Neath fail in both licence appeals

Aalesund v Neath FULL-timers Neath have been refused both the FAW domestic and Uefa licences by the Licensing Appeals body which met in Cardiff today.
After a season of well-publicised financial difficulties which has included a winding-up petition at the High Court, the Eagles are the second club to lose their place in the Welsh Premier due to failure to obtain a domestic licence, after Rhyl were relegated in similar circumstances two years ago.
It means a reprieve from relegation for the 11th-placed club Carmarthen Town and bottom-club Newtown would also escape the drop if Welsh League Haverfordwest County fail to gain promotion.
Neath will also be ineligible to participate in the end-of-season Europa League play-offs, with eighth-placed Aberystwyth Town now playing at Airbus UK Broughton in the first round game a week on Monday.
The merger of neighbouring Welsh League outfits Skewen Athletic and Neath in 2005 was an instant success as the new club, Neath Athletic, powered their way to runners-up spot in the First Division.
With champions Goytre United declining a step-up to the Welsh Premier, Neath would have been promoted at the first attempt but for difficulty in meeting ground criteria.
However, the following season Neath had ironed out those problems and won a place in the top flight as undisputed champions with a league record 92 points.
After playing their first season at Llandarcy Park and finishing in seventh-place, the Eagles moved to ground-share The Gnoll with the local rugby club and became the league's second current full-time club in 2010, when they sensationally signed former Swansea City star Lee Trundle.
The Eagles subsequently finished in third place and qualified for the Europa League in 2011 by winning the first-ever play-off final against Prestatyn Town.
The New Saints were successful in obtaining their domestic licence on appeal at the same meeting as were Rhyl, who finished second in the Huws Gray Alliance, but Bridgend Town's appeal was rejected.
The clubs with a domestic licence for 2012/13 are Aberystwyth Town, Airbus UK Broughton, Afan Lido, Bala Town, Bangor City, Carmarthen Town, GAP Connah's Quay (promoted), Haverfordwest County (Welsh League), Llandudno Town (Huws Gray Alliance), Llanelli AFC, Newtown AFC, Port Talbot Town, Prestatyn Town, Rhyl FC (Huws Gray Alliance) and The New Saints.
Photo: Neath played in the Europa League less than a year ago [Gareth Hughes].
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