WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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A FAILURE to secure tenure has been cited as one of the reasons for Welsh League Division One side Monmouth Town vacating Pen-Y-Pound Stadium at Abergavenny after only one season, writes Terry Daley.

The Kingfishers moved into the ground in time for the start of the 2014-15 campaign and shared the facilities with Gwent County League outfit Abergavenny Town (formerly Govilon).

Monmouth declared the move from the Sports Ground HQ in the border town was made to give them an opportunity to develop the stadium with a view to gaining entry into the top-flight Welsh Premier League.

Improvement work, including the installation of new dug-outs and pitch-perimeter hard standing, began before Monmouth drew 1-1 with eventual runners-up Cardiff Metropolitan University in the first match of the season in mid-August.

However as the campaign progressed, it was clear to neutrals that all was not going to plan and it is no surprise that Monmouth chairman Lee Robson has confirmed the club is moving back to their home base.

"During the season, we applied for the domestic license which put us in the box seat to benefit from grants from the Welsh Ground Improvements trust to upgrade Pen-Y-Pound as necessary - ie, install 500 seats and upgrade the main stand and floodlights, revealed Robson.

"Those grants were dependent also on us having a form of security of tenure at Pen-Y-Pound, which was not forthcoming.

"Coupled with our experience in trying to work with our partners on fixtures and in other respects, I concluded we have no option but to return our first team to Monmouth Sports Ground next season."

Monmouth, who defended the Division One title they won in 2013-14 by finishing sixth of 16, played 20 league and cup matches at Pen-Y-Pound Stadium, winning 14, drawing two and losing four.

They completed their season on May 16, when they defeated Division Three outfit Panteg 8-0 in the final of the Gwent FA Senior Cup at Undy.

League officials will carry out an inspection at Monmouth Sports Ground next week.

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25 September 2017

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