Barry Town United: Calls for Welsh government FAW review

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Media captionBarry Town are looking to the future after the court win

A review into the way football is run in Wales should be carried out by the Welsh government, says a senior councillor.

It follows a court ruling that the Football Association of Wales (FAW) acted unlawfully in refusing Barry Town United entry to the Welsh League.

The call was made by Vale of Glamorgan cabinet member for sport Gwyn John.

The FAW said a governance review was currently taking place under its chief executive Jonathan Ford.

Barry Town FC was withdrawn from the league in May by its previous owner but the club's lawyers argued he was not involved in running it for two seasons.

The name was changed to Barry Town United by fans who had been running the club but they were denied full FAW membership.

A High Court judge in Cardiff ruled on Friday that the FAW had acted unlawfully.

The FAW said after the hearing it accepted the court's decision and would act on the recommendation made.

There will be an emergency meeting of the FAW council on Wednesday.

But Mr John said the FAW needed to change its approach.

"This should have never have gone to court," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"I have taken this up with my Welsh government minister and I am asking the Welsh government to carry out a review into the way football is being run in Wales.

Top division

"If we're going to get anywhere in Wales in football we've got to adopt that professional approach and quite honestly things have got to change."

Barry faced playing recreational football if it lost the High Court case.

The club had argued in court on Wednesday that it was entitled to be part of the Welsh League because it fulfilled the FAW's criteria to be one its member clubs.

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Media captionThere are questions over who wrote a letter to the South Wales Echo criticising Barry Town

Judge Seys Llewellyn QC recommended the FAW council admit Barry Town United to division three of the league.

The FAW had said in court that it wanted the club to join the top division of the local South Wales League, one tier below the Welsh League.

In response to Mr John, an FAW spokesman said as part of a strategy launched 18 months ago, a governance review of the association by its chief executive Jonathan Ford was taking place.

"The FAW council is meeting on Wednesday when Barry Town United will be on the agenda and we are not in a position to say anything about Barry Town United until after that," said the spokesman.

Meanwhile, the FAW has said it is looking into the "origin and authenticity" of a letter criticising Barry Town published in the South Wales Echo newspaper and on WalesOnline on Saturday.

The letter was attributed to FAW life vice-president Peter Rees.

WalesOnline later removed the letter and released a statement saying: "A letter published on WalesOnline and attributed to a Mr P. Rees of the FAW has been removed, it was not written by Mr Rees.

"The views expressed in the letter were not those of Mr Rees, the FAW or of WalesOnline."

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