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 A guy who made himself the secretary of a football club got it withdrawn from the league and its records expunged.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.

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