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TNS boss Mike Harris would welcome the Nationwide sides into the Welsh Premier - at a price!
CARDIFF City chief Sam Hammam reopened the argument this week over whether Nationwide league sides should be allowed back into the Welsh Premier, with a route into Europe.
TNS boss Mike Harris says they would be more than welcome, provided they resign from the English system first.
"You cannot have two teams playing under two football associations. It's a non-starter as far as I'm concerned," he says.
"If you want to play in England, fine, play in England but don't keep trying to take two bites of the cherry.
"If any of those sides wanted to come back and play in Wales in the Welsh Premier I'm sure we would forego making them work their way up through the pyramid system from the bottom; but I really can't see it happening.
"Sam Hammam says Cardiff are the best team in Wales, which they might be on paper. But I seem to remember them being beaten in the Premier Cup by Newport County last year and the likes of Wrexham and Swansea have been beaten by Welsh Premier clubs."
Harris believes that the gap between the Welsh Premier and the 'big three' is closing, citing Rhyl's defeat of Swansea in the FAW Premier Cup as an example.
"There is a consensus of opinion among league chairmen that we would be quite willing to offer up the place in the Intertoto Cup to the winners of the Premier Cup," says Harris.
"I am sure the FAW would support the idea and a lot of people see that as the way forward. But why should we give up our routes into the Champions League and Uefa Cup?
"Sam claims he is trying to help Welsh football when really he is jeopardising it. If he is so fed up with the FAW, why doesn't he up sticks and move to Milton Keynes!
"Sam is in it for Sam and for Cardiff City, which you cannot knock. But he is not doing this for the benefit of Welsh football and it amazes me how he can say he is.
"He wants to exploit the Champions League money so why doesn't he move to the Welsh Premier and prove how good they are at the end of the season?"
Harris, whose sponsorship helped TNS become the League's only full-time club, thinks the standard of football is improving all the time within the Welsh Premier.
"The first club to progress in European competition from this league will turn things on their head," he says.
"Our academy side recently drew with Juventus which shows the potential coming through.
"Those players and more like them will hopefully soon be coming through and be capable of challenging for places at any club.
"We are still a young league and I truly believe that in ten years time people will have to totally revise the way they think about the League because it will have been transformed.
"It is starting to happen already."
25 April 2021
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