Kingfisher Chairman hits out as Pen-y-Pound Experiment goes pear shaped

Wednesday 6th May 2015 10:00 pm
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MONMOUTH Town FC experimental move to Abergavenny has ended after the club decided that their future lies elsewhere.

The Kingfishers ended the season with a respectable sixth place in Welsh League Division One, but believe they cannot enjoy a harmonious ground share with Abergavenny Town, and blame them for "spoiling a pretty good season through enforced fixture changes in the middle, "which killed Monmouth's momentum."

Club Chairman Lee Robson wrote on the club's facebook site that the club moved to Pen-y-Pound because it was a ground that afforded FAW Premier League status, but failing that, it also allowed the club to, "Retain Division One status when tier two licenses are enforced in the not too distant future."

Robson explained, "During the season we have applied for the domestic license which could have seen us benefit from grants in the region of £130,000 from the FAW Trust to upgrade Pen-y-Pound as necessary (i.e. install 500 seats and upgrade the main stand and floodlights).

Those grants were dependent also on us having a form of security of tenure at Pen-y-Pound which, despite assurances, was not forthcoming. The grant applications were turned down solely for this reason."

Robson claims that the FAW Trust also stated that they would welcome serious discussion with Monmouth and the Abergavenny Trust to develop a 3G facility at Pen-y-Pound, but alleges the Abergavenny Trust would not support the 3G proposal, and cites that Abergavenny Town's wish to have a reserve team in the Welsh League for 2015/16 forced the Trust to chose between MTFC and an Abergavenny Town reserve team.

Although Robson personally thanks some of the Abergavenny Trust members for their help, he believes that Monmouth's fixture list, expectation and rights have been "completely disregarded by some at Abergavenny Town", and have shattered his confidence in the two clubs working together in a "trusting environment".

Robson complained, "We've had a pretty good season spoilt by fixture changes in the middle which killed momentum in my view. Abergavenny Town showed a complete lack of respect for us as a club, our opponents, officials, supporters and the Welsh League by insisting they play a county league cup game at home - despite the fact that we had rearranged our fixture twice already to accommodate other games they had.

"ATFC seemed content to let four teams turn up with all that that would entail we had no option but to take evasive action. It was the last of a number of occasions when this has happened - clearly designed to push us out and in that respect successful - we wish them luck if this is their approach to football. It isn't one we share."

The Kingfishers will now return to Monmouth Sports Ground to play their football next season.

Despite the calamitous manner in which the Kingfishers are leaving the Pen-y-Pound nest, Robson stresses that he would like to thank Jeff Parry, Chairman of Abergavenny Town, Ray Warren, Chairman of Thursdays Trust, and others, "who have at least tried to abide by the spirit of the 'agreements' we made this time last year."

Robson added, "It is a shame that we couldn't work through it but it does need willing partners to make any partnership work and unfortunately some saw short term gain as more important than the longer term improvement of a facility that has sadly been in long term decline and could be a huge asset to the football family of Monmouthshire and South Wales.

"We wish the players and supporters of Abergavenny Town FC well as they deserve a chance to shine on a higher stage given the phenomenal season they have had. For the officials who made it so difficult for us and caused a lot of grief I can only counsel that they be careful on their way up."

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