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HOW WAS THIS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN?

By Dave Jones on May 18, 10 05:32 PM

Rhyl fans will always stay loyal to their club
FROM champions to relegation in just 12 months - the dramatic fall from grace of Rhyl Football Club is stunning by anyone's standards.
The question is why are one of the best-equipped and most ardently supported clubs in Wales facing life in the second-tier of Welsh football?
The basic answer is the Lilywhites failed to secure their domestic licence on appeal to the FAW on Monday.
But a subsequent follow-up statement from the club has not revealed enough as to why Rhyl are no longer a Welsh Premier outfit.
The reason the two-time champions failed the first round of applications for the all-important licence was they were unable to submit their accounts before the stipulated deadline.
Despite this, the club said it was confident it would meet all the necessary criteria by the time the appeals came round.
However, this was obviously not the case and Rhyl's omission from next season's Super 12 can only have a detrimental effect on the national league.
This was the statement released by the club on Monday: "Rhyl FC are to step back from the Welsh Premier League after the FAW rejected the licence application.
"Financially, the club has had a very difficult second half to the season. The manager, the players and all non-playing staff have been magnificent throughout this difficult period.
"We have taken steps to rationalise the operations and we are actively seeking new sponsors.
"We had hoped to remain at the top of Welsh football whilst working through the residual financial issues.
"Now we will continue to rebuild the club's finances and get back to the WPL as soon as possible."
"Step back"? So, are the club suggesting they decided to pull out rather than them being ejected by their own failure to meet the rules? If so, that begs the question how truly bad are things at the club?
It is obvious from the statement the financial situation at Belle Vue has prevented the club from getting the licence - the question is what happens next?
Can Rhyl recover from this crippling blow, regroup, win the Cymru Alliance and return to the top flight stronger?
Or could this be a case of another top club disappearing into obscurity a la Barry Town and Cwmbran Town. There is no point pretending it could not happen.
Only Rhyl Football Club and whoever is in charge can provide the answers.
Up to now, the fans who have made the Lilywhites the best supported club in the Welsh Premier for the past seven seasons have not been told enough.
They deserve answers. They deserve to be told how things have come to this.
If the club involves its supporters more it could go some way towards finding solutions which are so obviously needed for a better future.
Welsh Premier secretary John Deakin summed up the situation when he said: "Obviously it is disappointing to lose a club of Rhyl's stature and one that arguably has been the best-supported in the league for some years but hopefully they will regroup and return as quickly as possible.
"Rhyl have been hit by well-documented financial problems this season but the licensing criteria laid down was the same for all the clubs in the league."
Rhyl's relegation is all the more galling as player-manager Greg Strong did such a fantastic job last season in the most trying of circumstances.
Having to operate with a vastly reduced budget, Strong lost 15 members of the previous season's title-winning squad yet still managed to finish sixth in the table and reached the League Cup final.
The Rhyl fans were delighted with Strong and his team, many expressing more delight at the achievements than in the previous season when with the now withdrawn financial backing of Peter Parry the Lilywhites won the title.
Strong did not wish to comment on this week's news nor about his future at this stage, but one can only imagine how he, his players and the fans feel right now.
The Welsh Premier without Rhyl just is not right and it should not have been allowed to happen.

9 Comments

Gutted said:

No point moaning now.
The truth was out there last August when we had to get rid of half the squad despite winning £300,000.

Questions were asked then and ignored.

JDH said:

A mixture of emotions, sadness, anger, bewilderment etc at present engulf me, how can this have happened, surely the board should all resign if ever there was ever a case of gross mis-management then this is it. What is more of a concern is why have we only had some strange 'ramblings' from the club secretary that said a lot but said nothing at all! Surely the best set of fans in the WPL deserve an explanation and some indication of what the future holds, I really dont accept that the 'disappearance' of Peter Parry is the sole reason for this mess, being an astute business man that he is I can't believe he and his board never made plans for 'the rainy day'? Unlike John I for one will be at Belle Vue, Ruthin, and similar Welsh Alliance outposts next season no matter what.

Gutted said:

I think the club needs a good clear out.

I personally cannot see how the board who hid the problems can be allowed to continue.

Rhyl aren't in administration but if we are in enough debt to sink a boat, how will no Europe and reduced gate receipts allow the club to pay it off?!

JDH said:

As was in the strange demise of Alan Bickerstaff I guess we will never know. Come on Dave put us all out of this misery, give us some gen!

Dave Jones said:

If you think I'm the man with the answers you are very much mistaken I'm afraid.
The club tells me very little, I've had to work extremely hard to get the news I've been able to get.
When I enquired about the club's financial situation after Peter Parry left (as any reporter would do) I was told it was none of mine or the Daily Post's business.
I tried to make the point the club is big news and public property - especially the high profile it demanded after winning the title - and the fans and public have a right to know, but it fell on deaf ears.

JDH said:

Thanks for that Dave, your comments do not suprise me at all considering the obvious incompetancy, inadequecy and un-professionalism of this current bunch of directors. If ewe are embarking on a new era for the club are we to trust this crewin sailing a new ship into what will be unchartered waters - I think not!

John said:

I really dont know where Rhyl go from here financially, but i think it could have dire consequences being relegated; no money,poor support and a "Board of Directors" that can't or wont communicate with the fans.

The outlook is very gloomy.

It maybe a good time for a fresh start: new Board and return to English system.

It,s a sad day seeing the best supported club in the WPL with the best ground pushed to the depths of football.s wilderness, with no guarantee of a quick return.

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Dave Jones

Dave Jones - For all the latest news from Rhyl Football Club, including match reports, news, views and features log on to Lilywhites On-Line hosted by Visitor sports editor Dave Jones.

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