Sunday, September 17, 2006

Welsh team in the English Premiership?

Now that Cardiff City's promotion challenge appears to be genuine, it is time to ask a question that has plagued many pub conversations throughout Wales in the past 10 years.

If a Welsh club finished top of the Championship, would the Premiership allow them in ?

I'll be honest; my knowledge in this area is pretty scant. I vaguely remember quite a few conflicting "final decisions" over the years. But as I currently understand it, the Premiership is a members-only club. Any club that is promoted, has to be invited in by its members.

I believe that Sam Hammam has received assurances in the past from the English FA that there should be no problem. But I also recall hearing that were Cardiff City to win the FA Cup again, that the English FA would be unlikely to invite them to represent England in the UEFA Cup.

I also remember the English Conference clubs' abortive campaign to remove the Welsh clubs from the Football League, as they were taking up the places of ambitious English clubs. At the time, Cardiff and Swansea had been involved in high profile acts of hooliganism, and there was some support from League clubs. That one failed I think because the three Welsh clubs are well established, with relatively large travelling support which helps boost the coffers of other clubs.

But I have an historical argument. When the Football League was founded by a Scotsman, there was no question of it being limited to English clubs. It wasn't a National League per se. Wrexham were early members, and Cardiff, Newport and Swansea followed, along with one other Welsh club. I'm ashamed to say that I can't name them. Nonetheless, I'm not sure if the Football League ever became an exclusively English Institution.

I'm looking for help here. Does anyone know what the position is ? If Cardiff finish top, will they be promoted to the Premiership ?


Rhys Wynne said...

Don't know what will happen if Cardiff earn promotion, but was it Aberdâr who played in the English leauge in the 20's and 30's?

Anonymous said...

yes the would be allowed as the only criterias are financial, ground standards and qualifacation from the 1st division

Anonymous said...

I think Merthyr also played in the Southern Division...years ago.