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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 14:01 GMT
Cardiff chief dismisses Euro plan
Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale is sceptical of playing in the Welsh Premier
Cardiff chief Ridsdale is sceptical of playing in the Welsh Premier
Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale has dismissed suggestions that they could field a second team in the Welsh Premier League to qualify for Europe.

The Football Association of Wales will examine a report from ex-secretary Alun Evans suggesting this course of action.

"That would be a disaster for Cardiff," Ridsdale told BBC Sport Wales.

"There's so many questions and I find it disappointing that no one has had the courtesy of consulting us before this came out in the public domain."

Evans' plan, contained in a document entitled 'FAW Strategic Plan 2007-2012', calls for Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham to be permitted to field teams in the Welsh Premier League.

The suggestion is that those three exile clubs would continue to play in the English Football League but field second teams in the Welsh Premier.

606: DEBATE
bluebirdchris

Assuming those second teams finished high enough in the Welsh Premier to qualify for European competitions, Cardiff, Swansea or Wrexham could then provide more powerful Welsh representation in Europe.

Welsh Premier clubs have managed to win through to a second qualifying round in Europe only a handful of times since the Welsh League's inception in 1992.

Uefa rules stopped Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham, plus Colwyn Bay, Merthyr and Newport, from using Welsh competitions to reach Europe when they continued in the English League rather than join the League of Wales when it was established.

Ridsdale is sure that Uefa rules would rule out what is being proposed, as they have done in previous similar attempts, even if Cardiff were willing to participate.

But the Bluebirds are not willing to risk the financial rewards available from competing in the English system.

"I'm not convinced that if we had a second team playing in the Welsh League, that our future in the English pyramid system would be secured," Ridsdale added.

I don't believe you can have players registered in two competitions

Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale

"How would the English Football Association react, and the Premier League and the Football League?

"Clearly it is in our long-term interests to remain within the English pyramid system.

"Cardiff City benefit enormously from being within the English system week-in, week-out with our aspirations of getting to the Premier League and the riches that brings.

"I would not wish to consider anything that puts that in jeopardy.

"I don't believe you can have players registered in two competitions anyway, so does that mean you have to carry two squads with the overhead squads that brings about?

"What about our supporters? How can you expect them to attend a home game every Saturday and find the money to afford to do that?"

SEE ALSO
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales


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