News on whether two North Wales divisions within the new Welsh football pyramid will need rebuilding is expected next week.
In August, the FAW ordered the North Wales Coast FA re-inspect facilities of 15 clubs placed in tier 4 west, plus one in tier 5 west.
It transpired the inspection process which should have been carried out by the NWCFA had not been done sufficiently.
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, yet still no decision has been reached by the Panel due to its concern that the inspection process was not done properly by the NWCFA at applicant clubs.
In a report on the hearing, the FAW Appeals Panel stated in August: “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.”
It was understood, although not confirmed, that 15 of the 16 clubs listed for the tier 4 North Wales Coast Premier Division needed 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, was 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, with no re-inspection needed there either.
Rob Dowling, deputy head of communications for the FAW, confirmed to Grassroots North Wales today: “The latest on this is that NWCFA have now completed all the ground inspections and that the date for the reconvened hearing is on (Tuesday) 20 October.”
Gareth Jones, interim general secretary of the NWCFA, said: “Ground inspections of the 16 clubs that currently make-up Tier 4 have been undertaken. Both appeals (Glantraeth and Llannerchymedd) are still ongoing.”
Of course the delay has not affected the leagues’ playing-wise due to no football having yet taken place below tier 1 this season because of Covid-19.
While this situation continues to painfully drag on, at least next week’s meeting should let tier 4 and 5 clubs affected know where they stand status-wise.