The future of Bangor City has been thrown into doubt after the club failed to meet an FAW disciplinary deadline over unpaid salaries worth almost £53,000 – but what now for one of Welsh football’s biggest club’s?
The Cymru North club were given 31 days to fulfil outstanding salary obligations to former players and coaches at an FAW disciplinary panel hearing last month. At that hearing, Bangor City were warned failure to comply would result in ‘an automatic suspension from all football related activity for the club’.
That suspension was triggered with immediate effect yesterday and until further compliance, the club are prohibited from the following:
- Football matches played in a competition and/or at a ground under the jurisdiction of the FAW.
- Training activities connected to the Club under the jurisdiction of the FAW.
- Conducting administrative duties connected to football or the Club.
No further comment has been made by the FAW as to how this directly impacts the Cymru North season. However, if the FAW want to avoid the competition deteriorating into a farce at the end of the season, they would be wise to be clear on precisely how Bangor’s absence will be impact the the 15 other clubs.
In the event Bangor remain suspended for the rest of the campaign, do the FAW intend to expunge previous results or award a default win to Bangor’s forthcoming opponents? Is there a cut-off date when it becomes too late for Bangor to resume? The rest of the league should not be left suffering with various permutations being determined away from the pitch and via boardroom meetings come the end of the season.
The other pressing question that begs to be asked, is what if the club’s owners remain noncompliant and leave the club suspended indefinitely?
Under the terms of the suspension where they are ‘prohibited from conducting administrative duties’, this would presumably prevent Bangor City from submitting any licencing and registration documents for next season.
There are already doubts as to whether the club will be able to compete in Tier 2 next season, but if they are unable to register with any other league, they risk falling out of the Welsh system completely.
At risk of losing their league status, the club have already lost most of their fans, many of whom have been steadily anticipating Bangor’s decline into oblivion for years. This isn’t their Bangor City, and it hasn’t been for some time.
Many of the club’s former supporters forecast the club’s demise back in 2016, when Stephen Vaughan controversially appeared at an initial press conference when the club was taken over by a new consortium.
Since that moment, numerous concerns and rumours emerged about the running and ownership of the club that caused Bangor City’s fanbase to wither away. Many of those fans, disillusioned and no longer able to identify with their club, gradually slipped away and became aligned with the city’s phoenix club CPD Bangor 1876, formed in 2019.
The phoenix club is very much Bangor City 2.0 in that it is a vibrant, community embracing club, attracting relatively big crowds and are currently seeking promotion from the Tier 4 North Wales Coast West Football League. Those who run it lead with an ethos of passion and sustainability, and it would seem that the spirit of Bangor City shifted over to 1876 some time ago.
How far Bangor 1876 can climb the Welsh system remains to be seen but as ‘the people’s club’ of the city, it is not difficult to see them outliving the original Bangor City.
But after separating the resentment towards successive Bangor City owners, not even the staunchest ‘1876’ supporter will take delight in seeing Bangor – the one rich with stories of European accomplishments, league championships and cup finals, with its heart at Farrar Road – become downtrodden and abused to the point it risks becoming an empty-vessel of a club, seemingly destined to join the graveyard of Welsh football.
Featured image: Bangor City FC official twitter account