FAW’s restructuring plans will benefit Welsh Football for the long term

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) yesterday rubber-stamped plans of restructuring the pyramid system which will see the landscape of Welsh football change.

Domestic football in Wales will look a lot different from what it looked like back in 1992 when the JD Welsh Premier League was formed.

Instead of the Cymru Alliance and the Welsh Football League feeding into the top flight, the FAW will now take control of the second and third tier of the Welsh system. The FAW have controlled the Welsh Premier League back since the 2010/2011 season.

As well as the FAW taking control of Tier Two. Tier Three will now consist of two divisions of both East & West, from both the North and South.

The Mid Wales League will merge to help forge these divisions, where they will be promoted to the relevant league, based on geographical location.

This is a positive move by the Football Association of Wales, who has since helped grow the game in Wales.

“When you look at the existing pyramid it’s quite unbalanced. So we’ve pretty much started from a blank sheet of paper, with a model that best suits the domestic game in Wales and the challenges that the clubs face at the moment,” said Andrew Howard when speaking to BBC Sport Wales.

“The main outcome is it will lead to stronger and more sustainable clubs, and that’s a key objective for the FAW.”

Embed from Getty ImagesThe addition of the leagues, where they are effectively making a Championship, which was suggested before is a sign that the FAW has the domestic game in their best interests.

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Media coverage of the game in Wales can be repackaged into a better product, for both the written and broadcast press. At the moment Sgorio produces League, League Cup content and then Welsh Cup content.

The introduction of these plans could see fixtures like potential title deciders broadcast on their feeds like Facebook Live, which has been trialled by the Welsh Premier League this season.

There have been complications which have been met with some worry about passing Tier Two regulations, but these plans have been in the works for some time and are now being put into effect.

We won’t see too much of a change until the 2019/2020 season when the pyramid system will look completely different, but teams are already working hard to make sure that they will be considered in these new plans.

Embed from Getty ImagesIn effectively making a second tier league, the FAW is preparing clubs to be better equipped for the JD Welsh Premier League. At this moment, the top flight has 12 teams, but if there is a progression in teams once these plans are carried out, then there is a possibility for the league to expand.

Improving facilities in the Welsh game, more grounds could be considered for external use. Cardiff Metropolitan University’s rise through the leagues, whilst having a 3G pitch saw them host the Nathaniel MG Cup final in their first season back in the top flight. Aberystwyth Town’s Park Hall hosted the FAW Trophy Final last season, whilst Maes Tegid at Bala is being used for a number of Cymru Alliance fixtures.

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More and more 3G pitches have been made available to teams in the top flight, which has seen more games played on time, which is benefiting the communities.

The Welsh Ground Improvements Grants scheme is there to help clubs meet and the standard that the FAW is setting. Together, Welsh football will grow with these plans in place.

(Featured Image: Andrew Bowden)

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