RHAYADER Town have dropped a bombshell by resigning from the Huws Gray Alliance just a fortnight before the start of the season.
The Radnorshire club confirmed their decision on Thursday, citing excessive travel demands and calling for immediate structural reforms of the Welsh football pyramid.
Calls for such reform have grown in recent years with Mid Wales clubs covering as much as four times the distance as its level three and four Wrexham League equivalents.
Rhayader Town officials have now called upon Mid Wales clubs to unite in demanding a Mid Wales League to be formed at level two.
Spokesman Dai Davies said: “An emergency meeting was held on Tuesday with the committee and managers of the respective teams.
“The management team who stated that they had tried over 35 local players that none of them are wanting to commit to the travelling that is needed to participate in the Huws Gray Alliance.
“Holyhead is a 324 mile round trip and you start to understand how many players from Mid Wales are actually playing in the Huws Gray Alliance.
“It wasn’t a decision that we took lightly, we spoke to 10 possible managers and contacted players also but due to our location weren’t interested in taking on the role full time.
“Something needs to be done I think all the clubs should get together and actually show a united front and push for pyramid reforms.”
“We hope that the Football Association of Wales (FAW) are reasonable and see the issues Mid Wales clubs have in trying to raise sides to compete at tier two.
“Maybe a more sensible discussion can then be had around granting tier two status to Mid Wales football or having a boundary where we could possibly go south instead of north.”
In the meantime the club expect sanctions from the FAW before discovering which league they will be permitted to enter.
“We hope to run two sides with a senior team in the second division of the Mid Wales League and reserves continuing in the Mid Wales League South. Whatever happens we will be playing this season.”
Spar Mid Wales League secretary Phil Woosnam expressed his sympathies for the club whose plight had highlighted the burning issue facing Mid Wales football.
“It’s not surprising with travel a big factor as always in this area. I'm hoping the FAW will look at this in the very near future,” said Woosnam. “However it is very doubtful the club would be allowed to enter the Mid Wales League this season.”
See full story in the County Times