Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 14:58 UK

Merthyr Tydfil FC given reprieve

Penydarren Park, Merthyr Tydfil
The club has had electricity to its ground cut over unpaid bills

Debt-ridden football club Merthyr Tydfil have won a month long reprieve from receivership after fans intervened.

HM Revenue and Customs had issued a winding up order against the club, which owner Wyn Holloway admits has debts of about £315,000.

But a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London has stayed the order for 28 days.

It will allow the Merthyr Supporters Trust to consider paying the debts.

Mr Holloway has told the 90-member supporters' trust he will relinquish control if they take over the financial burden of the British Gas Southern League side.

The trust have tabled two offers but Mr Holloway said recently: "They want me to pay off the debt then let them take over the club, that is not possible."

Merthyr, who finished seventh in the premier division, have no electrical power at their Penydarren Park ground and the club's players have suffered spells without being paid this season.

Mr Holloway recently admitted he had no more money to finance the 64-year-old Martyrs.

"I haven't got a bottomless pit," he said.

"I have spent about £800,000 on the club and I didn't spent it to get it back but I would give the club away if they assure me that they will take over the debt.

'Glory days'

"I want them to take over the guarantees I have made, but they won't do it."

Secretary of the trust, John Strand said his association could not run a successful club with a debt in excess of £300,000.

However, the trust pressed ahead with a request at the Companies Court for the winding up order to be held back for the time being.

Non-league club, Merthyr have had moments of glory including beating Italian club Atalanta 2-1 in the first leg of their European Cup Winners Cup tie in 1987.

The Martyrs played in the Conference, just below the Football League, for six seasons until 1995.

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