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League divisions may need overhaul after inspection failings

Glantraeth Football Club have appealed against the NWCFA’S decision to place them in tier 5 of the new pyramid. A result is still awaited

Two North Wales divisions in the new Welsh football pyramid may need rebuilding after failings by an area association were unveiled in the club inspection process.

Fifteen clubs placed in tier 4, plus one in tier 5, must have their facilities re-inspected, the FAW have ordered.

And this could mean the North Wales Coast West Premier Division and Division One being reassembled.

The news emerged following a hearing on August 17 conducted by the FAW Appeals Panel into the decision by the North Wales Coast FA to place Glantraeth FC and CPD Llannerchymedd into tier 5 (North Wales Coast Division One) for the 2020-21 campaign.

Both clubs appealed against their placing, but no decision has been reached by the Panel due to its concern that the inspection process may not have been carried out properly by the NWCFA at applicant clubs.

In a report on the hearing, the FAW Appeals Panel stated: “The North Wales Coast Football Association accepted during the two substantive hearings that internal inspections of club facilities did not take place.

“The Appeals Panel were concerned to hear the above, as the NWCFA state that ground criteria and sporting merit were the sole criteria used for assigning leagues.

In the absence of internal inspections taking place, the Panel considers that the process could be said to be flawed.

“The Appeals Panel therefore makes the following directions:

“1 – The NWCFA shall disclose to the Football Association of Wales copies of the self-certification forms that 16 all clubs were asked to fill in and return.

“2 – The NWCFA shall inspect all 16 grounds within 28 days of the date of this decision, so as to ensure that they meet the relevant criteria.

“3 – The NWCFA when undertaking the inspection shall complete an inspection report, which must contain the name of the individual undertaking the inspection, the date and time of the inspection and shall be signed by the person (s) undertaking the inspection, certifying that the document provides a true and accurate overview of the facilities. The inspection reports shall also be accompanied by photographic evidence of each club’s facilities.

“Upon receipt of the above information, the Panel will consider the matter further and issue further directions as appropriate.”

Glantraeth were represented at the hearing by Chris O’Neal, who said afterwards: “I represented Glantraeth FC in the appeal against the NWCFA steering group committee.  

“Although the usual process is to have a decision within 7 days of the hearing the panel haven’t given a decision at present, although they have given a preliminary decision and served notice on the NWCFA that they must undertake full ground inspections on the 16 clubs that they have currently placed in the league.

“I fully understand the reasoning of the panel and would only assume that because of the failings of the NWCFA steering committee Glantraeth FC should as a club with FAW tier 3 specification be placed in tier 4, not tier 5, once the decision is forthcoming.”

When asked about the Glantraeth and Llannerchymedd appeals, Gareth Jones, general secretary (interim) of the NWCFA, said: “No decision yet on both appeals. Ground inspections are currently being undertaken and should be concluded by the end of next week.”

Asked how the division’s memberships could have been confirmed if inspections had not already taken place, as was the requirement, Mr Jones replied: “They are second inspections.”

It is understood, although not confirmed, that 15 of the 16 clubs listed for the tier 4 North Wales Coast Premier Division will need ground re-inspections, namely: CPD Aberffraw, Amlwch Town, Bodedern Athletic, Bro Goronwy, Gaerwen, Gwalchmai, Llanberis, Llanrug United, Menai Bridge Tigers, Mynydd Llandegai, Nefyn United, Penrhyndeudraeth, Pentraeth, Pwllheli, Trearddur Bay Bulls.

Llannerchymedd, in tier 5, will be the 16th club.

Bangor 1876 of tier 4 are exempt as they have already been granted tier 3 status, as have Glantraeth in tier 5, no re-inspection is needed there either.

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