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SUCH is the parlous state of Barry Town's finances, they have asked the FAW to loan them 1300, so their home UEFA Champions League tie can go ahead in Wales next week.
Barry's home game with FC Vardar of Macedonia in Europe's premier club competition is in jeopardy because of a row over unpaid rent at their Jenner Park home.
The Welsh champions need the 1,300 so they can hire the ground for the tie on Wednesday night.
If Barry don't come up with the cash, ground owners the Vale of Glamorgan Council insist the showpiece Euro game CAN'T go ahead.
Barry's high-profile chairman John Fashanu has pledged to find the money, one way or the other, so Welsh football doesn't have to go through the embarrassment of a match in such a high-profile competition being cancelled.
But Fashanu's club rounded on the local council for putting them in such a precarious position in the first place.
"Instead of being able to concentrate on the football, we are having to deal with this issue. It's just not on so close to such an important game and leaves a very bad taste in the mouth," said Barry's financial chief Sanjay Patel.
"What this football club has done is put the town of Barry on the map. Then we are treated like this."
The row, which has led to Fashanu threatening to walk out on Barry, centres around the use of Jenner Park dating back to 2001.
The council say the club owe them more than 12,000, including 5,545 in unpaid business rates and nearly 6,000 in fees for the lease of the clubhouse.
The council are getting tough over the money owed and insist future charges for using Jenner Park must be paid in advance of matches - starting with Wednesday's Euro tie.
The council are charging Barry 1,300 for European matches and 500 for league games.
"If the club refuses to pay these charges in advance of scheduled games, future matches at Jenner Park will not go ahead," declared a council spokeswoman.
Barry confirmed they had asked the FAW for financial help, but had yet to receive a reply.
But Patel insisted, "If the FAW say no, we will seek other avenues for funding the game. We have to.
"I do feel at the very least, however, that the FAW should speak to the local council to state just how important this game is and stress what a good job Barry Town AFC do for the area."
He went on, "Until such time as we find the money, the match is in jeopardy. But I'm confident it will go ahead - we can't afford for it not to.
"In the grand scheme of things, 1,300 may not seem a lot of money. But to be lumbered with this at such short notice does cause problems.
"Look, we don't exactly get crowds of 3,000, so every penny counts at the moment.
"We go into Europe every year, put the name of Barry on the map, only to be knocked out in the first round.
"We want to get to the group phase of the Champions League - and imagine what that would do for the economy of the town.
"Yet here we have the local council just leaving us with a bad taste in the mouth just before such a big game for us."
19 July 2021