Monday, 24 June 2013

Foster's - a good call?!

The very same terse announcement that was/is posted on the FAW website was sent to Barry Town United's email inbox in PDF format. Emblazoned on that PDF letter, and on the website, were the logos of the main sponsors of the FAW. Frankly, it was sickening, and a bit of a blooper on the part of the FAW.

The Foster's 'Good Call' advert coming just a few centimetres away from a message that to all intents and purposes condemned Barry's senior football team to death seemed too much like a spectacular own goal to waste.

We've urged all of our supporters to contact the main sponsors of the FAW to announce their displeasure at their misused sponsorship logos and we believe this is slowly starting to have some affect. If the FAW won't listen to fans, perhaps they'll listen to money - being put back in the pocket.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Welsh Football Magazine award - Zeal of approval

Welsh Football Magazine has this month awarded the Barry Town Supporters' Committee with having the best matchday programme in the Welsh League, best front cover in Wales, and 4th best programme in Wales overall.

Needless to say, we're chuffed.

We put real pride into the programme, and always try to please the supporters with up to date words from the manager, as well as current player interviews, exclusive photos, comment, and archive material. And boy, what an archive.

What we don't offer in technical brilliance on the inside, I'd like to think we more than make up for that in terms of content. Well, the Welsh Football Magazine appears to agree and it's nice to get some recognition.

As named programme editor last season I came in for a bit of stick from his-nibs regarding my choice of Barry Town logo (the dragon motif which is recognised from Aberdeen to Azerbaijan as being Barry Town). I was told to remove it, which I did - with a heavy heart. The fact that we'd used the very same logo for the whole season before, is still the logo used by UEFA on its website, and is also the same one as the 3 foot high version hanging on his clubhouse appeared to have been overlooked.

We had a lot of fun with the programme last season. We introduced a rather unique Welsh language front cover and English language front/back cover for a Welsh Cup fixture. After the Flint Town United win, we gave away a free glossy poster of the team celebrating after the match. We also gave away copies of the Welsh Cup Semi Final teamsheets of ourselves and Prestatyn Town at the following home match.

So, despite it being dubbed unprofessional and a mere 'fanzine' (as if there's anything wrong with that!), we've ended this most turbulent of seasons with a little genuine recognition from a neutral publication.

And very proud of that we are as well!

If we ever have a next season, there will be even more creative energy and renewed zeal to give the very best we can

Monday, 10 June 2013

1,000 voices that need to be heard

This little club of ours has been given the support of over 1,000 signatories in a petition that is calling for the Football Association of Wales (FAW) to give it justice. In some format or other this will be handed over to the FAW before they decide Barry Town United's destiny on Thursday 13 June.

Some of the abiding messages we are receiving is "Why is this even an issue?" and "How has this even come down to a petition?"

The wider footballing world appears to see this situation as an utter nonsense. It's a sentiment we understand because we tend to agree with it. A guy who made himself the secretary of a football club got it withdrawn from the league and its records expunged.

I've mentioned many times online already that it is incredible that a single signature can undo 100 years worth of history and culture.

The FAW were happy to accept one signature, perhaps receiving 1,000 on Thursday will carry just as much weight and get this utterly ridiculous situation of seeing our club with no official recognition, and no league to join, overturned and the wrong finally put right.

We are not tired of fighting this. This isn't the end. If we need to we will carry on our struggle for justice, and for as long as it takes to get it. If 72 hours worth of online PR can bring in over 1,000 signatures on a hot weekend, how much would a season's worth bring when people have naff all else to do in the evenings?

We have the energy, and we have the will power to do this, make no mistake.

We have received support, very open public support, from Welsh League managers, secretaries, players, and supporters alike. Our friends in England have been simply incredible, especially from the likes of Portsmouth who certainly understand when the piss is being taken. They have also learned how to stop it, and to flourish afterwards.

Other support has come from TV and radio presenters, opera singers, supporters from Italy, Brazil, and even the editor of a Japanese football magazine. This story has gone global, and the world will be watching the decision made by the FAW on Thursday.

We've stated our case for 2 months now: we had a fully functioning, successful football club that was allowed to be deleted from the record books by the owner of a company without the best interests of the club, the town, or football at heart. Only himself.

Unfortunately, the rules allowed him to do this. Barry Town AFC is officially no more. Yet, that fully functioning football club (because we ARE a club) is still here, sitting, waiting to be given justice and the go-ahead to finally prepare for its pre-season. Barry Town United is - to its core - a Welsh League Division One football club.

Only one thing has changed - we do not have one person in charge of our club's destiny. What we have is a committee, and a community ethos, run fairly and most importantly, democratically.

Are we a community club? Over 1,000 signatures from around the world proves it. But we're no longer a local community club. We are an international community club.

And we call of the Football Association of Wales to listen.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Justice for Barry Town United : The Petition

It started off as a wish for about 100 people to sign our online petition in order to inform the Football Association of Wales that Barry Town United deserves to be in Division One. 100 is our average home attendance, so we weren't aiming above our station. We wanted to get these signatures to the FAW in time for the Council meeting that decides our fate next week.

Within hours we had over 400 signatures. Quite amazing for a club our size. The injustice of it all appears to struck a nerve that supporters up and down the country are simply fed up of being walked over.

The BTSC was running a Division One football team, with a Division One set-up. We were removed from the League against our will by the owner of the name of Barry Town AFC. That whole BTSC team wishes to be recognised as a football club and placed in Division One of the Welsh League. Barry Town AFC was killed off, before its time in an act of sheer spite and was a terrible injustice to everybody that has owned, played for and supported this Welsh football institution. The fact that it was even allowed to do it is appalling, but them's the Rules. That's gone now. He was allowed, and it happened.

But now comes the justice. The Welsh FA have a Rule 11.1 which gives them the authority to place Barry Town United in the Division of their choosing. It HAS to be Division One.

Agree with us? Fans over owners? Please sign our petition which we will be handing to the Welsh FA next week.

And thank you!

Justice for Barry Town United : The petition

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Evolution of Man

"Subterranean Homesick Yellow-Blues" by Bob Dylan

Promo clip excerpts:

Amateur Dramatics

Who's ever heard of Barry Amateurs AFC? Well, nobody has I guess.

In the summer of 1930, a new football team called Barry Amateurs AFC was created. The Amateurs soon formed a favourable agreement with Barry Town to play out of Jenner Park. The idea was to provide as good a spectacle of football for the people of Barry as possible on those weekends when the Town teams (Southern League and Welsh League) were out of town.

With white shirts, black shorts, a red badge and the best crop of local talent available, the Barry Amateurs burst onto the local football scene for the 1930-31 season. The Amateurs also featured several fringe Barry Town players, but would also give valuable experience to future Barry Town stars such as Hall of Famer Ernie Carless, Cliff Baggott, Harold Bayliss, Walter Pulling, and many more besides.

As an idea, it was quite forward thinking (but long overdue) in as much as Barry Town had never really had a so-called 'senior' amateur team since the Great War. In the years immediately after the War, Barry played in the Southern League, the Welsh League, and for a couple of seasons, the Western League, but had never had a club at local level despite the early success and influence of the new Barry & District League.

Ostensibly, the Southern League side had just as much status as its Welsh League counterpart. The Welsh FA had fined Barry for fielding a weakened team in the Welsh League when the club was going for Southern League championship glory (which it achieved). Many Barry players played in all three squads - quite how I don't know - and the likes of Billy Price played 96 games in the 1920-21 season alone.

However, having a side in a local league, like a nursery club, had not been done since the days of the Barry District AFC before 1912. So with the Barry Amateurs touting their arrival as the first time for the town to have a 'senior eleven' (at amateur level) and willing to assist Barry Town wherever it was able to, their arrival certainly came with a bang.

They had tremendous overnight success for a team that had come from a mere idea. Double winners in 1930-31 and 1931-32 and receiving some terrific support locally, it was a club on the up. They had lost just 4 times in their first 80 matches. The press dubbed them 'Barry's wonder team', 'the famous Amateurs', and 'renowned'. A South Wales Junior Cup match played at Treorchy drew a crowd of over 4,000.

Despite their loud arrival and their cup and league successes, the club was beset with controversy, recrimination and was still being talked of as threatening the very future of local football in Barry almost 20 years later. Their third season, 1932-33, would be their last. The club folded before completing its league commitments, and its records expunged.

The experiment of playing out of Jenner Park had lasted less than its first season, and the club was forced to endure a nomadic existence playing in the south of the town nearer to Sully, to the windswept northern outskirts at the Buttrills with zero facilities. To make matters worse, they now also had a Barry Town 'A' side replacing them at Jenner Park.

They had introduced an idea, and had it taken off them.

But why? And by whom?

Well, that next part is coming soon.