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Page last updated at 18:20 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Walker criticises 'Gulag' Swalec

Peter Walker
Ex-Glamorgan player Peter Walker is seeking election to president

Former Glamorgan all-rounder Peter Walker has labelled the Swalec Stadium as an "unfriendly Gulag" in his presidential election address.

Walker, 72, says he is also seeking the post after not being given reasons for the departures of chief executive Mike Fatkin and head groundsman Len Smith.

The club's committee is supporting the retention of current president David East in this month's election.

The new 16,000-seat Swalec Stadium will host the first Ashes Test on 8 July.

Walker has presented what he terms as "five simple objectives" for his candidacy.

These include re-establishing the "welcome" feeling, improving the team, giving cricketing matters a "high priority", and ensuring "transparency" in announcements of public interest.

His fifth objective claims that there are "feelings of suspicion and mistrust" existing in the club that he will address.

Walker ends his manifesto by saying: "Together, let's unlock the gates to the unfriendly Gulag that is the Swalec Stadium."

East says in his manifesto that he has "lived up to" the promises he made to members last year to "work tirelessly on behalf of the club".

The former South Wales Police chief constable and ex-secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union also points to the fund-raising efforts he has made on behalf of Glamorgan.


Although the post of president is largely honorary, the incumbent does provide an important link between the members and the committee.

Walker says he is alarmed at the level of debt incurred by the club in redeveloping Sophia Gardens into the Test-standard Swalec Stadium.

However, last week Glamorgan were able to announce a record £1m profit for the last financial year, although there are greater sums of money still owed that will effect future balance sheets.

The profit is down to the club doubling its turnover, helped by such things as new conference and seminar facilities at the revamped Swalec.

In a statement, the committee said that like Walker it is also disappointed in results on the field, but promised that head coach Matthew Maynard will again have increased funding to build his playing resources.

The committee also defended not explaining the departures of chief executive Fatkin and head groundsman Smith due to "confidentiality obligations owed to Mike and Len".

Both men had served the club for more than 20 years but left last September.

Fatkin was part of the Glamorgan executive responsible for securing Sophia Gardens as a Test-standard venue and its current transformation into the 16,000-capacity Swalec Stadium.

Yet Fatkin left Glamorgan saying there were "differences" of opinion in the way the club should go forward.

Smith departed soon after, a statement saying he had told the club he wished to "explore the possibility of taking early retirement".

Keith Exton was appointed as the new head groundsman in December.

The results of the ballot for the position of president is expected to be delivered at the county's annual general meeting on 31 March.

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see also
Walker wants Glamorgan presidency
02 Feb 09 |  Glamorgan
Glamorgan confirm record profit
09 Mar 09 |  Glamorgan
No Swalec pitch fears - Russell
19 Feb 09 |  Glamorgan
Fatkin cites differences at Glam
18 Sep 08 |  Glamorgan
Head groundsman leaves Glamorgan
17 Sep 08 |  Glamorgan
Glamorgan's Wood opts to retire
02 Feb 09 |  Glamorgan
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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