Local News & Archive, Local Sport, Point FM Sport — March 22, 2016 at 10:26 am — Updated: March 22, 2016 at 10:26 am

Where next? Lillywhites to hold open meeting


Belle Vue

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In a week which could see them relegated from the Welsh Premier, Rhyl FC will be inviting fans and the public at large to an open meeting about the club’s future.

Last month, the Lillywhites announced plans to transfer ownership to the local community – a review was launched into the club’s financial structure after they announced a tie-up with fans group Supporters’ Direct.

The open meeting, being held at Belle Vue on Thursday 31st March at 7pm, will allow supporters to question the club’s managing director Mike Jones, who admitted on Monday that ”difficult decisions” needed to be made about its ”long term direction”.

Mr Jones said: ”There are a number of issues behind the scenes that we need to discuss with supporters so everyone is aware of how we can move forward. For example, the ground is currently rented and this provides restrictions on how the club can progress things off the pitch. Other clubs have successfully developed community hubs around the club and we can’t do this at the moment with no long term security. As other clubs have developed, some supporters have expressed more dissatisfaction about the direction of the Welsh League and have campaigned for a return back to the English pyramid.  We need to discuss all these issues openly so we can have an agreed way forward for the club for the next five to ten years.”

He added the club was looking for more support from the wider community, which could find the Lillywhites in its own hands pending the ongoing review: ”The overwhelming majority of tasks at the club are done on a voluntary basis. If more people were on board behind the scenes, particularly from the business community, then further progress could be made. This club is more than just the first team – we run a successful academy and with the links with the women’s side and the girls academy developing, all this shows the depth of what we are currently doing.”

On the pitch, Rhyl’s top flight status in Welsh football remains all too perilous, after last Saturday’s 4-3 defeat to Bangor City. If they lose both their away games over the Easter weekend – at Aberystwyth Town on Good Friday and at Port Talbot Town on Easter Monday – they will be relegated to the Huws Gray Alliance.

The Lillywhites remain nine points off safety at the half way point of phase two, with manager Niall McGuinness yet to win a game since taking over from Gareth Owen last month.

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