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DOOMSDAY LOOMS FOR EURO CLUBS
WELSH Premier clubs that qualify to play in Europe could face a 'doomsday scenario' within the next few weeks, unless they can comply with the requirements of the new Uefa club licence.
John Deakin (pictured) admits that the very credibility of the league, and himself as league secretary, is on the line.
Only Newtown, who will not qualify for European competition this season, have been awarded a licence following the first round of assessment.
Provided that the other clubs can make the necessary improvements before a second meeting in mid-May, they will be granted a licence.
"Make no mistake, we are at crunch time - and I'm sure the clubs will respond accordingly by doing exactly what we have told them to do," said Deakin.
"What we have discovered, in going around the clubs, is that lots of improvement work has been done.
"But, as things stand, it is still not enough. At this moment in time, none of these teams, apart from Newtown, can play in Europe.
"If that continues to be the case at the end of May, when the FAW has to make its nominations for next season's European competitions, then clearly that will spell disaster for Welsh football.
"My own credibility, and the credibility of the league, are at stake here and we have simply got to get this right over the next few weeks. We cannot afford not to."
Deakin says he is expecting four clubs to appeal and InterToto Cup representatives Aberystwyth have already lodged theirs.
Haverfordwest, Rhyl and TNS are the other clubs affected immediately - "but they need a licence to play and at the moment they can't have one" says Deakin.
It is believed that TNS only have to overcome a minor technicality with audited accounts in order to gain their licence and Deakin says he thinks the other two "will be able to sort themselves out".
"I have to say, I am disappointed that it has come to this.
"We have taken great efforts, over a great period of time, to stress to our clubs the need to meet this UEFA licence criteria," adds the league's secretary.
"I must stress again that an enormous amount of work has been put in by a lot of them to adhere to the requirements.
"But I also have to say I expected more than just one club to get through."
29 April 2021
 
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