penydarren Park terraces. It's been a long haul from Nuneaton Borough to Ashford Town but along the way the Martyrs faithful have put in the mileage to come through hopefully as champions. The Merthyr juggernaut is speeding down the promotion highway with the Conference on the horizon but only for Peter Hunter to intervene, can he be serious ? The only team in Wales with the support to carry a Conference team denied access to the promised land ? What can he mean ?

This publication is 100% behind the club's bid for promotion. Easy words, you may say. But no, there's plenty still to reconcile surrounding Penydarren Park, however, the new regime must be applauded for getting the club back on the promotion agenda. The Conference must be made to realise that we're not talking of small towns dreaming of small prizes, the people of the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil deserve better. The news of a proposed arbitration procedure with the Football Association at Lancaster Gate is a definite step forward, the fact that both the club and Conference are now talking is a relief to this Martyr.
The Conference will surely realise that this fantastic club of ours, is by no means a new club. A new regime has taken over the debts and liabilities of the previous Board that includes a sizeable settlement to Mark Aizlewood dating back to 1994. The club has been forced by the Football Association of Wales, the Football Association and the Dr. Martens League to continue the line of command handed down from 1945 to this day.

The public support of David Mellor (& the Football Task Force that meets in Bristol on 7th, May 1998) hammers home the fact that the Conference must see that fair play is applied to Merthyr Tydfil F.C.

The case of Hednesford Town's unfinished ground must be at the back of every Merthyr fans mind as we watch the continued negotiations for promotion. Of course, any more performances like that at Burton Albion and we can look forward to another season in the Dr. Martens Premier League. To be blunt, the lads weren't up to the match. Burton Albion were physical and committed and completely controlled the match although Summers and Jenko came close towards the end.
The large travelling Martyrs support were stunned, from a 4-0 demolition of our nearest rivals to complete surrender. The players are good enough to win this League and the club deserves it, the match with Bromsgrove is vital for both teams and we must ensure that it's us that take the points to set up a Championship decider at the Lawn on 29th April 1998.

A couple of the DMFM crew travelled up to Nailsworth for the League Cup match in October and to be honest the ground hasn't changed much since our visits in the late 80s. Forest Green Rovers have built an impressive new Grandstand which seats approximately 400 but the rest of the ground is still the same. No terraces at the clubhouse end, no terraces and a sunken tarmac opposite the Grandstand and 4 or 5 steps of terracing behind the other goal. I would suggest to all Martyrs travelling to the match to go early. The ground may have been upgraded since our October visit but the cramped environment in which the ground is situated surely makes the ground unsuitable for large crowds. If we beat Bromsgrove then the match in Nailsworth will be huge for both clubs, make sure you travel to the match early and safely to get behind the Martyrs on our final push to the Conference.

You may have bought the previous issue (25) from our sellers outside of the ground on Park Terrace, DMFM will continue this policy for future issues. The sales have improved and it will maintain our independence from the club. The appearance of another Merthyr Tydfil fanzine, "Don't Call Me Butt" was great news to us. DMFM may not agree with much of the content of the publication but the fact that a couple of young Merthyr supporters have the determination and imagination to put something together is an example of the vibrancy of the Merthyr support.

This publication is being compiled as I listen to the commentary of the AutoWindscreens Final between Grimsby Town and AFC Bournemouth. The rise of AFC Bournemouth from debts of £5 million to an operating profit and a Wembley final proves that a community controlled football club can work. I wonder what the Conference feelings are towards success stories like AFC Bournemouth and Northampton Town, local communities battling against financial restraints to maintain football in their towns. Merthyr Tydfil F.C. is no exception.

Whether we win the title or not, this season has been a magnificent boost for all supporters of this great club. During the close season of 1997, many of us thought that just surviving would be an achievement but to come to the final three matches with a possible Championship in sight is absolutely unbelievable. It's been a great season for everyone, let's finish it together.

Come on yon Martyrs !!


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