Common sense over Uefa decision - Marc Lloyd Williams

By Marc Lloyd WilliamsWelsh Premier League's all-time leading goalscorer
Welsh Premier League

It would've been nice to see Cardiff City and Swansea City back in the Welsh Cup, but common sense prevailed last week.

Uefa stated that Welsh clubs playing in the English pyramid system would have to choose to either enter the Welsh Cup or the FA and Carling Cup as a means of getting into Uefa's domestic cup competitions.

In my opinion it would've been a kick in the teeth to the clubs in Wales if Uefa had opted to allow them to enter both cups either side of the border.

That would allow especially Swansea and Cardiff two bites of the cherry to gain European entry and it would allow the four non-league based clubs the chance of a lucrative FA Cup run.

In my last column I discussed the Welsh Cup quarter-final matches and I'm glad to say that I predicted the four semi-finalists for this weekend's ties.

With all four semi finalists - Airbus, Cefn Druids, Bala Town and The New Saints - based in north east Wales I think the FAW [Football Association of Wales] have missed a glorious opportunity to stage both of this year's semi-finals at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground on the same day.

They could offer one admission price for both games, including special deals for families, in order to encourage more youngsters to attend the matches involving WPL teams as well as cutting down travelling for supporters.

Three of the four clubs are situated within 15 miles of Wrexham while Bala is 30 miles away.

But it's not only the travelling distance that makes sense but also the number of spectators that will attend the semi-final venues at Rhyl and Aberystwyth.

The average attendances of all clubs involved on Saturday isn't great, so a double header at the same ground with family entertainment in between both games could've proved a huge success, and with Wrexham playing at Cambridge, the prospect of having a good crowd was there for the taking.

This type of multi-match event has been quite successful in Rugby League with their Millennium Magic weekends and there was no better chance for the FAW than this weekend to try something different with the Welsh Cup.

I'm sure I've mentioned in the past that sometimes you've got to speculate to accumulate.

The other burning question for the FAW is: where are they going to host the final?

It was stated at the start of the season that it would again be played at Llanelli's Parc y Scarlets - this would be a logistical nightmare for the two northern-based teams involved in the final.

The FAW have been lucky over the past three years that Bangor City have been involved in the Welsh Cup final as they have a large number of followers who have swelled the attendance figures.

Will it be feasible to play the game in south Wales again this year? I don't think it would be.

Llanelli isn't what you'd call a football-mad town, and they have just recorded the lowest average attendance figure of the WPL clubs this season. Only 95 turned up to watch their recent Championship Conference game against Bala.

I cannot see the local people of Llanelli turning up to watch two teams from north Wales who are of no interest to them.

If they can't be bothered to turn out to support their own town team what chance have the FAW got for a big crowd at the final? Will common sense prevail and we see the FAW going back on their decision and re-locate the final up North. Only time will tell.

Bangor City threw away three valuable points against Llanelli on Saturday and The New Saints have opened up a four point advantage at the top of the table and the title is now in their hands.

With only three matches remaining, these will be three tough games for Craig Harrison's team against Llanelli, away to Bala and the visit of Bangor on the last day of the season.

Bangor were in a similar situation last season and they'll be hoping for a bit of déjà vu and hoping it all goes horribly wrong for the Saints in their quest to secure a domestic treble.