Manifesto for Welsh Government by Chairman Mao
Many of those AS representatives, including Dawn Bowden, are also members of the Co-operative Party so would be expected to understand the challenges of running a community enterprise.
The additional trials of running a community-owned football club in a sustainable manner whilst matchingits fans expectations for success also need to be recognized if our model of good governance and transparent finances is to set the standard for the future of football in Wales.
Merthyr Town FC and it’s principle stakeholders, the fans, have set ambitious targets to be a hub of the football community across the central Valleys.
The most immediate concern for Merthyr Town fans is when can we return to the terraces at PenydarrenPark?
Our elected directors made a controversial and ultimately correct decision to suspend our participation for the current season. It would have been impossible for us to operate behind closed doors whilst our counterparts over the border in Borisworld were allowed fans into their grounds.
A vacant season at Penydarren Park seems to have provided our club with enough respite to consolidate the finances, attract new directors, repair our famous old ground and hopefully replace our artificial playing surface.
However another season of empty terraces will kill Merthyr Town FC.
We need clarity from the Senedd as to the roadmap for semi-professional sport in Wales to welcome back fans as soon as possible. This process however must recognize the unique requirements of semi-professional football in Wales.
Whereas the four professional clubs will have better resources and of course larger stadia the Labouradministration should not underestimate the collective experience and determination of the volunteers who serve the semi-pro game here.
Merthyr Town FC needs to be trusted to deliver a safe and secure environment supplemented by a level of service that will ensure football fans in our community can return to enjoy the game they love so much.
So many football supporters have become isolated from friends & family who they may only have met every other Saturday at Penydarren Park but that contact remains so precious to us all. A return to the match-day traditions so unique to all of us will provide a source of comfort to so many families struggling to make sense of life in a global pandemic.
Penydarren Park is a big, open stadium with plenty of “open concourse” areas to ensure as much risk-mitigation as possible for our fans to enjoy a traditional day at the footie.
The Labour government’s handling of the pandemic has been widely welcomed by the Welsh public and that trust has been rewarded at the ballot box on Thursday but now the reopening of our society will be at the top of everyone’s agenda and Merthyr Town FC must be part of that process.
Can we allow fans into our friendly games for both men and women’s teams as test events?
Could the Southern League template be adopted for our home games to ensure parity with our competitors?
In short we need our government to give us hope that we can watch our heroes once again. Normal service needs to return and soon so this club which has fought for survival so many times doesn’t finally disappear because no one in authority took the time to understand how safe we could make our games and how much this club means to our town.
“Without fans who pay at the turnstile, football is nothing” said Jock Stein but we need to go further as without fans in the grounds then football is dead.