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Merthyr future thrown into doubt

Merthyr Tydfil

Merthyr Tydfil Football Club's future is under serious threat and Saturday's Southern League Premier home game against Corby Town may not go ahead.

The Welsh club is struggling with crippling debts, the water supply at Penydarren Park has been cut off and electricity could follow on Friday.

Owner Wyn Holloway has put in more than £800,000 into the club over the last 10 years but has no more money to offer.

"It is very serious," Holloway told BBC Sport Wales.

Holloway said the chance of the water and electricity bills being paid before the weekend was "very little", meaning the game against Corby would be postponed on health and safety grounds.

Merthyr are currently third in the division and are in the hunt for promotion to the Blue Square South.

But concerns about their ability to stay afloat financially have been around for some time, and Holloway says he can do no more.

The club is unable to present the Society with levels of income, expenditure or debt

Statement issued by the Supporters Trust Martyrs to the Cause

"The gates are low, sponsorship is non-existent because of the [financial] climate as well and I can't continue to keep putting money in," he said.

"I haven't got a bottomless pit.

"When I came to the club 10 years ago, I never expected to get my money back because nobody makes a profit in football clubs.

"But I did expect to have the club running and breaking even, but it's getting worse."

The Supporters Trust Martyrs to the Cause wants to step in to help but only if Holloway relinquishes control, something he is reluctant to do.

"They have walked in and said they want me to leave," said Holloway. "That's the only way they will put money in.

"I've put in nearly £800,000. The trouble with certain fans is when I was begged 10 years ago to get involved, as long as my wallet is open they like me."

Martyrs to the Cause released a statement saying why they would not help bail the club out while it remained under Holloway's control.

"The Board of Martyrs to the Cause are 100 per cent committed to preserving football at it's current standard at Merthyr Tydfil FC," the statement said.

"The Society however is unwilling to do service pressing debts for the current owner of the club at present for the following reasons:


"The club has failed to supply or submit accounts since those filed to August 2006; The club is unable to present the Society with levels of income, expenditure or debt; The club has been unable to present a case to show that they have any plan to make the club work as a viable business in the short or long term.

"We have re-affirmed our ambition to take on the ownership of the club and change its constitution to that of a Community Club, and to that means we have informed the club that the offer made to the club in a meeting on August 17th 2008 remains open to them."

It goes on to add: "Wyn Holloway's shares in Merthyr Tydfil Football Club Limited would be immediately transferred to Martyrs to the Cause for no consideration, however we would be prepared to consider the transfer of a controlling stake in the company only with certain guarantees - to be agreed.

"All of this would take place with the simultaneous resignation of the existing directors (without compensation) with a new board appointed by the Trust, which it is expected would be the current board of the Trust."

Last August the Trust made an offer to take control of the football club but that was rejected at the time.

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BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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