Seeing a struggling football team go under is sad enough but when it happens to a league title contender it is even more disheartening.
High-flying Chirk Town, second in the Tier 4 North East Wales League Premier Division, have announced they will not see out the season.
With just five league games remaining and a prestigious NEWFA Challenge Cup semi-final to play, the club formed in 2019 say lack of player commitment has forced them to call it a day.
Nicknamed The Taverners, the club won the former North East Wales League championship at the first attempt in 2019-20.
Although they were in second place when the season was cut short due to Covid, Town took the title on the points-per-game method.
After the 2020-21 campaign was scrapped because of coronavirus, Chirk Town began the current season with a promotion to the Tier 4 North East Wales Premier.
And what a start they made, going unbeaten in their first 14 league matches, winning 13 of them and appearing to be coasting to the title.
Their first league defeat was a 4-2 reverse at chief challengers Greenfield on December 4, but they bounced back with a 6-3 success at Castell Alun in their next game.
However, they did not play a league game for another nine weeks and that ended in an uncharacteristic 3-0 loss at New Brighton Villa.
There were murmurings all was not well in the Tav’s camp and although they managed a decent 1-1 draw with FC Queen’s Park on April 9, a 7-0 caning at Llangollen Town on Wednesday of this week had the rumour mill frantic.
Even after that result, Chirk Town were still just five points behind table-toppers Greenfield with a game in hand, but today news emerged that the Taverners had resigned.
In recent weeks, Town had also crashed out of the Horace Wynne Cup and Mike Beech Memorial Trophy, but after a memorable 2-1 win at higher-ranked local rivals Chirk AAA in January, the Tavs had reached the NEWFA Challenge Cup semis, where they were set to meet Tier 2 Ruthin Town on April 27.
However, that tie has now been cancelled, along with the rest of Chirk Town’s league commitments.
The club confirmed to Grassroots North Wales it had reluctantly folded and told us:
“We have been struggling for a few months with commitment from players due to work, childcare or other reasons.
“Our previous coaching staff of manager Chris Hughes and assistants Jay James and Lewis Penrose resigned around six weeks ago to give someone with fresh ideas a go, but unfortunately it hasn’t worked out as we would have liked, so have made the difficult decision to fold the club.
“We are very proud of what we have achieved in a short time, we have given local players the chance to play again, and hopefully play at a higher level in the future.”
The North East Wales League’s Tier 5 Championship Division has also had its problems this season, having lost four clubs in recent months.