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The wider impact of the sporting ban in Wales
Saturday, 8th Jan 2022 11:15 by Gruff Stephens

A coincidental update from Julian Winter, and a report to the Welsh Assembly from Trevor Birch the ex swans chairman referencing Wales Covid restrictions are both revealed to us today. The two are friends and allies both extremely annoyed at the decision to ban sporting events in Wales. It has a drastic effect on the infrastructure of Swansea, businesses will take a hit every time and after two years it seems pointless to many.

Yesterday Russell Martin talked about the ‘unfairness of the situation’ and the disadvantage his team is being placed under and later on Julian Winter stated “It is now difficult to find the words to describe how, once more, we are having to play games without the backing of or loyal supporters, for which Swansea City means so much” Then EFL ceo Trevor Birch joins in the fray with a letter to the Welsh Assembly reiterating his feelings from earlier this week on the whole situation. Given the EFL is keen to see all its member clubs compete under the same conditions, Birch has asked the Welsh government to "consider the easing of the current restrictions for elite sport to pre-Omicron levels" when the measures are considered again next week.

As per Julian Winter, Birch eiterated the impact on businesses in Wales and wants to meet with ministers to discuss a financial package to sustain the clubs affected. As we knkw there has been mention of a fund to do this by the assembly, but the figures available are different every time a report is made.

Today would have seen an estimated 1,500 saints fans in Swansea, and due to the lack of football in the city for four weeks the swans would anticipate a higher than normal attendance for this fixture. With a percentage ( around 7% is the norm ) of fans of most clubs choosing to stay in Swansea to coincide with their teams game and a weekend break or family experience with Gower and many attractions nearby the overall impact is really concerning. We could easily list the other areas impacted by the ban but Birch believes it to be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Well, he should know.


Mark Drakeford remaining solid in his stance and somewhat inflexible

First Minister Mark Drakeford on the other hand continues to compare what Wales are doing with England talking yesterday he said,” So the question is not why is Wales not following what is going on in England, the real question is, why is England such a global outlier in the way in which Governments elsewhere are attempting to protect their populations from coronavirus ? Wales is taking action, as is Scotland, as is Northern Ireland, and as are countries right across Europe and right across the globe. The one country that stands out as not taking action to protect its population is England”

Drakeford described England as paralysing itself politically. To us it doesn’t like he’s going to be too flexible.

It’s clearly been an initiative by the swans and EFL to pressurise decision makers in the Senedd before next weeks review of the sporting ban, the thing is it’s clear Drakeford is holding many of the cards and not being a sports follower he wont really care. Coupled with his hatred of alcohol ( don’t get the beers in Trev ) football clubs in Wales will do well to even get him to listen to Trevor Birch and Julian Winter, let alone reply to anything they say.

Photographs licensed from Reuters



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