Ammanford vow to fight relegation plan after league reshuffle

South Wales Guardian: GOING NOWHERE: AFC Ammanford have said they are willing to take the Welsh League to a tribunal should a change of rules see four sides relegated. GOING NOWHERE: AFC Ammanford have said they are willing to take the Welsh League to a tribunal should a change of rules see four sides relegated.

AFC Ammanford have vowed to fight Welsh League plans that would see the club relegated into the third division as part of a league shake-up.

Club officials branded the move, which was decided with two games still remaining in the 2013/14 schedule, “a disgrace”.

Ammanford, who finished 13th in Welsh League Division Two - one place above the traditional drop-zone, had struggled towards the lower end of the table all season but were able to take their foot off the gas following the 6-2 away victory at Cardiff Corries on April 8 which secured their status under the then rules.

With their future safe, Ammanford ended the season with a draw and four defeats.

However, an April 29 meeting of Welsh League bosses decreed that four clubs would be relegated from Division Two to redress the imbalance caused by Afan Lido’s relegation from the Welsh Premier League.

The reshuffle meant fourth-bottom Ammanford would go down despite the 2013/14 season rulebook stating only three clubs would face the drop.

“We cannot understand the mentality behind the decision,” said Ammanford fixtures secretary John Thomas.

“How on earth can you change the rules with two games of the season to go?

“Once we knew we were safe we as a club decided to give some of our youngsters their senior debuts. We also allowed a number of our key players to miss games to begin the cricket season.

“We simply would not have done that had we been in a relegation fight.”

Mr Thomas remains confident that the clubs – not just those affected by the changes - will stand firm and reject the move.

“The Welsh League itself did not want this and nor did the clubs,” he said.

“It is something that the FAW is trying to force on them.

“It is absolutely disgraceful.”

If the proposals were to go ahead, next season would see seven sides relegated from Division Three into the feeder leagues.

“There are so many questions to be asked about the whole thing,” said Mr Thomas.

Ammanford have already been in contact with numerous clubs, particularly those directly affected by the changes and have vowed to fight on until justice prevails.

“We have been in contact with Cwmbran Celtic who – if these changes go ahead – will be relegated from Division One and we are all determined to make sure this does not happen.

“If the Welsh League does rule against us we will go to appeal and if that fails we will take it to a tribunal.

“We have already agreed that should we need to go to a tribunal we will share the costs with Cwmbran so we have no fear financially.

“As far as we are concerned there is no way we are going to allow this to go through - we will not be relegated.”

The league is set to make its decision at the AGM of member clubs later this month.

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