Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Merthyr Town FC - No return to Penydarren Park yet

MERTHYR Town must wait until next season to start playing home league matches again at Penydarren Park.

A three-man Football Association panel yesterday upheld a Western League decision to turn down the club’s request to return to the Merthyr ground.

That means the Martyrs will keep playing home games at the Rhiw Dda’r ground in Taffs Well where they’ve been since the start of this season.

If the FA had overturned the Western League’s decision, the club say they would have been ready to play at Penydarren Park as early as this weekend.

Despite hosting matches in Taffs Well, Merthyr have been allowed to use Penydarren Park as their base with friendly fixtures, under-18 games and college teams playing there.

A permanent move back would have eased the financial burden on the club as they are currently paying Taffs Well to hire Rhiw Dda’r and shelling out money for the upkeep of Penydarren Park.

And although frustrated by the FA’s judgement, club spokesman Anthony Hughes said everything bodes well for a summer return.
“On the playing side of things I don’t think it makes a great deal of difference,” he said.
“It just means that our fans will keep having to make a 40-mile round trip for no reason as we see it.
“If the decision had gone in our favour we would have played at Penydarren Park as soon as Saturday. It is frustrating but we are 100% certain we will be playing there at the start of next season.
“We are based there now and have played some friendlies, we just won’t be allowed to play the rest of our home games there this season.”

Merthyr had already agreed a compensation deal with Welsh League outfit Taffs Well before their original request to the Western League was rejected.

Hughes added that the FA has said the club can submit another application to move back to Merthyr by May 1 when they would need to sign a new lease on the ground to secure the tenancy, something they believe the local authority would look at in their favour.