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MORE CLUBS TO SHARE PREMIER CUP CASH
Next season's FAW Premier Cup could have a new 16-club knockout format [Keith Williams/Sportpixs]

THREE more Welsh Premier clubs could receive a cash windfall from next season's FAW Premier Cup.
There are reports that the BBC-sponsored trophy will adopt a new format for 2004/5, with 16 clubs taking part in a straight knockout.
In addition to the clubs that have qualified already by finishing in the top eight, the FAW Premier Cup board has decided to invite the ninth, tenth and eleventh placed league clubs to take part next season.
This brings in Caernarfon Town, Newtown and Port Talbot Town.
Merthyr Tydfil will also be included, as the second highest placed finisher of the three exiled clubs playing in English non-league.
When the FAW awarded its £7.5 million TV deal to satellite broadcaster Sky earlier this year, there were fears that the Premier Cup would be lost, along with its lucrative prize money which is a lifeline for some league clubs.
Sam Hammam's threat to withdraw Cardiff City from the competition also threw a spanner in the works.
The new format is believed to be an attempt to rejuvenate the competition for TV, with each participating club receiving £3,000 at the first round stage.
While the additional revenue will be welcomed by the four new clubs admitted to the Cup, sides that suffer a first round knockout will see a substantial fall in their income, with a reduction of £3,500 in the qualification prize money and gate receipts from four ties, assuming next season's matches are played over two legs.
First round games were previously played on a league basis with two groups of four clubs, playing each other home and away.
The future prize money structure for the remainder of the competition is not yet known, but last season's winners Wrexham banked £100,000, with runners-up Rhyl taking £50,000 in addition to the BBC's £5,000 TV facility fee.
Under the new proposal, the line up for 2004/5 will be Rhyl (Welsh Cup winners) with league qualifiers TNS, Haverfordwest, Aberystwyth, Caersws, Bangor, Cwmbran, Connah's Quay, Caernarfon, Newtown and Port Talbot, English non-leaguers Merthyr Tydfil and Newport County, plus the 'big three' of Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham.
10 July 2021
 
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