The Football Association of Wales Board of Directors (the FAW Board) have today (19 May) ratified the recommendation of the National League Board and agreed to curtail the 2019/20 season for Tiers 1 to 4. The decision has been taken as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with Welsh Government’s lockdown guidelines and measures.
The FAW Board took into consideration the health and safety of all those involved with these leagues. Furthermore, the FAW Board also considered the specific economic and financial impact of attempting to finish the season during the pandemic and therefore felt it was imperative not to risk the long-term financial stability of the leagues and their clubs.
It was also recognised that the JD Cymru Premier could not be concluded prior to the deadline set by UEFA for European competition entry.
Clubs in the JD Cymru Premier, JD Cymru North, JD Cymru South and the Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League were consulted on how the season should be concluded. The views and information provided by the clubs were communicated to the FAW National League Board and the FAW Board of Directors.
The FAW Board agreed that Tier 1 to 4 leagues would be curtailed and that an unweighted points per game method be applied to determine the final standings. As a consequence, the European Play-Offs in the JD Cymru Premier will not take place.
As a result, the JD Cymru Premier and Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League European competition nominations were determined as follows:
- UEFA Champions League – Connah’s Quay Nomads (1st Place)
- UEFA Europa League – The New Saints (2nd Place)
- UEFA Europa League – Bala Town (3rd Place)
- UEFA Women’s Champions League – Swansea City Ladies (1st Place)
UEFA will be formally notified of these nominations prior to the 25 May deadline.
Finally, the FAW Board decided that the prize money for the JD Cymru Premier, JD Cymru North, JD Cymru South and the Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League would be distributed in accordance to the final league positions after the points per game method was applied.
The FAW Board are yet to decide on promotion and relegation between leagues with a decision to be made in due course, taking into account full consideration of the FAW’s Pyramid Regulations.
FAW National Cup Board Recommendation – JD Welsh Cup
Due to the specific economic and financial justifications which would make continuing the JD Welsh Cup to its conclusion by the UEFA deadline for European competition nominations on 20 July unfeasible, the FAW National Cup Board recommended to the FAW Board that the competition be postponed. The recommendation was ratified by the FAW Board.
The Cup Board felt it would be financially imprudent to conclude prior to the UEFA deadline, as doing so could place the long-term financial stability of the competition and the clubs at risk
The Cup Board hope that the remainder of the competition can resume prior to the start of the next football season, whenever that may be and when it is safe and economically viable to do so, however, this is not possible before the UEFA deadline.
In accordance with the UEFA guidelines, as the FAW is not able to determine a domestic cup winner on sporting merit, the highest ranked non-qualified club from the JD Cymru Premier will qualify for the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League at the stage initially reserved for the lowest ranking top domestic league representative. This representative has been determined as Barry Town United. Consequently, each representative of the JD Cymru Premier then enters the UEL at the stage initially reserved for the domestic league representative ranked immediately above.
The Community Game Board has previously decided that once a solution had been confirmed for Tiers 1-4 on how to conclude the 2019/20 season that Recreational Football in the country would follow suit.
As a result, all adult Recreational Football has been curtailed with league standings finalised via the points per game method.