Thursday, 27 May 2010

Trust commits to fight to save Penydarren Park

The members of Martyrs to the Cause, the Supporters Trust at Merthyr Tydfil FC, committed themselves on Tuesday evening to fight to save both Club and Ground to preserve semi-professional football within the town.

The news from the Administrator that a development company has expressed an interest in the lease of the Penydarren Park ground was a severe set-back to the Supporters’ Trust which until a month ago was hopeful of gaining a further term at the famous stadium for a club to continue the town’s history of playing within the English pyramid structure.

The Trust has applied to the Football Association, with the continued help of Supporters Direct, to register a club to conyinue to represent the community of Merthyr Tydfil however as the lease for Penydarren Park may not be available to the reformed club the Trust has had to move quickly to find an alternative venue in order to keep the Martyrs alive until the club’s eventual return to its historical home.

We have been delighted with the response of Taffs Well FC to our request for a groundshare for the forthcoming season. The Trust has already committed to funding minor ground improvements in order to meet the criteria for Level 6 of the FA pyramid. Merthyr leaving Penydarren Park will be heartbreaking for all supporters of football in Wales however the site of the Taffs Well ground at Rhiw Dda’r is in the Taff valley and is accessible by both train and bus services for our loyal supporters.

The fight to stay at Penydarren Park will not be forgotten or underestimated, the Trust calls on both Welsh Assembly Government and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council to confirm their support for our ground to remain both our home and a community asset to the Heads of the Valleys region for future generations. The archaeological remains of a Roman fort underneath the iconic football ground will ensure that no commercial development will ever be possible on that site. We understand that Cadw is monitoring the situation.

The focus now turns towards the Administrator and the status of the current football club. The Trust understands that the Administrator was unable to satisfy the FA of the continuation of football at Penydarren Park for the 2010/11 season therefore Merthyr Tydfil FC will be excluded from the Southern League. We are hopeful that the FA will note that the Supporters and wider community of Merthyr Tydfil FC deserve an opportunity to keep semi-professional alive in the Valleys and that the reformed club will be offered a placement in the Western League, it will not be a new arena for Merthyr football as the Merthyr Town club was a member of the league nearly a century ago.

Our supporters are among the best in non-league football. Swindon Supermarine FC will provide testament to the passion and humour of our support on the final day of the season. Our fans will be an asset to the Western League. We are confident that our loyal supporters can work through the next few months and that in August we can appreciate a new dawn for our Club. A club run by its biggest investors; it’s supporters.