Beleaguered Bangor City’s season is over after the club announced its withdrawal from the JD Cymru North League today.
The eight-time Welsh Cup winners were given seven days to pay outstanding fines or face expulsion from the tier 2 league.
Back in November, Bangor were suspended from “all football-related activity” for failure to pay wages owed to players and staff believed to total in excess of £53,000.
A statement from the FAW today read: “The Football Association of Wales can confirm that it is in receipt of an official notice of withdrawal from Bangor City FC in relation to their position in JD Cymru North.
“Bangor City were placed under a suspension from all football related activity following their non-compliance with a Disciplinary Panel order in November 2021.
“Following their consideration of Bangor City’s notice of withdrawal, the FAW Board has exercised its powers under JD Cymru North League Rules 3.1, 3.7 and 3.13 to decide the following:
• Reluctantly to accept the club’s withdrawal from the League (notwithstanding the breach of Rule 26.1)
As a consequence, the Board further decided:
• To expunge the club’s playing record in the League this season;
• To continue to withhold any payments due from the FAW to the club and make no further payments to the club in relation to the League;
• The League will carry on for the rest of the season with one less member club; and
• Consideration of a sanction on the club for its withdrawal in breach of Rule 26.1 (taking into account the current League scale of fines).
This decision will be deferred to the National League Board meeting on 1 March.
Bangor City director Domenico Serafino said in a statement today that the club will return to playing next season.
As the three-time Welsh Premier champions have not applied for a Club Licence, required to compete in the top three FAW leagues, the highest tier they could operate at in 2022-23 would be 4.
GRASSROOTS NORTH WALES SAYS…..
Is this finally the end of Bangor City?
In truth, this once prestigious flagship club for Welsh football died years ago.
Several seasons of off-field mismanagement have lurched the 146-year-old Citizens into crisis after crisis.
Founder members of the Welsh Premier back in 1992-93, City were expected to be a permanent fixture and leading success story for the national league for as long as they wanted to be.
The Neville Powell years (2007-16) saw the all-blues win three successive Welsh Cups, land a third league title (2010-11) and compete regularly in Europe.
But things were never quite the same after the club left its beloved Farrar Road in 2011 and relocated to Nantporth Stadium on the outskirts of the city.
A certain magic had been lost never to return – the Farrar Factor.
After Powell was sacked in 2016, it marked the end of another era. While Nev’s latter seasons were not as successful as his earlier ones, he still brought an element of stability to the club.
Once he was gone, one of the last real remaining links with a glorious chapter in the club’s history was over.
There followed a succession of false dawns….good managers/coaches and quality players who disappeared almost as soon as they arrived due to off-field wrangles.
Demotion from the top flight in 2018 for failing to secure a domestic licence on financial grounds, despite finishing runners-up the previous season…..winding-up orders, failure to bounce back in the tier 2 Cymru North. As a result of such issues, the club lost the vast majority of its enviable fan-base.
Since the handover of ownership from Vaughan Sports Management to Italian musician Domenico Serafino in September 2019, the spiral of decline for Bangor City has only worsened.
Even today, when the club withdrew from the Cymru North for failing to settle a debt, Serafino reportedly attempted to paint a rosy picture and continued to promise a bright future. Based on his record so far, there’s more chance of Prince Andrew becoming king, or Boris Johnson telling the truth.
The one shining light for football in Bangor is the new fan-owned club 1876. This is a club operating within its means, building a great relationship with its fans and enjoying success. albeit initially at a moderate level.
Bangor City should have bowed out gracefully long ago while it had a chance.
The fantastic memories of the past can never be taken away, but the legacy seems destined only to be further destroyed the longer the current farce continues.