|SHAREHOLDERS of Oswestry Town Football Club have approved the planned merger with the Saints.
Meeting in Oswestry last night, there were some dissenting voices, but no credible alternatives were proposed and the merger received a 'substantial' majority from those present.
With the merger already approved by the Football Association of Wales, it appears that the club can now proceed with detailed planning.
Oswestry are now expected to officially resign from the League, once the legality of the merger is confirmed.
The clubs will then join forces and play in next season's Welsh Premier under the Total Network Solutions F C banner.
It is planned that, by 2005, the club will play at a new stadium in Oswestry. In the meantime, matches will be played at the Treflan ground in Llansantffraid.
The new TNS will adopt both clubs' first team strips, playing an equal number of games next season in Oswestry's traditional blue and Saints' green and white.
Key to the merger is Oswestry Town's founder membership of the FAW, with a dispensation to represent the principality in European competition from an English base.
This will allow TNS to seek a new stadium site over the border with a first class professional set-up between the two locations.
"No alternative to link-up"
Oswestry Town secretary James Bond felt there was no alternative but to link-up with their neighbours after several seasons of struggle.
"We could either grasp the nettle and look forward to an exciting future or face the prospect of our club going out of existence," he said.
"Shareholders could see this as the only way forward. The loss of the Oswestry Town name is a shame, but TNS are already in talks about a location for the new stadium and I believe the future for football in Oswestry is now 100% brighter."