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Port v Fflint - 25/03/03

Hello and welcome once again to Y Traeth for our penultimate home Cymru Alliance match of the season. Today's opponents are Flint Town United who are one of only two sides who have taken points from us this season so far. Our meeting at Cae Castell back in September was an entertaining encounter. Flint under Dave Beck are a side who never give up and Kristian Evans scored a cracking goal late on in that match to claim a share of the points. I am well aware that we have a tough task ahead of us today and we will need to be at our best to win.

The situation with regard to Richard Harvey is still no nearer to being resolved. It appears now that no decision as to a date for any possible hearing will be made until after Wales' Euro 2004 qualifiers. That means that it will have been 14 weeks since we were originally charged and still no inkling from the FAW as to what is likely to happen. This information has only come to light via a journalist who phoned the FAW to see what was happening. It would only be courteous of the FAW to let us know what stage the investigation is at.

With all this delay one has to ask what is going to happen to the League Cup. The League are reluctant to allow us to play our quarter final against Mold until the matter is sorted, when that is likely to be nobody seems to know. It may be that the League Cup will not be completed this season, that would be a travesty not only as far as we are concerned but also the other clubs who remain in the competition. The Directors, Osian and myself are adamant that we must fight this to the end. We have already had a very positive meeting with our solicitor, a meeting which highlighted a number of issues which will strengthen our case. The English FA and UEFA are able to sort out disciplinary matters in days where as the FAW seem to take an age, maybe a definite time limit should be introduced so that matters like this are settled speedily. Let's hope that sense prevails and that the matter can be sorted out quickly.

While I am on my soap box I would also like to highlight football coverage on TV. Coverage of football on the box is getting to saturation point and is in my view damaging football at a local level. It seems that live matches are on every day of the week - lunchtime on Saturday, Saturday evening, all day Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Sadly a growing number of people prefer to sit in front of the box rather than go out and watch a live game. Attendances in the Welsh Premier are slightly up but not by much and all this televised football can't help. Small clubs like Porthmadog need revenue from decent gates to progress.


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