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TNS - Oswestry town merger


The lure of Euro millions is a major driving force behind the Oswestry-TNS merger.
If a Welsh Premier club could break the mould and progress through the preliminary rounds of European competition, the rewards will run into millions of pounds.
TNS owner Mike Harris says a European breakthrough could give a Welsh Premier club annual turnover more than double that of a Nationwide second or third division outfit.
Neither of the merged clubs has a ground that can stage European games now, or in the foreseeable future.
Standing alone, Oswestry could not possibly have financed ground improvements at Park Hall to meet UEFA criteria.
Treflan cannot be expanded for logistical reasons and Llansantffraid, with a population of little more than 1000, could not sustain the investment required for a new stadium.
Within a few years, UEFA requires that stadia have a minimum of 3000 seats, larger floodlights and a host of other improvements.
With a population of around 30,000, Oswestry is the logical place to go - and more than capable of sustaining a successful, full-time professional club with crowds into four figures. The resulting income from merchandising and other marketing activities will add to the potential.
With the demise of Shrewsbury Town, the fan base could quickly be widened, not only into Shropshire, but the north Wales area as well.
Oswestry is the obvious location for TNS to expand, but FAW rules forbid a move for the existing club. Town's founder membership of the FAW and dispensation to play in England are the key to the way forward.
If other clubs follow this example, the Welsh Premier could suddenly prove very attractive to the current exiles Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport County, not to mention Swansea and Wrexham.
And with a successful outcome, the Oswestry-TNS merger could well provide the blueprint for the future prosperity of the Welsh Premier.
Let's hope it does.