Plea to safeguard football clubs in pandemic

Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd has called on the Welsh Government to safeguard the future of football clubs in north Wales during the Covid-19 crisis.

Mr Gruffydd describes many of these clubs as being “the beating heart of the community” and urged the Economy Minister to ensure there was specific support in place because they were unable to raise income or even sell season tickets for the coming season.

Mr Gruffydd said: “I’m aware of the support given to businesses in general but football clubs throughout the country are facing a perfect storm of ongoing costs, zero income and the potential for a large reduction in crowds due to social distancing.

“These are community clubs that saw their income disappear overnight and we need to make sure they will be there whenever the economy recovers.”

Mr Gruffydd added: “The UK Government has approved a £16 million loan to rugby league clubs to tide them over this crisis and I think the Welsh Government needs to consider support – whether in the form of grants or loans – to provide similar reassurance. That’s why I’ve asked the Economy Minister to respond to this sector with a bespoke package of support.

“We’ve already seen Rhyl FC disappear and I don’t want to see any others going under through no fault of their own due to the pandemic. We have clubs with a huge historical significance as well as playing an important social, cultural and economic role in their communities. I’m concerned that we could lose some of these in the coming months and years unless swift action is taken.”

 

Picture: Action from the Welsh Premier League match between Bala Town and Cefn Druids played on Sunday 11th September 2016 (at Rhly FC’s Belle Vue ground), by Andrew Page

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