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Last Updated: Friday, 11 November 2005, 11:38 GMT
Football club faces final whistle
Machynlleth's pitch
Net loss: Machynlleth have had better days, on and off the pitch
A town football club with a 120-year history are in danger of folding just three months into the new season.

Machynlleth has a population of over 2,000, but just 20 to 30 fans regularly turn up to pay 1 to watch the team.

The club, bottom of the Cambrian Tyres Aberystwyth League, are now planning to write to professional clubs for help.

They blame rising costs such as player insurance and payments to referees, and have had to scrap their reserve team and a website in a bid to save money.

Machynlleth county councillor Michael Williams, 64, who has supported the club for more than 50 years, urged the town to "get behind the team".

Machynlleth
I was surprised to hear that Machynlleth are experiencing problems given the size of the population of the town
Rolant Ellis, secretary of the Cambrian Tyres league

Club secretary and treasurer Neil Farmery said 1,000 would probably "see us through" to the end of the season.

"We're getting money in all the time, but as soon as it lands in the club's account I'm writing a cheque to pay for something," said Mr Farmery, a former Machynlleth player.

"Increased costs, such as player and public liability insurance and payments for referees, make it difficult.

"At this rate we could fold before the end of the season, but something as little as between 500 and 1,000 could stop us from going under."

Machynlleth FC's changing rooms
The club have the infrastructure but very little money

Machynlleth, known as the Maglonians, have been struggling on the pitch in recent years and have not won in the league this season.

But 10 years ago the club won the Spar Mid Wales League three times in succession and the Central Wales Challenge Cup in 1994.

Mach FC also won the Welsh Amateur Cup twice in 1902 and 1933.

Mr Williams said: "Even at this level it is expensive to run a football club and the gate money each week wouldn't run to much.

Machynlleth FC's Welsh Amateur Cup winning side from the 1930s
Glory days...Welsh Amateur Cup winners in 1933

"I've got some fantastic memories and I loved going to the matches each week. I urge the town to get behind the team and help it through this financial problem."

Rolant Ellis, secretary of the Cambrian Tyres league, said: "I was surprised to hear that Machynlleth are experiencing problems given the size of the population of the town.

"I've never heard of a side having to fold because of financial problems, although they have because they haven't had enough players."

Mr Ellis advised the club to approach the league to see if it could help.

Machynlleth entertain Builth Wells in the Central Wales Cup on Saturday.




SEE ALSO:
Coyne made new Aberystwyth boss
09 Nov 05 |  League of Wales
Pledges may save crisis-hit club
01 Sep 05 |  Northern Ireland
Club owner plans stadium appeal
26 Oct 05 |  North East Wales


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