One of the most prominent figures in Bangor City’s recent history has said he will wash his hands of the club unless it acts quickly to resolve its latest crisis.
Chris O’Neal was fuming after City failed again today to secure an FAW Tier 1 licence necessary to compete in the Cymru Premier League.
The three-time CPL title winners lost their top flight status in 2017-18. Despite finishing runners-up, they failed to meet the requirements of the Tier 1 and Uefa licences and were demoted. They have been in tier 2 Cymru North ever since.
Since those dark times, Mr O’Neal, known popularly as ‘Corby’, has worked hard – with others – on rebuilding the club’s reputation, although securing the relevant licenses has remained a major stumbling block.
The North Wales Coast FA councillor is perhaps best known for winning a high-profile case on behalf of the club against the FAW’s decision to deduct 21 points – originally 42 but halved on appeal – from City in August 2019.
In July 2020, he stepped down from his role with the club’s management group, but has remained an unofficial advisor to the board.
Today’s news of the Tier 1 licence rejection left Mr O’Neal, a long-standing Bangor City fan, feeling extremely disappointed.
He said: “Bangor City FC failed their application I’m led to believe on two aspects.
1 Financial Accounts
2 Coach Qualification
“In respect of financial accounts the local person who submitted the application did an absolute grand job I believe of putting together the application, however he did not receive the accounts (from the club) for them to be included in the bundle and they were not submitted to the FAW.
“In respect of the coaching qualification this boils down to one person who hasn’t been accepted on the A License course yet and had BCFC known this at the time, another A License coach would have been submitted on the application.
“I believe the coach qualification issue to be a minor issue and if this was the only matter I’d be more than happy to put in an appeal and go and win the appeal.
“However, nobody locally deals with the accounts, these are dealt with by the financial backers of the club and if they are not going to be present within 10 days then there is no way an appeal could be won.
“I’ve clearly made my opinion known on this case now to the directors/financial backers and unless they pull the strings to get the accounts in then unfortunately I’m going to be cutting all ties, as this has gone on too long.
“A small group have stood loyal to the crest, have taken **** deserved or not, people have their opinions. To come to this stage where everything should by now be a walk in the park and we get a kick in the teeth instead.
“The clock is ticking….10 days for appeal or they can do what they like.”
Italian musician and producer Domenico Serafino took over Bangor City FC on 2 September 2019.
Serafino, along with a consortium of investors, agreed a deal to buy former owners Vaughan Sports Management’s (VSM) shares in the club.
Serafino was announced as becoming the chairman and person of significant control within the club.
Bangor City has been approached for a comment on the latest licence issue.