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FAW Outline Plan To Invest £6m Into Cymru Premier


By David Williams

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has announced a four-year £6m investment package into its top-flight men’s league, the Cymru Premier.

It is being described as the single biggest investment into the league since it was formed in 1992.

The cash injection will be used as part of a restructuring and new strategy for the division, details of which are set to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Chief executive Noel Mooney is “really happy” at the “flagship project”.

He added: “We have a league that is not strong enough for the football culture that we have.

“There’s been many, many years of a lack of investments.”

The governing body’s new head of domestic leagues, Jack Sharp, told BBC Radio Wales Sport: “I think everyone who has had an affiliation to the game has recognised, [the Cymru Premier] has gone under the radar, been under kept, and probably unloved to a certain degree – and we absolutely need to change that narrative.

“We want people to be excited about our league structures, and the only way that we are going to start being able to change some of those opinions of the game and drive the standards forwards is by putting a really strong resource around it.”

The Cymru Premier has had its critics for its standards with sides struggling to be competitive in the early rounds of European competitions, while attendances have often been poor, with calls for greater investment to support it.

Meanwhile, the dominance of only one full-time outfit The New Saints – currently 17 points clear on their way to a third straight title and 16th overall – has also been seen as problematic.

The FAW has been conducting a lengthy review into the top flight over the past two seasons, with the number of teams and format – including a possibility of a North-South split – not being ruled out by key figures.

Details of the next steps are still being kept under wraps, but Sharp says they are close to going public with plans he claims will both excite supporters and critics of the league, adding the new investment was vital in achieving their aims.

“The investment allows us to do something different within the domestic game,” he said.

“What has been in place historically has not necessarily yielded the outcomes that everyone associated to the game would have liked.

“This gives us the chance to do things differently. We don’t want [the Cymru Premier] to be where it is today.

“We absolutely want be able to bring it into a bit more of a modernised league, and we want to better bring it and usher it in some really creative and innovative practices, and give the people of Wales something to be really proud of when it comes to the domestic game.”

The money for the development of the league will be available from now until the end of the 2026-27 season.

Mooney added: “A huge amount of work has gone into the consultation process of formulating the JD Cymru Premier strategy. We are very excited to reveal our timelines for fundamental change to raise the profile of our top-flight league.

“This is significant funding and the biggest commitment to the JD Cymru Premier in its 32-year history. Football is the number one interest sport in Cymru and the FAW wants to make the JD Cymru Premier a key pillar in this.”


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